Maria Yudina (1899 - 1970), the most outrageous personality of XX century Russian music is 100 this year. Graduate of St. Petersburg Conservatory, she became famous for bitter, unpredictable playing, abusing all the canons. Any of her interpretations turned into arguing.
All her life was composed of contradictions. A Jew, she chose Russian Orthodoxy for her faith. Raised on Romanticism, possessed by 'anti-romantic modernism', "Woman pianist with masculine temper' - as Sviatoslav Richter characterized her. During the World War II she went to encircled by German troops Leningrad to give concerts; in 1956 she wanted to move to Egypt to fight against the English. Absolute absence of modesty. Rejection on principle such a notion as taste. Soviet Ministry of Culture banned her performances. Expulsion from Gnesin Institute of Music in 1960 for 'spreading modernism and religious propaganda'. While teaching she inculcated rare musical pieces and try her best to help New Music intrude into USSR.
Maria Yudina did not fit into explicable cathegories of professionalism, aesthetic, teaching... She is a vivid living happening of modern art. This year the cycles of concerts dedicated to her memory are planned. Her letters on philosophy are almost ready for publishing.