Serova [née Bergman], Valentina Semyonovna
- Malcolm Hamrick Brown
(b Moscow, 1846; d Moscow, June 24, 1924). Russian composer and writer on music . She was the wife of the composer Aleksandr Serov and mother of the painter Valentin Serov. In 1862 she entered the St Petersburg Conservatory with a scholarship to study the piano with Anton Rubinstein, but left and studied privately with Serov, whom she married in 1863. Together they published Muzïka i teatr (1867–8), which included her earliest writings on music. In January 1871, Serov’s opera Vrazh′ya sila (‘The Power of the Fiend’) was in production when the composer died, leaving Act 5 incomplete. Serova, aided by Nikolay Solov′yov, finished it in time for the première. The intense emotional experience revived her interest in composition and resulted in four original operas. Her first opera, Uriel Acosta (1885), was the only one to be performed at the Bol′shoy in Moscow; Marie d’Orval...