Candidate Profile

History - Art & Culture
History - Classical
Travel & Destinations
Olga Stone is one of the most versatile presenters on a lecturing circuit, combining her skills as concert pianist, historian, art historian and classicist to make her talks entertaining, lively, educating and unusual.

She was born in the Crimea and attended the Conservatoire in Odessa, and graduated with top marks in piano, piano accompaniment and the teaching of music. After leaving the Conservatoire she embarked on a career as a professional pianist and accompanist and performed in Moscow, Minsk, Kiev and other cities of the former Soviet Union, playing for many Soviet and post-Soviet leaders. She was a soloist in the Crimean Philharmonic Society and made many appearances on Ukrainian, Russian and Belorussian TV. She moved to the Isle of Man in 1998 and continued her music studies at Trinity College (London), being awarded FTCL in Piano Performance, ATCL in Organ Performance and AMusTCL in Music Theory. Olga was an official accompanist for the International Tertis Viola Competition, and also accompanied the Ballet Rambert and the National Symphony Orchestra during their visits to the Isle of Man.

Olga has performed in various venues around the world – in the UK and Europe, in South America, the USA and even on the island of St. Helena, as well as on board a large number of cruise ships for different companies. She has been a guest of Cape Town Classical Music programme, Manx Radio, Radio Belarus, Danish Radio Klassisk and BBC ‘Songs of Praise’. Olga also is the organist at St. Andrew's Church, Isle of Man, plays as a visiting organist in many churches on the Isle of Man and gives organ concerts in the UK.

Apart from degrees in music, Olga has PhD in Classics and BA in Arts History. She was a Head of Classics at King William’s College on the Isle of Man for many years, and now teaches various History classes, Latin and Russian at the University College Isle of Man. Olga also had been a sessional Arts History lecturer for the University of Liverpool for 12 years, covering topics from Classical history of Rome and Greece to Russian revolution of 1917, and for 8 years she had been a History tutor for the University of Chester, lecturing on the Medieval History and the Crusades. Olga also is an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society UK (former NADFAS)

Olga has a wide range of lectures on all aspects art and history, including topics on music, on European history covering the period from Classical times to World War I, and on European art from Classical period through Early Renaissance to Late Romanticism and early XX century art. Olga illustrates her talks with extensive PowerPoint presentations and often includes extracts from literature, poetry and piano pieces, playing herself, to emphasize the atmosphere of a period.

Olga has travelled widely in Europe, the Caribbean, and North, Central and South America, both playing concerts and giving lectures. She has excellent first-hand knowledge of the Baltic, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic Islands and the Caribbean.

Olga’s training in Classics, History, Art and Music gives to her lectures and concerts a unique blend of creativity as well as deep insight into a subject.
Destination talks related to:

- Baltic
- Norwegian Fjords
- The Black Sea
- Mediterranean (all)
- Iberian peninsula
- Caribbean
- East Coast of North America
- East Coast of South America
- East and West Coasts of Central America
- Atlantic Islands

Lectures on Music:

1. "Images of Nature"
Performance-illustrated lecture on music and paintings related to the description of sea, fountains, birds,. landscape in pieces of popular composers-Vivaldi, Elgar, Rimsky-Korsakov, Liszt, and artists-Turner, Lorrain, Titian, Van der Velde etc. Combination of image and sound really brings images alive!

2. "Musical portraits"
Performance-illustrated lecture on musical description of people and animals, including pieces by Granados, Saint-Saens, Schumann, Mussorgsky, Copland etc. This is an entertaining and unusual subject.

3. "Balance and contrast: Classical music of Viennese School"

4. "Virtue and glamour: piano music of XVIII-XX centuries" (can be done as series of talks or as one lecture)
These lectures examine how keyboard instruments developed through the centuries, from the early examples of the virginal and the spinet to the grand piano. Lectures also discuss opportunities that changes in the construction of instruments opened up for composers and performers and how the great performers gave inspiration to the composers. Each lecture is illustrated by examples performed by the lecturer.

5. "Grand Opera, the highest form of art" (can be done as series of 5 talks or as one lecture)

6. "Victorian Music Salon"
Performance-illustrated lecture introduces pieces by British, European and American composers which the noble and middle class households of XIX century Britain would have had performed in their homes.

7. "Music for Royal Occasions"
Performance-illustrated lecture exploring music written for the accession of the English monarchs and for special royal celebrations.

Lectures on history and art:

1. "Heracles, Psyche and others: Myths and Legends in Art and Music"
Many paintings and music have some myth or story behind them- stories about Greek myths' heroes, Biblical stories, fairytales, folk stories etc. Most people do not know them and always welcome some explanation. This lecture can be divided into 2 parts or squeezed into 1.

2. "Great gardens of the world"
Illustrated lecture on celebrated historical and modern gardens in various countries, reflecting local and traditional design. It is a combination of beautiful pictures, historic references, poetry, paintings and music. This lecture can be divided into 2 more detailed lectures or 1 more general lecture.

3. "Beautiful face of history: women who changed the world"
Most people know about men's contribution to the development of the world, but what about women's part? Would the history of the ancient world have been the same without Cleopatra? Would Russia be Christian without Princess Olga? Would the Emperor Justinian be the same person without Empress Theodora? And there were others that deserve their place in history – Helen of Troy, Cleopatra, Theodora, Josephine, Elizabeth I, Roxolana, Catherine II, Elizabeth of Austria, Isabella of Spain, Madame Pompadour. (This is a series of 10 talks.)

4. The Glory of Baroque (can be done as series of several talks or separately)

5. Classicism: The Choice of Enlightenment
Illustrated lecture explores the development of the European philosophy, science and art in the XVIII century, focusing also on architecture as art form and discussing neoclassical ideas in paintings, sculpture and music.

6. Pirates, corsairs, buccaneers: myths, lore and legends

7. Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

8. Where East leads West: how Turkish culture influenced Europe

9. Beautiful and Deadly: stories behind the famous precious stones of the world

10. Gods and Heroes in Heaven: Constellations and Stars in legends and myths

11. Masterpieces, man-made miracles (series of 6 talks discussing sculpture, music, jewellery, paintings, woodcarvings, architecture)

12. ‘Inverted perspective’: Art and Music of Orthodox Church

13. The Golden Age of Spain: painters and writers of XVI - XVII centuries

14. ‘Andalucia, mi amor’
Performance - illustrated lecture explores how the stories, folk music and colourful architecture of Andalucia influenced writers, painters, composers and architects from many countries over the centuries.

15. “For the Glory of God”: the rise of Papacy and spread of monastic houses in Western Europe

16. “The cult of Love in the age of chivalry”: the Troubadours’ culture of Southern France
This lecture explores the origins of this style in poetry and music and various genres associated with it and covers the connections of the Troubadours' style with the Crusades and its fascination with the Cult of Courtly Love and the influence and the enduring appeal of troubadours over centuries.

17. “Sunlight shimmering in water droplets…”: Impressionism in French paintings and music

18. ‘Reformation and Lutheranism: European tragedy or blessing?’

19. ‘The German Baroque: Opulence and Splendour’

20. ‘”The largest drawing room in Europe”: Venice in XVIII century’

Lectures on history:

1. Crimea: On the crossroads of the Civilizations
This illustrated lecture covers the history of the Crimea and its inhabitants covering Scythians, Greek colonies, Genovese trading outposts, Silk Road ports and Tatar Khanate. Lecture also discusses the issue of the Crimea as a part of Russian Empire and Crimean War 1854-56, finishing with the political problems of the XX century.

2. Ukraine: The Unknown Neighbour
An illustrated lecture that covers the history of Ukraine, from emergence of Kievan Rus as a state in V-X centuries, its contacts with Constantinople and strengthening of political influence of Kievan Rus in X-XII centuries as a barrier between East and West. Lecture also discusses invasion of the Tatar Hordes, fall of Kiev in 1240 and decline of Kievan Rus as independent state, which was followed by the Dark Ages of Ukraine and Lithuanian and Polish rule in XIV-XVIII centuries. It also covers union of Ukraine with Russia in 1654 and expansion of Russian into Southern Ukraine and Crimea in 1770-80s, as well as rise of Ukrainian culture in XIX century.

3. Tales of the White Sea

4. Russian Renaissance (XVIII-XX centuries)

5. Dawn of Russia (X-XVII centuries)
This lecture follows the history of Russia in the XIII-XVIII centuries, from the invasion of the Tatar Golden Horde to Catherine the Great, through the reign of Ivan the Terrible to Peter I's reforms and Russian-Swedish Wars and the expansion of Russia during the reign of Catherine II. The reflection of this period in the art of the later centuries, in the form of paintings, architecture, literature and music, will be discussed.

6. Tales of the Amber Sea: Historical overview of the Baltic states

7. Georgia: The Land of the Golden Fleece
Illustrated lecture exploring history of Georgia from ancient times to XX century, discussing myths of Prometheus, Argonauts, Colchis- the Land of the Golden Fleece, Roman and Greek connections. Lecture also covers spread of Christianity, emergence of Georgian Alphabet and Georgian culture during in XI-XIII centuries with its cult of chivalry. Lecture also discusses the treaty with Russia of 1783 and Russian and European influence Georgia, finishing with the renaissance of Georgian culture in XIX-XX century.

8. The Way We Lived Then: my ‘Soviet’ years
This is an informal talk based on recollections how life was in the USSR, based on family stories and personal experience. This talk is usually very well received by the audience and generates many questions for discussion.
I have lectured on cruises worldwide since February 1999, and have done many cruises for luxury companies Noble Caledonia (regularly lectured since 2010) and Zegrahm (regularly lectured since 2005). I also lectured for the Celebrity and Silversea lines, Hurtigruten, Saga and Windstar, doing on average 5-6 cruises a year.
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Boudicca D1925 Atlantic Islands & Desert Dunes 21 Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands Thursday, October 10, 2019
Viking Jupiter JU190825 Viking Homelands 14 Stockholm Sunday, August 25, 2019
Balmoral L1618 Spain, Portugal & the Canary Islands 15 Newcastle Friday, August 12, 2016