Nikolai Georgievich Procofieff de Seversky 1875-1941There are two gifts that we can give to our children: One is Roots and the other is Wings.
This article is dedicated to the memory of the Late, Nikolai Georgievich Procofieff de Seversky. Husband to Vera, Father to Alexander, George and Nika.
Nikolai was born in Imperial Russia in the year 1875, a descendent from a long line of military men. He taught flight instruction at Gatchina Aeronautical School and was one of the first Russians to purchase his own plane. At the controls of a Farman IV he would make the 1,400 mile, one way flight from Tbilisi, Georgia to St. Petersburg. His flight instruments consisted of his skill, a liquid compass taken from a boat, and an inverted sealed glass cup filled with drops of caster oil that pulsed in tune with the engine. This he monitored with a stopwatch; a crude replacement for a tachometer.
As a performer, Nikolai was considered “irresistible” and was famous for his Gypsy romances and as the owner of The Ekaterininsky Theatre. He achieved his fame in St. Petersburg, as an operetta singer. Nikolai used the stage name of Nikolai Seversky.
He was greatly in demand by the gramophone companies active in the first decade of this century.
In 1893 while performing on stage in Tbilisi, Georgia Nikolai meet his bride Vera Pressman. Vera was an actress and singer and had a vivacious personality. Together they had 2 sons; Alexander and George.
After the Russian Revolution he joined the Whites to fight the Red Communist Party along side his son George. In 1918 Nikolai left for Sweden where he produced and starred in a film about Peter the Great. He then immigrated to Paris, France where he lived out his life with his 2nd wife Barbara Tchowikine, and their daughter Nika. Nikolai passed away on April 4, 1941.
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths that you take, but by the moments in life that take your breath away.” This describes the life of Nikolai Georgevich Procofieff de Seversky.
Written by his granddaughter Diane
Recordings by Nikolai Seversky:
July 1901 , 3 songs were recorded by Berliner ; I adore you (gypsy romance), Nightingale song (Zeller) and Shepherd’s waltz (Zeller).
These recordings are available on Symposium label 1112 The Harold Wayne Collection Volume 12.
In September 1910, 2 songs were recorded in St. Petersburg by the Gramophone Company;
In the blue sky (Russian folk song) and Let us ride (Zubov). They are available on Pearl label, “Singers of Imperial Russia Volume V”. Nikolai also recorded on cylinder and disc for Pathé in 1903.