The Scientist enjoyed making musical instruments more than doing his duties as an inventor for the Soviet Union, but he is remembered as an innovator and a genius for both. It was his tinkering with the musical instruments that lead to his sophisticated devices used to spy on the US Ambassador and others in Moscow for seven years. His eavesdropping invention he made for the Soviets won him prestige and respect from both Russia and the United States. In his final years Leon Theremin invented hands free devices that are still considered cutting edge technology today, but these whimsical and unbelievable inventions were destroyed by the Soviets because Russian ideology didn’t sync with Theremin’s passion as a creator of musical instruments. The only record we have that they existed at all comes from an article Harold Schonberg wrote in the New York Times in 1967 when he toured Theremin’s lab in the Moscow Conservatory of Music. More in the show notes at https://accelerandocast.com/show_notes/
Leon Theremin was a creative and curious soul who lived his life as a Russian Scientist but was a musician and entrepreneur. Had he left Russia like his biographer’s father before the outbreak of World War One maybe he would have enjoyed a peaceful and productive life- we’ll never know. His story is still compelling, you just have to overlook the Russian spy he was turned into to recognize a genius that just wanted to play, invent and discover.
More in the show notes at https://accelerandocast.com/show_notes/