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  Ilya Narovlyansky   Curiously, I was born in 1921 in Petrograd; I studied and worked in Leningrad, fought at the Leningrad front and now I live and work in St Petersburg. The names of my City have changed, but I have kept on loving it.

I remember the terrible flood of 1924, cots, wooden troughs, and various personal belongings all afloat, and people wading in water neck-deep.

I remember the period of the "New Economic Policy", the market on Sennaya Square abundant with all sorts of food, and and carriages with horses running on the flagstones of Nevsky and Voznesensky prospects.

I remember Leningrad during the Siege, with thousands of women and young kids starving almost to death, digging antitank trenches, and merciless German bombers coming every night, at 7 o'clock sharp.

On August 9, in the terrible year of 1942, in the Great Philharmonic Hall the Leningrad Symphonic Orchestra performed the Seventh Symphony by Dmitry Shostakovich. Among the musicians who were playing that Symphony of Fortitude in besieged Leningrad was my father, Avraam I. Narovlyansky.

The Philharmonic Hall was full, and I was there, listening to the brilliant music.

My fondness to photography and love of the City have combined harmoniously in my profession. I became a photographer at 14, and since then have been taking pictures of the City, trying to capture its various states, early in the morning and late at night, at dawn and sunset, in frost, snow, and drizzling rain.

I have always been particularly attracted by the White Nights, which last here from May to the end of June.

The White Nights have a dewy clear tenderness, reminiscent of the enigmatic music of Greig or Sibelius. When I take pictures of buildings and open bridges looming through the dusk, I pay special attention to the point of view, which should reveal the spirit and dignity of the City.

Today the City is charming as always, with the Neva's waters running to the Gulf of its mouth. And as before, the spire of the Admiralty and the granite flagstones glitter in the sun, and every day at noon a gun fires from the bastion of Peter and Paul fortress, reminding the citizens of their noble duty to love and protect St Petersburg

Ilya Narovlyansky