The Prince Myshkins are Rick Burkhardt and Andy Gricevich. Rick plays accordion and sings; Andy plays guitar and sings. They met in 1995 at the University of Illinois, where Andy studied literature and philosophy and Rick studied music composition. Within a year they had co-founded the Utopia Train theater company, and were traveling around the country with a group of rambunctious Midwestern utopianists. In 1997 they moved to San Diego to continue their studies and to see what life was like in the land of palm trees, the United Farm Workers, the US Navy and a union-busting city council. In their seven years there they worked to make their own material obsolete by appearing locally as KPBS San Diego’s resident satirists, and by touring nationally to sing at antiwar demonstrations, union rallies, schools, coffeehouses, living rooms, community centers and major urban intersections. In 1999 they co-founded the Nonsense Company, a group of musicians dedicated to the performance of new works of contemporary classical music by exciting younger composers. Rick and Andy are both enthusiastic readers and writers of experimental poetry, and continue to perform political theater at every opportunity. The Prince Myshkins are proud members of AFM Local 1000, the North American Traveling Musicians’ Union. They now live in Madison, Wisconsin.
Real True Fact: Prince Myshkin is the main character of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel The Idiot. “Myshkin” means “little mouse,” and his first name, Lev, means “lion.” In the first chapter of the novel he tells a fellow rail passenger that “there are no Prince Myshkins left but me.”