In the final gala night of the XIV Sochi festival, maestro Yuri Bashmet daringly brings musical opposites together: classics and jazz, popular hits and world premieres, topical contemporary music and the distant voice of the Romantic age.
The highlight of the concert will be two world premieres.
Belgian composer, producer, head of festivals and contemporary music projects Patrick De Clerck is a regular guest and partner of Yuri Bashmet’s festivals. This time in Sochi, he will present his Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra, which will remind the audience of his engagement with rock music in the past. By contrast, the British composer Charlotte Bray, who is, perhaps, the most outstanding character in the British academic music, will be presented to the Sochi public for the first time. She is a laureate of prestigious national and international awards, and she has worked in the genres of orchestral, chamber, choral and stage music. Her orchestral piece The Flight of Bitter Water was commissioned by the Winter International Arts Festival in Sochi; it reflects the state of the contemporary human in the time of a pandemic.
Composed in the 1900s, the lyrical dramatic Concerto for Violin and Orchestra by Aleksandr Glazunov, with its most difficult finale, is the pearl of the Russian violin music. The Cello Concerto by Robert Schumann was written half a century earlier, but the lyrical poetics and the passionate tone of the two works chime in involuntarily. Undoubtedly, the work of the “rebellious romantic” Schumann had a great influence on the entire Russian school of composition (especially on Tchaikovsky and Glazunov).
Aleksandr Tsfasman is a legendary pianist and conductor; he is one of the pioneers of Soviet jazz art. He is less known as a composer, who combined jazz improvisation with traditional academism. One of his best works entitled Jazz Suite was written in 1945; it is a variety of a piano concerto whose swift framing parts are set off by its lyrical middle.
The gala will culminate in Maurice Ravel’s Bolero – the 20 century “apotheosis of dance”, which has come to symbolize the magical power of rhythm in music.
The concert brings together the representatives of different generations of European music art: professor of the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp and Diapason D’Or award winner Tatiana Samouil; German cello-player, once the youngest winner of the ARD International Music Competition in Munich and now professor of Berlin University of the Arts and Reina Sofía School of Music in Madrid Jens Peter Maintz; pianist and golden medalist of the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition Dmitry Masleev; and Belgian guitar virtuoso Jon Holohan.
By tradition, the All-Russian Youth Symphony Orchestra plays in the final evening on the stage of the Sochi Winter Theatre. This is the brightest educational project of maestro Bashmet of the last decade. The collective of young musicians, who come from different regions of Russia and regularly go through competitive selection, has earned the reputation of a highly competitive orchestra. It has been playing successfully with prominent international performers and has proven masterful in revealing the beauty of classical masterpieces and contemporary music.