X Winter International Arts Festival in Sochi
In February 2017, Sochi will host the X Anniversary Winter International Festival of Arts under the direction of Yuri Bashmet.
The first major milestone is usually a reason for summarizing the first results. And the Sochi Arts Forum can justifiably be proud of what has been achieved. Ten years ago, when for the first time ever Maestro Bashmet opened the Festival, which was attended by a small group of his friends and like-minded musicians, few people could expect that in a short time it will turn into one of the largest arts forums in Russia and in the Eurasian continent, will attract the best classical, jazz and ethnic musicians, ballet and theatre artists, academic, folk and pop bands from all over the world (not to mention dozens of thousands of listeners), will collaborate with the most prestigious European festivals and musical academies, will draw close attention of the media and dignitaries of the Russian state. Today, it is impossible to imagine the modern Russian cultural space without the Sochi Arts Festival, which painted the cultural program of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in unusually bright colors.
"The Ten Years’ Best and the World Premieres". The past, the present, and the future are the unspoken themes of the Sochi Festival. For Maestro Bashmet, his fellow musicians and partners, a certain milestone is inextricably linked with future development prospects of domestic and international musical art. That’s why his festivals are always attended by young soloists, performing side by side with celebrity maestros, and the programs are full of popular masterpieces from different eras riskily coexisting with works meant for those who are 30 years old! True art based on a deep foundation of traditions must stay youthful and zeitgeisty. The true purpose of any artist is to introduce audiences to high art, while meeting the contemporaries’ needs; at the same time novice musicians, mastering the "school" should look for new, unbeaten tracks. Familiar names will alternate with new faces, and gentle reminders of the most vibrant artistic events from the past festivals will intersperse with something that will become an absolute surprise for the public.
Perhaps, first thing worth noting is the educational program of the festival. Since its inception, the International Winter Arts Forum has been distinguished by its wide range of educational activities. Meet-the-artist events, master classes, joint concerts — Maestro Bashmet has always focused on musical youth being aware of the necessity of creative interaction between beginner artists and outstanding professionals. But even in comparison with the previous festivals, this part of the program of the anniversary Arts Forum is striking with its impressive scope. Moreover, the program will involve participants and spectators of all ages — from the youngest ones to adults.
The festival will host the Second International Music Academy in three lines of activity: instrumental department (under direction of Yuri Bashmet), academic singing (under direction of Dmitry Vdovin) and compositions (under direction of Professor of the Moscow Conservatory Alexander Tchaikovsky). During the last days of the festival, the Young Journalists School will cover cultural topics.
The International Competition for Young Composers which has become traditional for the Sochi Festival will be held under the auspices of two anniversaries — 100 years since birth of Emil Gilels, the great Russian pianist, and the 125th anniversary of birth of Igor Stravinsky, the Patriarch of the twentieth century music. During the Festival, there will also be exhibitions held in honor of these names.
Another exhibition will be dedicated to Russian poets of the Silver age — one of the brightest eras of the Russian art.
In the daytime, the Winter Theatre will host a program of lectures about art and culture — this genre appears in the program of the Sochi Festival for the first time too. The speakers names say it all: Professor of the Moscow State University, RATI (The Russian University of Theatre Arts, aka GITIS) and the Theater School of the Moscow Art Theatre, member of the Presidential Council for Culture and Art Dmitry Trubotchkin; art historian and art manager, General Director of the Sotheby's Russia-CIS campaign Mikhail Kamensky, Director of the State Literary Museum, Professor of the Russian State University for the Humanities Dmitry Bak; as well as a composer Alexander Tchaikovsky, a director Victor Kramer, an art critic Antonio Geusa, and other world renowned professors from prestigious universities, art historians, philosophers and critics.
A number of projects, also for the first time, was prepared for the youngest viewers by the organizers of the Sochi Forum in conjunction with the State Literary Museum, the M. I. Glinka State Museum of Musical Culture 10 and Yamaha Musical Company. The contest Poetry Writing Feathers, the literary quest about the intricacies of the Russian language, the interactive program Rhythms of the World and Let's Stage a Musical Play will attract to the Festival children of junior, secondary and senior school age.
Young representatives of photo- and video-art will have an opportunity to meet outstanding masters of such arts — a worldwide renowned photojournalist and teacher Vladimir Vyatkin, as well as doctor of philosophy in Media Arts, author of History of Russian Video Art, head of educational programs at the State Contemporary Art Center (ROSIZO) Antonio Geusa.
The most intriguing premier is expected towards the Festival closing. The program of the closing gala concert, along with the well-known onstage hits (Rhaspody on a Theme of Paganini, Bruch's Violin Concerto), includes two concertos for viola written by modern authors in 2016- 2017 for Maestro Bashmet. It is our compatriot, co-chair of the Young Composers Club of the Moscow Conservatory Kuzma Bodrov and the Japanese composer of the middle generation Atsuhiko Gondai internationally recognized for his lectures on contemporary music and unusual blend of traditions of the East and the West (the same concert will feature Serenade by Bodrov's teacher, a longtime friend and associate of Yuri Bashmet, Alexander Tchaikovsky, written specifically for the recent tour of the All-Russian Youth Symphony Orchestra).
The gala opening concert of the Festival is traditionally dedicated to the music of the past. However, here the visitors will also be offered an unusual premiere: the rarely performed Sinfonia Concertante by Mozart for four wind instruments will be presented by the international "team" of young musicians, three of whom perform in Sochi for the first time (and the fourth is a well-known "frequenter" of Yuri Bashmet festivals clarinetist Valentin Uryupin).
The performing art of Yuri Bashmet is, in essence, the experiments, permanent search of something new. Maybe it explains why he is attached so much by "mixed", synthetic programs where the music is easily combined with other arts, as well as by joint concerts involving representatives of the most different styles and trends of the modern music culture. The Duo of Yuri Bashmet and Diana Arbenina have been successfully performing for more than a year; the anniversary Sochi Festival will be no exception. During one of the festivals of the expiring year, the audience liked the idea of alternating chamber music of the European Romanticism with traditional Chinese Middle Ages melodies. But the combination of the "classical" Chamber Ensemble Soloists of Moscow with... the traditional Hong Kong Folk Instruments Orchestra will be a premiere of the new 2017 Festival.
Musical and dramatic play, literary and musical composition... Almost none of the Yuri Bashmet festivals can do without one of these synthetic genres. No only Romanticism representatives but even ancient philosophers thought "about a deep inner kinship of poetry and music". Maestro Yuri Bashmet, drawn to experiments and mixing of genres, is in fact reviving the great tradition of such performances and concerts which used to be regularly staged by the national concert halls and broadcast on the radio. Last year, in Sochi the audience was shown Fantastic Carmen as interpreted by Yuri Bashmet (subsequently shown again in Yaroslavl) combining opera and ballet with Mérimée's novella... Back in 2010, in the courtyard of the Yaroslavl Arts Museum there was staged Eugene Onegin where Pushkin's original lines were interspersed with fragments of "lyrical scenes" by Tchaikovsky. At the Sochi Festival, the audience will see these two, perhaps the most famous compositions, which came to life due to the enthusiasm of Bashmet, and at the informal opening one of the most successful festi- 11 val productions Don't Forget your Planet based on a philosophical tale The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry will be presented. The main première in this genre will be on February 20 — The Barber of Seville based on the comedy by Beaumarchais and the opera by Rossini. As in the case with The Little Prince, it was born as a result of collaboration between Yuri Bashmet, composer and arranger Kuzma Bodrov and director Victor Kramer. One of the most fashionable directors form the city of Saint Petersburg who staged Snow Show for Slava Polunin and cooperates with La Scala and the Mariinsky Theatre, founder of Farces Theatre and his own theatre production company, Victor Kramer demonstrates a perfect combination of musical, theatrical and poetic arts in his scenic works.
The traditional ballet evening will also be unusual. This time, the gala concert will be dedicated to two "opera" themes — Madame Butterfly and Tristan and Isolde. Two stories about love separated by centuries and traditions of the continents bring their characters to death, but ultimately result in true immortality — the apotheosis of the mighty power of the human feeling. The stage will bring together "the classic and the modern": the gala concert involves young Italian dance team imPerfect, confidently taking leading position in the "contemporary dance" category and the stars of the Parisian Grand Opera Dorothée Gilbert and Jeremy Loup Quer
Another tradition of the Sochi Festival — the annual jazz event — this time will present a genuine sensation to the audience. For the first time ever, Sochi will present the ten-time winner (and the 19-time nominee!) of Grammy, the six-time winner of the prestigious award Billboard, laureate of Emmy and many other awards, friend and follower of the legendary Dizzy Gillespie — Cuban trumpeter Arturo Sandoval! Dizzy himself spoke of his younger brother as one of the best musicians in the world; according to Sandoval, it was Gillespie who took him to the top of the Mount Olympus of jazz, showing an example of the combination of smooth, free Blues and dynamic Cuban rhythms. Today, Arthur Sandoval performs on the best world stages together with representatives of many different styles of world music (Chucho Valdés, Céline Dion, Justin Timberlake, Woody Herman, Tito Puente, Tony Bennett); he has his own jazz club in Miami Beach, where famous musicians gather. He also regularly takes part in concerts with renowned Symphony orchestras (BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, and others).
The Festival will also host a conference of directors of the Russian philharmonics and the international project Festival of Reading in conjunction with the European Association of music festivals
Among the participants of the Festival there will be the world classical music stars: Denis Matsuev, Vadim Repin, Massimo Quarta, Olli Mustonen, the Israeli virtuoso mandolinist Avi Avital; soloists of the Bolshoi Theatre — the owner of thrilling baritone who has recently become part of the troupe Aluda Todua, Olga Kulchinskaia, Sergei Romanov, Andrei Zhelihovskii, Oleg Tsybulko, Dmitrii Ovchinnikov and Yuri Gorodetskii; soloists of the Mariinsky Theatre Irina Shishkova and Evgenii Cherniadev; participant of the Salzburg Festival Dara Savinova, as well as the soloists of the Bolshoi Theatre Ekaterina Shipulina, Alexander Volchkov and Ruslan Skvortsov; the stars of Russian theatre and cinema Alexander Lazarev, Jr., Konstantin Khabenskii, Mikhail Trukhin, Evgenii Stychkin, Yuliia Takshina and many, many more...
Maestro Yuri Bashmet will perform as a soloist and director of three remarkable musical bands — the Grammy winner Chamber Ensemble Soloists of Moscow, the Novaya Rossiya (New Russia) State Symphony Orchestra and the All-Russian Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Materials of the X Winter International Arts Festival in Sochi