Fall 2011 - Boston, October 25 - November 7. The 20th festival, a major milestone in the life of the Educational Bridge Project, focused on celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the St. Petersburg Conservatory as we invited back to Boston several of the participants from previous years.


Thus, the festival’s program included performances of the music of four St Petersburg composers who were in Boston ten years ago: Nikolay Mazhara (Capriccio and Impromptu for Piano solo), Svetlana Nesterova (Bazhov’s Tales - On the Departure from St. Petersburg to Boston, Fanny Etudes), Ekaterina Blinova (Three pieces for two pianos ), and Anton Tanonov. Graduate students ten years ago, in 2001, they are all now teaching at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, and where Dr. Tanonov is now Associate Dean of the Department of Composition and Conducting.


In addition, seven young St. Petersburg virtuosi, who performed in Educational Bridge Project sponsored festivals in Russia and Boston in 2009, 2010 and 2011, journeyed to Boston to collaborate with young pianists and violinists from music schools of the Boston area: Veniamin Blokh (piano), David Chakvetadze (violin), Ksenya Gavrilova (piano), Alexandra Korobkina (violin), Alexey Stadler (cello), Karina Sposobina (piano), and Anastasia Subrakova (violin). Three violinists, all pupils of the famous pedagogue Saveliy Shalman, represented his school in the best possible way.


In addition to the new venues of last fall, such as the Boston University’s Gotlieb Archive and Research Center, more new venues opened their doors for our festival, such as Berklee College of Music, Harvard University’s Mather House and Hilles Center, Steinert Hall, and Sharon Music Academy


The festival opened on October 25 with talks on the History of Soviet Jazz: by Zinaida Kartasheva, Chair of the jazz orchestras and ensembles department of the Moscow State University of Arts; on Shostakovich’s Eighth String Quartet …Instead I wrote a quartet, needed by nobody and ideologically sinful,  by Dr. Ludmilla Leibman; The Literati of St. Petersburg: by Diana Vinkovetsky, well-known writer and essayist, and culminated with a presentation at Mugar Library, Tales of Passionate Pursuit  with Daphne Kalotay, Diana Vinkovetsky, and Tatiana Yurieva. The program included musical interludes of Russian songs by the children’s ensemble “Lucky Ten,” under Alexander Prokhorov and selected classical works for violin and cello by Paganini and Bach.


The ringing of the Russian Bells in the tower of Lowell House, Harvard University, invited all who came to hear An Afternoon of Classical Music: Performances by St. Petersburg musicians: Veniamin Blokh, David Chakvetadze, Ksenya Gavrilova, Alexandra Korobkina, Alexey Stadler, Karina Sposobina, and Anastasia Subrakova. Included in the program were the Sonata No. 2 for violoncello and piano in F major, Op. 99, by Johannes Brahms and the Divertimento from the Fairy Kiss, by Igor Stravinsky.


Very different was the music presented in the Saarinen Chapel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Sound Waves was a program of electronic and acoustic music by Anton Tanonov accompanied by New York soprano Zhanna Alkhazova and Boston musicians, violinist Olga Kradenova and pianist Alexandra Carlson.   


Boston University’s George Sherman Union hosted Little House on Pesochnaya - more of Anton Tanonov’s electronic music with a demonstration of his music for animated films.  At the Berklee College of Music he collaborated with Berklee professor Ramon Castillo to present their piano and live electronic pieces, Funeral of a Voodoo Doll for piano and electronics, performed by Tanonov and Brain by Ramon Castillo performed by Veniamin Blokh and the composer.


The Harvard Musical Association hosted a full length evening concert of chamber music by St. Petersburg and Boston composers: Sharing the Stage. This program included the Sonata for Violin and Piano by Boris Tishchenko, Prelude and Fugue in F sharp major by Sergei Slonimsky, Fantasy by Anton Tanonov, the Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet by Matti Kovler, the Four Italian Songs by Tony Schemmer, and other compositions.


Mather House, Harvard University, was the venue of two interesting programs: one, Bazzini, Rachmaninov and Merlot:  a selection of  virtuoso pieces for violin, cello, and piano performed by Aleksandra Korobkina, Ksenya Gavrilova, Alexey Stadler, and Karina Sposobina and including The Witches Dance by Antonio Bazzini  and the Romance and Hungarian Dance, Op. 6 by Sergei Rachmaninov  


And a few days later a second event took place at Mather House entitled Russian Poetry in Russian Music - Nuances of Meaning: a discussion of the vagaries of interpretation in translating poetry from one language to another and from one art form to another. Songs by Dmitri Shostakovich and Anton Tanonov were performed by singers Yelena Dudochkin and Zhanna Alkhazova, accompanied by pianists Tatyana Dudochkin and Alexandra Carlson.


At Steinert Hall young student musicians (ages 4-16) from the Boston area took the stage in the afternoon event, Piano Music for Two hands, Four hands, and Two pianos, which offered music of Dmitri Kabalevsky, Sergei Slonimsky, Svetlana Nesterova, Ekaterina Blinova, and Anton Tanonov.  A few days earlier students from the Sharon Music Academy delighted listeners with a concert of piano music, Masters and Apprentices, of St. Petersburg composers Valery Gavrilin, Sergei Slonimsky, Anton Tanonov, Svetlana Nesterova, and Boston composer Phillip Mazza.


Final appearances by Anton Tanonov were made at the New England Conservatory sharing the stage with American electronic music composers John Mallia and Katarina Miljkovic of the New England Conservatory and Lou Bunk of Brandeis University and later at a Composers Seminar at the Granoff Music Center, Tufts University, hosted by John McDonald, composer and pianist who has a long-standing connection with the EBP since its first festival in the fall 1997 when professor McDonald hosted Boris Tishchenko and Alexander Mnatsakanyan.