The Educational Bridge Project’s 21st Russian-American festival engaged more than 120 people, the largest number of people in our 17 year history. Seven of these came from the US, and the rest were Russians of different ages and professions - high school students from the St. Petersburg Frunzensky District who actively participated in the Art-Dialogues (Pushkin in Music, Musical Memorials to WWII), well-known mathematicians of the St. Petersburg branch of the Steklov Institute (Robert T. Kozma’s presentation on Limiting Behavior of Julia Sets of Perturbed Quadratic Maps), and current and former pupils of the famous Russian piano pedagogue Zoriyat Tsuker with an unforgettable interpretation of Chopin’s Preludes by Laureate of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, Miroslav Kultyshev (concert at the Composers Association).
Three important events took place at the St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the oldest Russian Conservatory. Undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty of the Conservatory participated: a concert of the music of Boston composer Tony Schemmer; a presentation by Diana Vinkovetskaya with a performance of three musical compositions (one for three flutes and bongs, an electronic composition, and one for piano solo) written by student composers of Anton Tanonov and Svetlana Nesterova, inspired by the art works of Yakov Vinkovetsky; a talk by David Kjar, Wanda Landowska’s and Malcolm Bilson’s Mozart, brilliantly translated by Nina Siniakova.
One of the most interesting events, 57 minutes of Contemporary American and Russian Music, took place at the Dom Druzhby (St. Petersburg Association of International Collaboration) where the compositions of 11 y.o. Rachel Anna Kuznetsov from Boston and 11 y.o. Dima Tokarev from St Petersburg shared a program with the composers of an older generation – Nina Siniakova, Natalia Volkova, and Tony Schemmer. Alexandra Korobkina, David Chakvetadze, Anastasia Subrakova, Ksenya Gavrilova, and other young Russian performers who had participated in last fall’s festival in Boston, performed again at the Irida Salon, the Brodsky Museum and the Rimsky-Korsakov estate in Vechasha.
The recurring theme of commemoration of the Holocaust tragedy presented at the “Concert with Historic Commentaries” opened the festival with a pre-concert talk by Ludmilla Leibman, and a performance by actor George Devdariani and pianist Natalia Katonova of the poignant and expressive composition, Die Weise von Liebe und Tod Des Cornets Christoph Rilke, by Viktor Ullmann on the text of Rainer Maria Rilke written and performed in 1944 in the Terezin concentration camp.
Among 127 participants of the festival, 54 had participated in previous EBP festivals, either in Boston or in St. Petersburg or both. We welcomed as newcomers five young musicians, who performed music by Tony Schemmer: Ilya Rimar and Lubov Nosova (Italian Songs), Alexey Grigoriev, Yaroslava Serdobolskaya and Anna Shakina (Ten Standards) - venues included Fabio Mastrangelo’s Musical Vernissage at Ambassador Hotel and the Brodsky Museum.
Long-time friends of the EBP, Anna Konivets, Yuri Dimitrin, Alexander Levashov, Sergei Liapin, Tatyana Kholostova, Alexander and Igor Zolotarevs, Olga and Vladimir Galitskys and many others gave tours and presentations during the festival: Joseph Brodsky tour by A. Levashov and S. Liapin; Hermitage New Space tour by A. Konivets ; presentation of his new book, Libretto: Textbook in the Form of Essays by Y. Dimitrin; Dialogues of Cultures at the Baltic Technical University a roundtable discussion by T. Kholostova; a concert and closed rehearsal of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra at the Great Philharmonic Hall arranged by A. and I. Zolotarevs.
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