March 2012

Dear Friends:

This May, I am happy to announce, we are again presenting in St Petersburg a festival of some twenty events with American and Russian educators and artists selected by the Educational Bridge Project. They will be collaborating in programs which continue our mission of providing forums where they can share their talents and ideas. The resulting productions and performances will delight and educate Russian audiences and lay the groundwork for future collaborations and deeper appreciation of each other’s cultures.

Our 21st festival will take place in St. Petersburg from May 14 to 28, 2012, and will include the following participants and programs:

Georges Devdariani, actor and musician, will narrate Song of Love and Death of Cornet Rilke accompanied by Russian pianist Natalia Katonova. Written by Viktor Ullmann on the text of Rainer Maria Rilke in 1944 in the Tererzin concentration camp, this piece will be performed at the Russian Institute of Arts Research and the Cardegardia Hall.

Banafsheh Ehtemam, Iranian-born photo artist and social activist, will present a seminar, Leadership Through Creativity in the context of a photo exhibit of her own works for a gathering of Russian artists organized by St. Petersburg artist Irina Birulya.

Daniel Gutterman, who practiced law in New York for 35 years, specializing in domestic and international transactions, will describe his service as a judge in the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court competition and the New York City "Mentor" high school moot court competition to high school students of the Frunzensky District selected by the Director of the District’s library Olga Sidorova.

Olga Kisseleva, Boston University graduate, pop singer and author, will conduct a seminar with the students of Zinaida Kartasheva, chair of the Jazz Performance Department of the Moscow University of Culture and Arts, on promoting and marketing original musical compositions.

PhD candidate in musicology at Boston University, David Kjar, will give a talk, Wanda Landowska’s and Malcom Bilson’s Mozart: Sounding and Resounding the Modernists, to an audience of faculty and students of the St. Petersburg Conservatory Musicology Department. Piano students of the famous Russian pedagogue, Zora Tsuker, will illustrate his talk.

Robert T. Kozma, PhD student at SUNY Stony Brook, will give presentations on the basic properties of the Mandelbrot set and the Julia sets, organized by the President of the St. Petersburg Mathematical Society and Professor of the St. Petersburg State University Anatoly Vershik, at the St. Petersburg branch of the Mathematical Institute of the Russian Academy of Science.

Music theorist and Executive Director of the Educational Bridge Project, Ludmilla Leibman, will present a series of talks on music dedicated to those who lost their lives in the Second World War. She will be collaborating with the actor from the Musical Theater Zazerkalie, Vitaliy Gordienko.

The music of Boston composer Tony Schemmer will be performed by young musicians of the St. Petersburg Conservatory and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic – violinists, pianists, and singers. They will perform a program, organized by Maria Lyudko, of Mr. Schemmer’s chamber works, Ten Standards, Italian Songs, and his Violin Sonata, at the St. Petersburg Composers Association and the St. Petersburg Conservatory.

Author, essayist, and literary awards laureate Diana Vinkovetskaya, will present a documentary film about the paintings of Yakov Vinkovetsky for which St. Petersburg composer Sergei Slonimsky wrote the musical score. This will be used as an object lesson for St. Petersburg Conservatory students of Anton Tanonov, who, in their turn, will perform their music inspired by Vinkovetsky’s paintings.

The beneficiaries of these collaborative programs will be the hundreds of local St. Petersburg people, performers and their audiences of different ages and backgrounds who will become active participants of each event. The Educational Bridge Project’s unique mission of promoting understanding by working together will once again build bridges of trust between our two nations. Though still a work in progress we can, I believe, take great pride that 20 festivals over 15 years has accomplished much.


Very truly yours,


Ludmilla Leibman,

Executive Director