Press Release (english) (russian)

15th Festival took place in St. Petersburg and Moscow in four parts: Young Composers Workshop, Concerts with Historic Commentary, Young Writers Workshops, and Young Actors Workshops. More than two hundred people participated in the Festival, and more than twenty events took place over the period of sixteen days, from May 12 to 28, 2009.

We were welcomed by three new organizations: on May 15th the US Consulate General hosted a reception in honor of our young composers, on May 21st the Israeli Embassy in Russia sponsored an evening dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, and on May 23rd the Moscow State Conservatory provided a venue for our premiere of Boston composer, Ruth Lomon’s Oratory “Testimony of Witnesses.”

In addition to our long-standing relationship with the St. Petersburg Conservatory, we established exciting new collaborations with the Moscow Pedagogical State University Choir under the direction of Maestro Alexander Soloviev, the Moscow Children’s Chorus Studio, “Joy,” under the direction of Tatyana Zhdanova, the Children’s Studio of the St. Petersburg Musical Theater “Zazerkalie” under the direction of Alexander Petrov, the St. Petersburg Theater Academy under Svetlana Ivanovna Melnikova, and the St. Petersburg “Theater of Generations” under Danila Korogodskiy.


The Festival’s highlights included the following events:

  • Three Concerts of the Music of Young Russian and American Composers, at the Sheremetev Palace, St. Petersburg Conservatory, and US Consulate General in St. Petersburg.
  • Five Concerts with Historic Commentaries, at the St. Petersburg Actors’ House, Mayakovsky Library, Moscow Conservatory, the Children’s Library of the St. Petersburg, and at the Theater of the Hermitage Museum.
  • Discussions by the young Russian and American composers of their works
  • Two Young Writers Workshops by Daphne Kalotay, at the St. Petersburg University and the Young Writers’ Association, on the relationships between authors and publishers
  • Two Young Actors Workshops by Guila Kessous with actors of the St. Petersburg Generations Theater on scenes of the Armenian Genocide and students of the Theater Academy on situational improvisation



Tuesday, May 12

7 p.m. Ludmilla Leibman arrived in St. Petersburg from Boston to open the 15th festival and hosted a dinner for nine young composers at the “Warmth” restaurant in the courtyard of the Composers’ Association Hotel

Wednesday, May 13

10 a.m. – St. Petersburg Central Radio Station. Interview with the participants of the “Young Composers Exchange” by Elena Kiyko, the Chief of the Radio’s Cultural Programs followed later that evening by Young Composers Exchange Concert at the Sheremetiev Palace

Concert Program

  • Svetlana Nesterova. "Flight in the Skies" – Song Cycle on the poetry of Daniil Kharms for Tenor and Piano
  • Anton Tanonov. Chess-duo for Flute and Two Guitars
  • Nikolay Mazhara. Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano
  • Ekaterina Blinova "Botshaid Host" and "Luxemburg Prisons" for Two Pianos.
  • Matt Van Brink. Sarabande for Six Guitars.

Thursday, May 14

1 p.m. Topics for Discussion by the composеrs – Day One

Matt Van Brink (Boston)
“How composers deal with rewriting and revising their compositions after the first performance since there is no 'workshop' culture in classical concert music as there is in opera or in the theater”

Olga Bochikhina (Moscow)
“Space in Contemporary Music: How our perception of space influences our musical thinking and by which means it is possible to achieve spatial dimensions in music”

Svetlana Nesterova (St. Petersburg)
“The Problem: Composer-Performer-Listener”

7 p.m. Young Composers Exchange Concert at the St. Petersburg Conservatory

Concert Program

  • Ramon Castillo. Subatomic and Lacuna for string quartet
  • Matt Van Brink. Preludes for Guitar Solo
  • Olga Bochikhina. Stimme in der ferne for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano
  • Nikolay Khrust. Der Blick Echarts for soprano, two violins, viola
  • Vladimir Gorlinskiy. S'MORZANDO for flute, clarinet, French horn, viola, cello, piano
  • Anton Tanonov Funerals of the Doll Voodoo for piano and electronics

Friday, May 15

1 p.m. Topics for Discussion by the composеrs – Day Two

Ramon Castillo (Boston)
“Unusual (non-traditional) Ensemble: A century of Alternative Instrumentation, Origins & Evolution”

Vladimir Gorlinsky (Moscow)
“Sound Objects and New Performance Techniques”

Nikolay Mazhara (St. Petersburg)
“Features of the Concerto Genre in Our Times.”

7 p.m. Reception and Concert at the US Consulate General in St. Petersburg
Concert Program

  • Svetlana Nesterova - Funny Etudes for Little Pianists
  • Ramon Castillo - Gargantuan for piano and electronic sounds
  • Anton Tanonov- Adagio from the First Symphony, piano transcription
  • Olga Bochikhina – Chordoneon, a little piece for large ensemble (in recording)
  • Ekaterina Blinova - Six-hand-one-piano arrangement of the Russian Folk Song Ulitsa Ty Ulitsa)
  • Vladimir Gorlinsky - Beiklang for the ensemble (in recording)
  • Matt Van Brink - Two songs from «A Single Winter's Day»: It's never the same without snow and Plant a seed. Lyrics by Matt Van Brink
  • Nikolay Khrust Falling Street (in recording)

Saturday, May 16

11:30 a.m. All nine composers attended the premieres of Svetlana Nesterova’s opera “Litigation” and Viacheslav Kruglik’s (Svetlana’s husband) opera “Carriage” at the Mariinksy Theater; both operas are based on Gogol’s short stories followed by party for all young composers hosted by Svetlana Nesterova and Viacheslav Kruglik

Sunday, May 17

12 noon. Sight-seeing tours of the Hermitage Museum and St. Isaac Cathedral

Monday, May 18

1 p.m. Topics for Discussion by the composеrs – Day Three

Nikolay Khrust (Moscow)
“About Spiders and Octopuses” – The Composer’s Observation on Today’s Musical Forms

Anton Tanonov (St. Petersburg)
“Collaboration of Composer and HiTech”

10 p.m. – Champagne Boat Tour on the rivers and canals of St. Petersburg during the White Nights

Thursday, May 21

7 p.m. House of Actors: Samantha Gelfon’s multi-media presentation on Creative Activities of the Terezin Children with theperformance of the opera “Brundibar” by the children’s studio of Zazerkalie Theater

10 p.m. Opening night of the festival,“Stars of White Nights” –Valery Gergiev conducts Mahler’s Eighth Symphony in the Mariinsky Theater Concert Hall

Friday, May 22

5 p.m. Young Writers Workshop by Daphne Kalotay for 25 students of the St. Petersburg University

Saturday, May 23

7 p.m. –Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory: Ruth Lomon, Two choruses from the Oratorio Testimony of Witnesses - “Borah Ad Ana” and “Chor der Waisen.” Performers: Choir of the Moscow Pedagogical Academy, conductor Alexander Soloviev. Flute and Tam-Tam – soloists from the Moscow Conservatory Ensemble, Studio New Music

Sunday, May 24

4 p.m. Ludmilla Leibman’s talk at the Moscow Conservatory Conference Hall: “Educational Bridge Project – Russian-American Collaboration in the areas of Culture and Education” followed by dinner “At the Nikitskiy Gates” in honor of Ruth Lomon’s Russian premiere

Monday, May 25

12 noon – Venus Luong’s multi-media presentation for 60 middle-school students at the Children’s Library of the St. Petersburg Frunzenski district, on Kulturbund. Young St. Petersburg musicians participated in recreating the musical program of the April, 1938, Kulturbund concert in the West End Frankfurt Synagogue

Tuesday, May 26

3:30 p.m. Guila Kessous’s Young Actors Workshop for 35 students at the Theater Academy

Wednesday, May 27 - St. Petersburg 306th Birthday!

1 p.m. Hermitage Museum tour followed by the concert “Different Trains.” Pre-concert talk by Ludmilla Leibman; musicians of the Museum’s orchestra “Academia” played the music of the Terezin composers and Steve Reich

Thursday, May 28

11 a.m. The Educational Bridge Project’s 15th festival concludes with Guila Kessous’s Young Actors Workshop at the Generations Theater