Former Educational Bridge Project Participants at the Metropolitan Opera
I want to share with you some great news that I discovered while in New York on a visit to the Met. I noticed in the schedule for the upcoming 2013-2014 season, among the cast of performers, three (!) of the Educational Bridge Project’s former participants: Oksana Shilova (soprano), Gennady Bezzubenkov (bass), and David Crawford (bass-baritone). David went with us to St. Petersburg in May 2002, and Oksana and Gennady were in Boston in the fall of that year. All three of them were then studying in their respective institutions – Boston University’s Opera Institute and the Mariinsky Theater Academy of Young Singers. You could tell back then that they were headed for prominent careers in opera, and we were pleased to be able to bring them into the international spot light.
Oksana Shilova (in the middle) and David Crawford in St. Petersburg. May 2002
As we are preparing our 24th festival which begins in Boston this fall we are excited to bring more talented musicians. Mark your calendar for a phenomenal concert at Tsai Performance Center on November 5th by the Tchaikovsky laureate Miroslav Kultyshev, one of the high points of our festival.
Dear Friends of the Educational Bridge Project,
I have just come back from Paris where on January 28th I was honored to be invited to the session of UNESCO dedicated to the commemoration of the Holocaust. Among the many extraordinary things that I witnessed that day, was a dialogue by my good friend, Guila Clara Kessous, and the famous French actor Francis Huster. They were reading the text written by Jean-Claude Grumberg about the memories of a boy who was the only one of his family to have survived the Holocaust. Francis Huster was that boy, and Guila played the roles of individuals he wished he could talk to-- his God, his Mother, and his Father.
I was moved to tears by their performance and I VERY rarely cry. Immediately after the performance I ran to the green room and asked if Guila would agree to perform this dialogue at both of the Educational Bridge Project’s festivals of 2013 – in Moscow in May and in Boston in November. The boy’s role would be played by the Russian-Dutch actor Georges Devdariani, whom we were lucky to have with us last fall (he is fluent in about all European languages). I am so excited to report to you that they have AGREED!
Come with us to Moscow (May 13-16), St. Petersburg (May 17-25), and to Boston (November 1-7), and see this incredible performance.
Meanwhile, we are working on a detailed program for the 2013 spring festival, and I will be in touch with you when the whole schedule is nailed down.
(Upon publication in MetroWest Daily News)
Dear Friends - we are in the news!
Please take a look at the link and see a great photo of Maestro Soloviev conducting Ruth Lomon's music at the Great Hall of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory from a couple of years ago. The Maestro is coming to Boston and will be conducting at the festival on October 30th, 8 p.m. at the Boston University School of Music (College of Fine Arts -855 Commonwealth Ave.; free admission).
Dear Friends of the Educational Bridge Project,
It is with great sadness that I am writing to you today just a little less than a month before our 22nd Russian-American festival begins. During these few months between the last festival in May and the upcoming one in October, we lost two of our best friends and strongest supporters – Roman Totenberg and John Silber.
It seems like only yesterday that Roman Totenberg hosted at his home a private concert of young St. Petersburg violinists, the very same ones to whom he had given a master class ten years ago, in 2001. Dr. Silber who several times during EBP fall festivals opened his home for the parties and musical events, relished Mussorgsky as much as Russian folksongs sung informally and spontaneously.
We will always remember these extraordinary people, their kindness, support, and belief in the political and cultural mission of the Educational Bridge Project.
We will dedicate the whole upcoming festival to the memory of Roman Totenberg and John Silber. They will be with us through all festival events: at the master-classes and performances, presentations, discussions, and musical exchanges.
Come to our events – they are all listed on the EBP website – and join us in our tribute to Roman Totenberg and John Silber two of the greatest Friends of the Educational Bridge Project.
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,
© Educational Bridge Project, 2013. All rights reserved.