Dear Friends of the Educational Bridge Project,
It is with the greatest pleasure that I am writing to you today with my report on the success of the recently finished 17th Educational Bridge Project's (EBP) festival, "From Boston to St. Petersburg." First of all, my deepest gratitude goes to you, dear friend of the EBP, for your support. Without it we would not be able to continue our work of bringing people together, time and time again.
I can't begin to tell you how much hard work goes into to producing these festivals by so many people but the results were extraordinary. Picture four young Americans boating on the Neva at night laughing and sharing stories with their Russian friends, and next morning intent on getting down to the serious business of working together to rehearse for concerts. The audiences that attended were obviously deeply touched by seeing that young people from two countries not only liked each other but collaborated incredibly successfully, producing beautiful music, and enjoying every minute of it.
Perhaps the highlight of our trip was the reception in our honor hosted by the US Consul General Sheila Gwaltney after our May 14 concert at the Hermitage Museum's Theater. And there was Tatiana Kosmynina, Cultural Affairs Assistant at the Consulate, who took upon herself all the organizational details of the welcoming reception. And we survived the traffic in the city designed by Peter the Great in 1703 without taking into consideration a possibility of congested traffic three centuries later. And there was Semion Kovarskiy, who loaned his cello to Sara Sitzer, for the whole duration of the festival so we could avoid the expense of cello airfare.
The evening concluded with a concert of music performed by EBP festival participants from 2001 to the present. My BU student, Maura Matlak, sang songs she had written; Svetlana Nesterova, who was in Boston in 2001, performed fragments of her new opera with her husband; Igor Zolotarev, who is due to come to Boston this fall, played Ravel's blues on his violin (see the videos).
So now we are back from St. Petersburg and hard at work planning our fall festival in which we will present a variety of events. There will be a children's opera in conjunction with the children of the Lincoln Middle School in Brookline and music composed by Julia Carey, our participant in 1998 and recent Harvard and NEC grad which will be played by Igor Zolotarev, who participated in 2004 and 2009. We plan programs staged at Lowell House of Harvard University, Killian Hall at MIT, the Elie Wiesel's Center's library, the BU Castle and the Goethe Institute.
Dear Friends of the Educational Bridge Project:
We would like to tell you about the exciting program of our spring festival of 2010.
The 17th festival will take place in St. Petersburg, May 12th to 25th. The festival will include three major segments: Concerts with Historic Commentaries, Workshops and Education, and a series of musical evenings called Together Again. These segments will bring together Americans and their Russian counterparts for two weeks of intense collaboration. Performing music together, exchanging ideas about education and sharing personal experiences help to build mutual trust and understanding between the two countries as we confront issues that challenge both our societies.
We are particularly excited about our Concerts with Historic Commentaries which will commemorate the 65th Anniversary of the end of WWII. Young musicians from America and Russia will perform “Quartet for the End of Time” by French composer Olivier Messiaen - one of the most famous pieces of music to emerge from the War as a testament to the triumph of faith and hope. As part of our festival, on May 14th at the Hermitage Museum’s Theater, children from St. Petersburg will perform for WWII Veterans a concert of music commemorating the tragic events of the War.
These are but two of more than twenty events we are presenting. Visit our website (link) where we share with you a description of our whole program of festival events and the American performers.
Building bridges of understanding through international collaboration.
Thank you so much for your enthusiasm, generosity, and active participation for the upcoming section of our festival which is dedicated to the three young musicians from Russia - Aiman Baymuldina (Moscow), Peter Lundstrem (Moscow), and Alexey Stadler (St. Petersburg).
We are lucky to have them here, and have to thank Elizabeth Bukhanova from the Chaliapin Center, for making this happen.
Attached please find detailed schedule for nine days, from today, November 2nd to November 11th, for these three amazing individuals. As you will see, some of the events on the schedule still need to be confirmed, some might be added, and some might be eliminated. I will keep you posted.
Please look at the attached schedules and feel free to ask me any question. At this point I don't know the answers to your questions, such as their knowledge of English, allergies to the dogs, dietary preferences, etc. I do know, however, that it will be a wonderful experience for all of us. We have to be well coordinated, punctual, and flexible. Elizabeth tells me that these are all wonderful kids from great Russian families.
Please don't hesitate to contact me by e-mail or telephone ANY TIME of day or night concerning these kids.
Tonight they will arrive; Elizabeth meets each of them at the airport and the rest is on the schedule.
Good luck to all of us and THANK YOU
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