The State Hermitage Museum
On 17 February, 2008 at the State Hermitage Museum the opening ceremonies for the V International Musical Hermitage Festival will take place. This year the festival is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Boris Piotrovsky.
On 19 February, the atmosphere of the Hermitage Theatre will again come to be filled with sweet music born by the strings of an instrument created by the Italian genius. This time a Stradivari cello (DEVOS, 1722) is to be played by a talented, if young, musician, conductor and composer Adam Klocek of Poland. He will arrive in Saint Petersburg to give a premier performance of two of his compositions, Concerto for Cello and Strings and 12 Surprises for Saint Antoine suite, which will be accompanied by the State Hermitage Orchestra. Apparently, the latter piece will be a surprise for the audience as well: its performance is reported to feature the jazz improvisations of which Adam Klocek is a real virtuoso. The second part of the concert will be more traditional, consisting of the famous Italian symphony by Felix Mendelssohn, one of the most popular and frequently performed classical pieces. Its sounds will be perfectly “in tune” with the Hermitage Theatre’s interiors, designed and decorated in Italian-style by the great Giacomo Quarenghi.
The genre of the following concert to take place on 20 February is best defined as “ethno-fusion” since it combines and “fuses” folk music traditions with the performance manner typical of academic genres. Among the festival star participants there will be Yair Dalal, a multi-instrumentalist musician from Israel, equally splendid at playing the violin and the oud (a traditional Arabic musical instrument), who has been nominated for a Grammy Award many times. He is going to present to the music-loving public of the Northern Capital not only pieces of traditional music from the Middle East, but also modern works composed especially for this exotic Oriental instrument. In Saint Petersburg, Yair Dalal and a young pianist from Greece, Panos Karan, will play Concertino for Oud, Piano and Strings by Menachem Wiesenberg (this composition has never been performed in Russia before). Among other events on the concert programme, there will be pieces by H. Purcell, J.S. Bach, E. Grieg and S. Rachmaninoff, played by soloists accompanied by the Festival Orchestra (conductor - Toby Purser of England).
The jazz session arranged to take place on the following day (21 February) at the Saint Petersburg Academic Glinka Capella may also be classified as a gala show of international stars.
World jazz stars Igor Butman (saxophone), Andrei Kondakov (piano), Eddie Gomez (double bass) and Lenny White (drums) together with a string quartet will play modern jazz pieces and variations of
P.I. Tchaikovsky’s compositions. The concert over, there will be a special reception held in honour of the world-famous musicians at Saint Petersburg’s top hotel, the Grand Hotel Europe, and Official Partner of the Musical Hermitage festival for the fifth consecutive time. It is at this reception that the concert participants and guests will have a chance to say a word of gratitude not only to their hospitable hosts, but also to the representatives of Onego Shipping Company. The company has undertaken organization of the concert, which is sure to be a rare treat to all those able to enjoy and appreciate a good piece of jazz.
There is no doubt that the event planned for Saturday night of 23 February is totally unprecedented for the Hermitage Theatre. On that day, the legendary free jazz and world music singer Sainkho Namtchylak, famous for the four-octave range of her voice, will welcome her admirers not at a rock-club, as is her usual practice, but at the Imperial Hermitage Theatre. The singer’s regular accompanying band will be there as well, including: Vladimir Kudryavtsev (double bass), Yury Gomberg-Sobolev (grand piano) and Markus Godwin (drums).
And the final event on the programme of the V International Musical Hermitage Festival will be a bel canto concert. On 24 February, performers who were awarded first prize at the traditional and highly reputed European competition of young opera vocalists in Spoleto (Italy) will be singing arias from popular and well-known operas by Rossini, Verdi, Donizetti and Puccini. Though at present the names of Maria Agresta (soprano), Frederica Carnevale (mezzo-soprano) and Constantino Fenucci (baritone) are known to but a few music-lovers, those who will come to the concert are sure to appreciate their talents and allegiance to the great Italian bel canto tradition. The young solo singers from Italy will perform with the accompaniment of the Academic Symphony Orchestra of the St Petersburg Philharmonic, directed by Mats Liljefors, the famous Swedish conductor and an experienced, first-rate master of the style.
Festival Artistic Director – Sergei Yevtushenko, composer
17 February, 7 p.m., Hermitage Theatre
Ceremonial opening of the V International Musical Hermitage Festival dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Boris Piotrovsky
19 February, 7 p.m., Hermitage Theatre
Adam Klocek (born 1973)
20 February, 7 p.m., Hermitage Theatre
H. Purcell (1659 – 1695) – B. Britten (1913 – 1976)
21 February, 7 p.m, Saint Petersburg Academic Glinka Capella
Andrei Kondakov - piano
23 February, 7 p.m., Hermitage Theatre
Sainkho Namtchylak (Tuvinian guttural singing)
24 February, 7 p.m., Hermitage Theatre
First prize holders at the international young opera singer competition in Spoleto (Italy)