About the XIV International Conservatory Week Festival

International Conservatory Week is an annual music festival established by the St. Petersburg N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory in 2001. Throughout 13 years of its existence this major forum, bringing together performers and educators alike, has presented over 200 top music schools to experts and amateurs, revealed numerous young and talented musicians, and introduced the art of teaching, demonstrated by renowned professors from Russia and abroad. The Festival, which has won the Best International Project of the Year award twice, rightly takes its due place in the highly saturated artistic scene of the Northern Capital. Vivid and diverse concert programs during the International Week always attract the attention of a broad audience.

The Festival is actively developing and supporting the academic traditions of St. Petersburg music culture and contributing to the integration of the St. Petersburg Conservatory into the global music process. At the same time the international forum, embracing various styles and schools – from old-fashioned music to jazz and ethno – consistently proves popular among young people and different social groups. This is largely the result of the democratic selection of the Festival program, combining all sorts of musical activities: concerts, workshops, scientific conferences, exhibitions, seminars, public lectures, open dialogues and presentations. Admission to all of the International Week events, taking place in the oldest Russian conservatory, is free for students of St. Petersburg universities.

The XIV International Conservatory Week festival will be held from the 24th through the 31st of October, 2014. The Glazunov Hall and other concert stages will host musicians from Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, USA, Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, Poland, Hungary, and Turkey. Participants of the Festival will consist of Russian and foreign orchestras and choirs, as well as bands and solo artists, both well-known and new to St. Petersburg audiences. This magnificent series of performances by renowned artists representing various top music schools will undoubtedly give a closer look into the traditions and recent achievements of different national cultures, enrich the audience and participants with new emotions, and create a special and creative atmosphere.

On Friday, October 24 at 19:00 in Glazunov Hall the opening night of the festival begins with an awards presentation of the diploma and the academic robe of Honorary Professor of the St. Petersburg Conservatory to Elena Obraztsova, the People’s Artist of USSR.

In anticipation of the 330th anniversary of the birthday of J.S. Bach, the Festival will open with a concert featuring music by the great composer. The Choir, solo artists and the Chamber Orchestra of the St. Petersburg Conservatory will perform Magnificat – one of Bach’s best pieces, which is filled with special spirituality. A talented interpreter of West European baroque music, maestro Johannes Skudlik, who will come from Germany especially for the event, will conduct the piece. The same evening Mikhail Gantvarg, the People’s Artist of Russia, Professor and Rector of the Conservatory, will perform solo in the Violin Concerto A-minor.

The special day program of the festival is devoted to the 170th anniversary of the birth of N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov, a great Russian composer, who made vast contributions to the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Students and post-graduates of the Conservatory who have won international competitions will perform both his rarely-presented vocal and instrumental compositions as well as his popular pieces.

The presentation of a new Shugero Kawai concert piano will have its own special place in the concert program, so that it is allowed make its first sounds in St. Petersburg and become an official instrument of the Conservatory festival.

Several concert programs are devoted to the musical heritage of the USA, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria and Turkey. Professors and students from these countries, who work and study in the fine arts universities, will present works by national composers. Among these works are premieres of new compositions as well as classical repertoire. For instance, Gustav Holst’s opera Savitiri will be performed by soloists and the chamber orchestra Melos Sinfonia for the first time in Russia. The chamber orchestra Camerata Saygun will present Russian premiers of symphonic music by Turkish composers such as Ilhan Usambas and Ulvi Cemal Erkin.

The World Premier Night, an imminent part of the concert section of the international forum, is dedicated to the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare, which is widely celebrated all over the world this year. Especially for the Festival, famous St. Petersburg composers, inspired by the timeless pieces of the great playwright, have created a series of musical novellas titled “William..”. The concert program will be a dialogue of musical styles of past and modern times.

The International Week, which is always open to the musical phenomena of ethno style, is extending its geographical borders. Guests from Azerbaijan will participate in the Festival for the first time, presenting the Ancient East program, which will be new to St. Petersburg. Excellent musicians, led by Mahmud Salah, will perform classic mughams and rhythmic Ashik compositions will be performed on oriental folk instruments.

The Jazz on Teatralnaya Square Concert, which has become a tradition of the Festival, is constantly attracting not just young audiences, but older generations as well. The performance by the representatives of Polish jazz and by famous American ensemble Tecora Rogers & The Chicago Spirituals, who will participate in the festival for the first time, will be a true gift to fans of this ever-young musical style.

The final festival concert is meant to be a strong final performance of the XIV International Conservatory Week, in which symphonic pieces by Beethoven, Glinka, Rakhmaninov and Holst will be performed. The program will feature renowned St. Petersburg pianist and winner of international competitions Miroslav Kultyshev. The conductor’s stand will be taken by maestro Misha Katz (France) who is popular among audiences and young musicians alike.

The Applied Research Section of the Festival will include documentary and art exhibitions, workshops, public lectures and rehearsals by outstanding Russian and foreign professors.

The organizers of the International Conservatory Week are looking forward to the 14th festival to become a new and exciting experience for its fans, as well as an enlightening event for both musical professionals and amateurs.