Moscow deserves to be the world’s cello capital, and the First International Cello Festival “In Memory of Mstislav Rostropovich” (1927-2007) concerts proves this. These are the words of Boris Andrianov, a participant of today’s press conference held in Moscow, the Artistic Director and organizer of the event.
As the musician said to journalists, “the idea of the cello festival dates as far back as the time when Rostropovich was still alive. He approved of this idea, and we were eager for the great maestro to take the lead.”
As General Director of the Moscow Philharmonic Alexey Shalashov said, “the idea of organizing a cello festival in Moscow worked, and we are grateful to the maestro’s widow, the famous singer Galina Vishnevskaya, for her support”. According to Shalashov, the festival became “a high-profile event on the Moscow cultural platform thanks to its participants – great musicians of different generations and countries including young successors to Rostropovich’s school”.
The new festival that enabled art lovers to look at the modern world of the cello at a different perspective, opened at the Great Hall of Conservatory on February 21. It showcased the talent of the Italian cellist and composer Giovanni Sollima, the Croatian cellist Monika Leskovar, the Bulgarian conductor Emil Tabakov, the State Symphony Orchestra “New Russia”. The ensemble “Twelve Cellists of Berlin Philharmonia” made its debut in Russia during the festival.
The finale of the festival will comprise the premiere night held at the Great Hall on Bolshaya Nikitskaya street on February 28. Rodion Schedrin’s Hamlet Ballad will be performed for the first time in Russia. “This composition for a thousand cellos was created on request of the Japanese for the Kobe International Cellist Congress in 2005”, says the Russian composer Rodion Schedrin. “There have been a number of rehearsals, and so far 65 musicians have been selected in Moscow for performing the Hamlet Ballad; we are still in the process of selecting musicians”, adds the artist performing at the closing concert, Rostropovich’s follower David Geringas (Germany). The closing night of the Moscow festival will feature the Polish composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki, Rostropovich’s long-time friend and colleague. The maestro from Poland is going to conduct a premiere of his composition Concerto Grosso in Moscow. The State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Philharmonic is also to perform at the closing concert of the festival.