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Fin de siecle

One concert focuses on the work of modern Belgian and Dutch composers.

Published: May 23, 2012 (Issue # 1709)


City concert-goers will have a chance to experience a genre quite unlike the usual classical music that characterizes the White Nights season at the revamped Sixth International New Music Festival that starts Saturday.

Titled The Time of Music: Fin de Siècle, the festival comprises six consecutive concerts of diverse contemporary music from around Europe and Russia, to be held from May 26 to May 31 at several venues around St. Petersburg.

In accordance with its name, the festival aims to promote the music of famous Western composers of music from the latter part of the 20th century, and young Russian composers of the same genre.

Contemporary music is a genre that has been lost to the average Russian listener, and trends that have long taken hold in the West are largely off the radar here [in Russia], Iranian composer Mehdi Hosseini, the director of the festivals organizing committee, told The St. Petersburg Times.

It is with this idea in mind that we decided to present the Russian public with works of contemporary music that are famous in Europe, and to introduce young Russian composers who, unfortunately, dont receive the attention that they deserve.

The first two concerts of the weekend will be held at the Sheremetyev Palace, with the first dedicated to new music influenced by folklore, and the second, titled France: Three Generations, to include music from three generations of contemporary French composers, including Roger Tessier and Bruno Mantovani.

The May 29 concert, due to be held at the Mikhail Shemyakin Art Gallery and Foundation, will include an interesting program comprised exclusively of Belgian and Dutch compositions. The Belgian trio Mangalam will perform works including those of Henri Pousseur, a leading composer of avant-garde music, and Ton de Leeuw, who combined exotic Eastern musical instruments with experimental European techniques.

The last two nights will be based on the quiet music genre, and will present Italian, Chilean, Dutch, Greek and Russian composers at the Erarta contemporary art museum and the Mikhail Shemyakin gallery.

The festival is being hosted by the St. Petersburg Contemporary Music Center, an organization dedicated to promoting contemporary music in Russia. The center hosts a number of music events throughout the year, including the International Sergei Slonimsky Composition Competition for young musicians, which will take place later this year.

Apart from the two opening nights of the festival, concerts are free of charge for members of the public.

The Sixth International New Music Festival runs from May 26 through May 31 at various venues around the city. For more information and a full schedule, visit www.remusik.org.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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