State Hermitage Museum Celebrates 250 Years in Song
Published: February 12, 2014 (Issue # 1797)
Dedicated to the 250th anniversary of the State Hermitage Museum, the 11th Musical Hermitage festival kicks off this week with performances by the U.K.’s Lighthouse Trio and the Dutch Yuri Honing Quartet in a program entitled “Dueling Saxophones.” The festival is set to run from Sunday, Feb. 16 through Tuesday, Feb. 25 at various locations around the city.
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“The traditional week of European music at the end of winter is dedicated this year to the 250th anniversary of the State Hermitage,” composer Sergei Yevtushenko, the festival’s artistic director, told The St. Petersburg Times. “As always, the festival program takes the variety of the museum collection as a starting point and includes both classic and contemporary jazz alongside medieval and world music performed by acknowledged masters of the genre. Most of the performer will appear in Russia for the first time, so almost every concert can be called a premiere,” he said.
With performances scheduled by artists from the Netherlands, France, Italy, Sweden, Norway and, of course, Russia, the program this year is an eclectic mix of jazz and classical music.
“Two of the festival’s concerts this year are included in the official program of the The UK-Russia Year of Culture “Dueling Saxophones” and “Bilingual Shakespeare,” said Yevtushenko. “The French ethno-jazz pioneers Hadouk Trio will perform in three cities — Moscow, St. Petersburg and Pskov.”
The opening concert will take place at the State Academic Capella with performances by Yuri Honing Quartet and Tim Garland’s Lighthouse Trio. Honing is known as being “one of the most creative and fearless saxophonists today,” according to The Times of London, on account of his tackling styles as diverse as Schubert, ABBA and Bjork. Honing, who received an Edison Award — the Dutch equivalent of the Grammy – for his album “Seven,” which was recorded in New York with Paul Bley, Gary Peacock and Paul Motion has also performed with such legendary musicians as Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny.
A 2009 Grammy winner, Tim Garland is a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist, who also plays a variety of styles. His frequent creative partners include such stars of modern jazz as Chick Corea and Bill Bruford. As part of Lighthouse Trio, pianist Gwilym Simcock is recognized as one of the most interesting composers of the U.K. in both jazz and classical music. Percussionist Asaf Sikris brings Eastern and Latin American flavors to the sound of the group, putting it on a par with the some of the strongest jazz ensembles currently in existence.
The festival continues with “Bilingual Shakespeare” on Feb. 19 at the Erarta Museum. Dedicated to the bard’s 450th birthday, the event will include jazz and sonnets performed by artists from St. Petersburg, the Netherlands and the U.K. Hadouk Trio are due to perform on Feb. 21 in the atrium of the Hermitage’s General Staff building, with an evening of Bel Canto singing by the winners of the Spoleto opera festival appearing at the Capella on Feb. 23. The festival comes to a close on Feb. 25 with a performance by Norwegian jazz musician and composer Arve Henriksen and Trio Mediaeval in the atrium of the Hermitage’s General Staff Building.
For more information, visit www.hermitagemusic.ru and follow The St. Petersburg Times on Facebook and VKontakte for a chance to win tickets.