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State Hermitage Museum Celebrates 250 Years in Song

Published: February 12, 2014 (Issue # 1797)



  • Arve Henriksen and Trio Mediaeval will perform at the Hermitage on Feb. 25.
    Photo: Oddleiv Apneseth / For SPT

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 HoningQuartet 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.

Related: Hermitage Makes Room for Manifesta

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 festivals 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 festivals concerts this year are included in the official program of the TheUK-Russia Yearof 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 HoningQuartet andTim Garlands 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 bards 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 Hermitages 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 Hermitages 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.





 


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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