Yuri Bashmet Festival will fill Sochi with sounds of the Cultural Olympiad

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On the eve of the Olympic Games Sochi 2014 Ambassador and National Artist of Russia, Yuri Bashmet has kicked off the VII International Winter Arts Festival in Sochi. The festival will be a vibrant final chord of the four years of the Sochi 2014 Cultural Olympiad and will combine music, theater, cinema and visual arts with performances by world-class stars. Yuri Bashmet’s program is vast and in scale with the Olympic competitions themselves.

The Festival will bring brilliant musical celebration to the guests of the Sochi Games. Concerts, exhibitions, literary evenings, film screenings, and workshops await visitors. Bashmet will present world-famous opera stars Barbara Fritolli, Erwin Schrott, Ian Bostridge, acclaimed contemporary pianist Denis Matsuev, and one of the world’s greatest violinists, People’s Artist of the USSR, Viktor Tretyakov. Connoisseurs of classical music will enjoy concerts from flutist Massimo Mercelli, cellist Enrico Dindo, and the German string Kuss Quartet. Amongst the program’s musical surprises are the Russian premier of a new composition of Polish music classics by Krzysztof Penderecki as well as works by Mozart and Italian composers of the XIX-XX centuries that are rarely performed in Russia.

As in past years, the Yuri Bashmet Festival’s program differs through its variety of genres. Art enthusiasts will have the opportunity to enjoy the rich, unexpected combinations of the most diverse areas of music, dance and theater. The operatic baritone Erwin Schrott will perform with the Argentine ensemble Rojotango (Grammy winner in the classical music category). The Moscow Soloists chamber orchestra, under the direction of Yuri Bashmet, with big band musician Igor Butman, and Kseniya Rappoport and Konstantin Khabensky — with the top soloist of the Bolshoi Theater — will perform in a literary and musical composition by Yuri Bashmet of «Eugene Onegin», based on the Pushkin novel and the Tchaikovsky opera. Fans of drama will be treated to the Theatre of Nations’ play «Shukshin’s Stories» starring Chulpan Khamatova and Yevgeny Mironov.

Fans of classic opera will be entertained by a “night movie marathon” — 12 hours of opera films made with the participation of the greatest artists and conductors of the precedent century.

A tradition of the Yuri Bashmet Festivals has been the special attention paid to young musicians in Russia and abroad. A new generation of musicians will give a joint chamber concert with the Kronberg Academy, founded by Mstislav Rostropovich. Festival participants will hold workshops and creative meetings with Sochi’s young musicians and teachers.

The Arts Festival will conclude with a gala concert that includes a performance by the All-Russian Youth Symphony Orchestra, founded in 2012 as part of the Cultural Olympiad under the direction of maestro Yuri Bashmet.

Events of the VII Winter International Arts Festival will be held in the Winter Theatre in Sochi, the Organ Hall of the Sochi Philharmonic, the Galaxy Hall in Krasnaya Polyana, and at other sites around the city.

The Sochi 2014 Cultural Olympiad is a unique project by the organizers of the Games, offering the best cultural events in the country. Since 2010, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and dozens of Russian regions have carefully selected the best of Russian culture.

Between 2010 and 2014 thousands of different cultural events have been held across the country. Each year, the Cultural Olympiad is dedicated to a different art form: 2010 was the Year of Cinema, 2011 the Year of Theater, 2012 the Year of Music, and 2013 was the Year of Museums.

The national scale of the project makes it possible to involve every citizen of the country in a grand cultural celebration, which preserves and increases the cultural wealth of our country. Updates about all the events of the Cultural Olympiad can be found on the portal http://culture.sochi2014.com/en/

During four years, within the Sochi 2014 Cultural Olympiad, more than 3,000 events have been staged, involving the participation of more than 100,000.