March 27 — April 27, 2012
The International Mstislav Rostropovich Festival, was founded in Moscow in 2010 with the aim to commemorate this great musician, without whom the history of 20th century music is impossible to imagine. The Festival is organised by the Moscow City Government and the Rostropovich Foundation for Cultural and Humanitarian programs, and is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. The Artistic Director is the Maestro’s daughter, Olga Mstislavovna Rostropovich.
According to a now consolidated tradition, the festival opens on 27th March, Rostropovich’s birthday, in a celebration concert at the Moscow Conservatoire Great Hall. 2012 is the year of the 85th anniversary of Mstislav Rostropovich’s birth, and it is fitting that this year’s festival honours his memory through the wide scope of its events. After the opening concert, the Festival continues not just in Moscow but in other Russian cities (in Saint Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Saratov, Orenburg, Voronezh) and also presents performances abroad (in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France and Great Britain.)
The very first memorial event during the Festival taking place in Moscow on March 27th will be the long–awaited unveiling of a statue of Mstislav Rostropovich at Bryusov Pereulok (where he lived for many years with his family), created by the sculptor Alexander Rukavishnikov and the architect Igor Voskresensky. Later on the same day, the Ceremonial Opening of the Festival at the Conservatoire Great Hall will see a concert version of one of the greatest works of the 20th century, Dmitri Shostakovich’s opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtensk District. The opera will be directed by Dmitri Jurowski and performed by the Russian Philharmonic Moscow City Symphony Orchestra and will be reinforced by musicians from some of Great Britain’s leading orchestras, invited on the initiative of the Festival’s Artistic Director Olga Rostropovich and Dmitri Jurowski.
The Festival venues are Moscow’s most prestigious and best – loved concert halls: the Conservatoire Great Hall, the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, the Column Hall. Amongst the world- famous performers are the pianists Rudolf Buchbinder and Yuja Wang, the cellist Enrico Dindo, the Saint Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra underYuri Temirkanov, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome) under the direction of Antonio Pappano, the Orchestre de Paris conducted by Paavo Järvi, the Nizhny Novgorod State Academic Orchestra (named after Mstislav Rostropovich) under its chief conductor Alexander Skulsky, the Glenn Miller Orchestra and many other great soloists and ensembles. After a long break, MaximVengerov makes a triumphant come-back to the violin, playing a recital with Vag Papian within the context of the Festival.
Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the festival will be the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance under the direction of Vladimir Jurowski of Sergei Prokofiev’s Egyptian Nights (based on Alexander Pushkin’s story) with the participation of the actors Chulpan Khamatova and Konstantin Khabensky.
To honour the 85th anniversary of the Maestro’s birth, a special exhibition will open where many objects from Rostropovich’s personal archive will be displayed, letters, scores, autographed manuscripts, photographs, his awards and Orders, as well as much other unique material.
In the words of Olga Rostropovich, the festival director, the programmes have been built and selected to reflect her desire that “the Festival should be a gift from Mstislav Rostropovich to the city of Moscow, since it features performances by the most brilliant musicians, many of whom were his personal friends. On the other hand the Festival should also be regarded as a gift to Rostropovich, since the attention and love he received from Moscow audiences were of the greatest importance to him.”