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Passport Picks

Editor’s Choice

Nouvelle Vague and their new album Bande A Part 

Nouvelle Vague is a French musical collective led by Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux. Their album resurrected New Wave classics and reinterpreted them in a bossa nova style. Songs were stripped down to their acoustic arrangements with lithe shaker rhythms achieved by gathering a parade of chanteuses from all over the world (six French, one Brazilian and one New Yorker) to cover bands including XTC, Modern English, The Clash, Joy Division and The Undertones. The various female singers on Nouvelle Vague only performed songs they had never heard before, to ensure that each cover would have a unique quality. Their second album, Bande a Part, includes versions of “Ever Fallen in Love?” by the Buzzcocks, New Order’s “Blue Monday,” Echo and the Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon,” and

Nouvelle Vague:
B1 Maximum,
April 4 at 21:00

“Heart of Glass” by Blondie. Current and former members and contributors include many French artists now well-known in their own right, including such figures of the so-called “renouveau de la chanson francaise” (renewal of French chanson) as Anais Croze, Camille Dalmais, Phoebe Killdeer, Melanie Pain, and Marina Celeste. With their tough tour schedule, who knows when they’ll be in Moscow again, so catch them now!

Faberge: A Symbol of Russian Easter

Associated with fertility and rebirth, the egg is a traditional symbol of Easter. At the end of the 19th century in Russia there emerged astonishing jewelry items that became symbols of both Easter and Russia: the beautiful Faberge Easter eggs. It is believed that from 1885 to 1917 Faberge’s workshops produced a total of 66 eggs, whose destinies would lie in the collections of museums and private individuals throughout the world. Primarily the eggs were designed on behalf of Russian Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II as annual Easter gifts to their wives. According to the Retrospective Encyclopedia of Faberge Eggs, the workmanship embodied in each egg has no modern equivalent. The intricate craftsmanship reflects Faberge’s ingenuity. However, it was not Faberge himself who produced the

Faberge Eggs at the Kremlin Armory Museum
Open: 10:00 – 17:00, Closed Thursday

objects, but his employees; he was “the entrepreneurial spirit behind them.” A museum that boasts an impressive collection of the precious items is the Kremlin’s Armory Chamber, whose collection includes precious items that had been preserved for centuries in the tsars’ treasury and Patriarch’s vestry.

Moscow Photobiennale

The month of Photography (Moscow Photobiennale) takes place in Moscow for the seventh time this April. It first appeared thanks to Olga Sviblova, Director of the Moscow House of Photography, who decided that Moscow deserves its own festival dedicated to photography. Each festival is organized around particular themes, and this year they are light and color, motion and speed, astonishment and admiration. There are to be over 100 exhibitions all over Moscow, including such photography luminaries as Ralph Gibson, Guy la Kirek, Alex Web, Andreas Gursky, the Lumiere brothers, Lartigue, Henri Croyar, and Georgy Pinkhasov. Another treat is an exhibition of photos from the world-famous Magnum agency, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. In addition to exhibits, the two-week

Moscow Photobiennale, through May 15.
For venues and schedule visit

festival , which is based at Moscow’s Winzavod, includes concerts, portfolio views, interviews, and master classes with artists. In addition, the Photobiennale has established a tradition of being interactive: Visitors can cast votes for their favorite pictures.

The Golden Mask

The Golden Mask, a national theater award, was founded in 1994 by the Theater Union of Russia and is given to productions in all theatrical genres: drama, opera, ballet, operetta and musical, and puppet theater. The Golden Mask also includes the All-Russian Theater Festival that each spring brings to Moscow the most significant performances from all over Russia. A festive ceremony is set for April 15th at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theater, but the special programs scheduled to begin earlier in the month include Legandary Performances of the 20th Century and the Piccolo Teatro di Milano’s production of Harlequin, A Servant to Two Masters (Arlecchino servitore di due padroni). The program presented by St. Petersburg’s Alexandrinsky Theater features productions of Anton Cheknov’s The Seagull and Nikolai Gogol’s The Marriage. The Central House of Artists is to host a special project, Pro Theater, which is the counterpart of international arts markets and fairs. The Golden Mask Club is a

The Golden Mask Festival, through April 15.
See for schedule and venues.

series of musical events bringing together groups from Russia, France, and Switzerland. In addition, the club program features presentations of books, films, and an exhibition of photographs about theater.

Billy’s Band

It has become a tradition of the St. Petersburg-based Billy’s Band to present a crazy show in Moscow every spring. Though rather young, the group has already conquered the hearts of Russian, Italian, German, French, Finnish, Israeli, Estonian, and American audiences with their music: a perfect English- Russian cocktail of jazz, blues, and rock ballads with a peculiarly Russian temperament. The band — consisting of Billy Novik (contrabass, vocal, piano, banjo), Andrei Ryzhik (guitar, dombra, cymbals, tambourine), and Anton

Billy’s Band, Mir Concert Hall
April 17,18 21:00

Matezius (Russian accordion, percussion, marimba), and featuring Mikhail Zhydkikh (saxophone and percussion) — describes its musical style as alko-jazz. A specialty is unusual interpretations of songs by Tom Waits, a favorite musician.

Easter Festival

Moscow’s Easter Festival is a traditionally anticipated program of classical music headed by the Mariinsky (formerly Kirov) Theater’s Valery Gergiev. The first festival was in 2002 with the support of the Moscow government and the blessing of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Aleksey II. This year’s festival includes over 40 concerts by world-renowned soloists and ensembles to take place in 13 Russian cities, from Tula to Archangelsk. Five programs are the base of the festival: symphonic music, concerts in the Russian regions, choir singing, bell ringing, and charity. Gergiev is to conduct the Mariinsky Symphonic Orchestra, considered one of the world’s best. The roster of international participants includes opera singers Anna Netrebko, Yuri Bashmet, and Vladimir Galuzin from Russia, Lang Lang from China,

Through May 9.
For venues and schedule visit

the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the Sofia Boys’ Choir from Bulgaria, and Georgia’s Mdzlevari Boys’ Choir. The beautiful finale traditionally takes place at Poklonnaya Gora on May 9, Victory Day, where thousands of people come to celebrate the holiday with a concert of classical music.

Four dimensions of Anton Corbijn

Photo Anton Corbijn. Cameron Diaz

Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn, is arriving in Moscow to personally present 170 portraits that are already part of world photography history. Corbijn began taking photographs in the early 1970s and has worked with such pop stars of the 1980s and ’90s as David Bowie, Takeshi Kitano, Bjork, and U2. He worked closely with the band Depeche Mode, designing their album covers, music videos, and concert stages. The four dimensions here are four albums representing key stages of his career: Famouz documentary black-and-white photographs (“a look inside from outside,” featuring concerts of U2 and others); Star Trak studio photographs (featuring Hollywood stars), 33 Nature Morts (paparazzi stylistics in staged photography) and A Somebody (Corbijn himself in images of the 20th century’s greatest rock musicians).

Through May 4
at The Moscow Museum of Modern Art,
25 Petrovka Street

Vera Zaitseva: Impressionism in Soviet times

Born in Moscow in 1924, Vera Zaitseva graduated from Repin’s Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture of the Academy of Arts of the USSR in Leningrad. She became the assistant to legendary stage designer Isaac Rabinovich and worked in the Moscow Soviet Army Theater. In comparison with her collages and graphic art, her oils seem very traditional and lack any sort of symbolism: Crimean landscapes flooded with the gold of the sun, a dacha in Kratovo, the construction of hydroelectric stations and subways, village still-lifes. Everything is charmingly simple and harmonic; it’s all but

Through April 28
at NB Gallery 6/2
Sivtsev Vrazhek, Suite 2

a play of color and shades. These works don’t quote from but naturally continue the traditions of Russian impressionism. The work of Vera Zaitseva can be found in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts as well as in private collections in Russia, France, Italy, and the US.

Tickets to the world’s museums

A ticket to a museum seems a most ordinary thing, and yet it has so much to say. Often featuring an image of the museum, the lettering and logo convey the cultural space inside, a world of the history of techniques and arts and even human inspiration and ideas. And now Bourganov House has dedicated an exhibition to this object and invites you to a trip around the world: from Italy’s Uffizi Gallery to the pyramids of Egypt, from Istanbul to Moscow. Compare graphics, design, style, and history of tickets from all over the globe, and you will see that even a ticket stub can be a piece of art, reflecting cultural interrelations and heritage.

Through May 30
at Bourganov House
15 Bolshoi Afanasievsky Pereulok

For General Kornilov’s 90th anniversary

General Lavr Kornilov (1870-1918) was a senior Russian army general during World War I and the ensuing Russian Civil War from 1917 to 1922. His name is closely related to the White movement — whose military arm was known as the White Guard and whose members were known as White Russians — comprised some of the Russian forces, both political and military, which opposed the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution and fought against the Red Army during the Civil War. The new exhibition features documents, photographs, and private letters of the general that reveal his character and some of the unknown pages of his life and political career.

Through April 11 at Russkoe Zarubezhye Library Collection
2 Novaya Radishchevskaya Street
M. Taganskaya

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