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Easter Festival

April 19 – May 9
For venues and schedule see  

When maestro Gergiev organized the Easter Festival in Moscow eight years ago with the support of the Moscow government and the blessing of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Alexei II, nobody expected that today this event would have become so popular and involve so many people. Within a short period of time, the Easter Festival has become an anticipated yearly event for classical music lovers. From year to year, its programme has been increased and this April it features 100 concerts in Moscow and other regions of Russia and even some CIS countries. The festival is presented in several sections: symphonic performances of Russian classics, choral singing, bell-ringing and of course charity performances. The symphonic programme in Moscow will star such soloists as Anna Netrebko, Denis Matsuev, Yury Bashmet, Nikolay Tsnaider, Sergey Khachatryan and many others. The traditional finale of the festival takes place at Poklonnaya Gora in Moscow, the place where the Great Patriotic War is remembered, and where the Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra will give a free concert for up to 250,000 people.

Commemorating Rostropovich

April 21, 7pm, Tchaikovsky concert hall

On the 27th of March the music world celebrated Mstislav Rostropovich’s birthday. On that day his fans, colleagues, friends and certainly students used to personally congratulate the maestro on his birthday until he died on April 27, 2007. Some of these people: talented students whom the great musician loved sincerely and supported are participating in a commemorative concert at the Tchaikovsky concert hall. Since the opening of the [Vishnevskaya] Opera Centre in 2002, Mstislav Rostropovich took an active part in its life, organising unique master classes and concerts such as “Unknown Shostakovich – Music of the War Brigades,” for example, that became a milestone in the history of the young Centre. It was under Rostropovich’s direction that in 2004, the Centre first toured abroad, together with the Russian National Orchestra, when soloists performed at a concert marking the completion of the Year of Russia in Germany. The maestro was happy that Russia was still rich in talents, proved through his creation – the Charity Foundation launched in 1997, now directed by his daughter Olga Rostropovich. The Foundation gathers what it considers to be the best Russian violinists, pianists, cellists and other talented performers from different regions of Russia, presents them with scholarships, organises concerts and develops young musicians artistically. The concert in commemoration of Mstislav Rostropovich features the best soloists from the Opera Centre, and Yury Bashmet’s symphony orchestra “New Russia.”

Brainstorm Take Step

April 18, 7pm, Sport Complex “Luzhniki”

Brainstorm premiere their new album “The Step” which is promising to become a charts leader this spring. This band is a Latvian symbol. Classmates Renars Kaupers, Janis Jubalts, Gundars Mausevics, and Kaspars Roga, started Brainstorm in 1989 when they were only 14 years old. During the 1990s they consistently worked on their folk-rock hybrid sound that conquered the hearts of fans in their native Latvia and other Baltic countries. The band gained international popularity in 2000 when they won third prize in that year’s Eurovision Song Contest with their song “My Star.” That exposure earned their album Among the Suns airplay in many countries, and subsequent singles such as “Maybe,” “Colder,” “A Day Before Tomorrow,” and “Thunder Without Rain” became popular in much of Europe, and were played on MTV’s and VH1’s European channels. Later they even managed to work with two rock icons – Anton Corbijn and Alex Silva, the first creating the cover for their “Four Shores” album and the latter working on its sound as producer, both describing later their circle as “very nice and warm.” Their music is light and their concerts pass in positive mood, what is certainly prescribed for spring in Moscow.

Paris – Moscow in jazz

April 10 - 12
for venues and schedule see

If you know the history of music, you are aware that jazz rhythms originated from America. France, however, has a right to be associated with this genre of music, as Paris remains a cross-road of different musical styles. This is the spirit of Parisian cafes, the whiff of a Mimosa and the view from the Eiffel tower that jazz music inspires. In Moscow, the festival Le Jazz which is a reflection of modern France, takes place every spring. This project gathers interesting artists of the contemporary French jazz scene. This year, among special guests are Michel Portal (Cesar award winner), Jacky Terrasson, Stefano Di Battista Quartet (Blue Note label soloist), Kora Jazz Trio, David Reinhardt Quartet. This is the fifth jazz festival organised by the Art-Mania agency with the support of the French Cultural Center in Moscow, the French Embassy and the French Institute in Saint-Petersburg.

Tapestries of Jean Baptiste Vermillion at Tsaritsyno

Open: 11am – 7pm
except Mondays and Tuesdays
Through July,
1, Dolskaya street

It is impossible to imagine a better location for a new exhibition of European tapestries than the State Museum-Reserve of Tsaritsyno, constructed between 1775 and 1796 for Catherine the Great. Tapestry, a form of textile art has been practiced in Europe since the times of Ancient Greece. It reached its peak during the early Renaissance, when production began in Germany and Switzerland and later moved on to France and the Netherlands. Artists and craftsmen worked on complicated pictures in cotton, linen or wool. Artists usually created “blueprints” on cardboard for craftsmen who then wove the tapestries. In Russia, Gobelin tapestries appeared under Peter the Great. At that time in Europe one of the largest tapestry schools was founded by Jean Baptiste Vermillion. His artisans created different tapestries illustrating scenes from the Bible. Some of these have been preserved and constitute a display at the Tsaritsyno exhibition. Special conditions have been created for these artefacts; for example, no direct sunlight is allowed to fall on them, to protect the original colours and reconstruct the atmosphere of old castles.

Definite State of the World?

Up until the 1980s, the French billionaire Francois Pinault had no intentions of working in art. He bought and sold companies – he knew his business well and made good money. But one day he bought a work by Piet Mondrian, and today he is already the owner of Christie’s and one of the most influential art collectors in the world. His collection comprises up to 25,000 items, the majority of which have never been on display. What is on public view, is on display at the Venetian Palazzo Grassi which Pinault bought in 2006 specially to home his collection. The small portion of Pinault’s collection that will be presented at the newly reconstructed Garage centre for contemporary art in Moscow, has all the characteristics of his main collection – a mixture of everything: video, neon lights and Installations Under One Roof by Bill Viola (video artist), the Swiss duet – authors of multimedia installations Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Pierre Huyghe (video), sculptors Maurizio Cattelan and Jeff Koons, minimalistic installations by Paul McCartney… At the exhibition named as “Definite State of the World?”, each visitor can find their own answers to their own questions.

Garage centre for contemporary art
19 A, Obraztsova street
Open: 11am – 9pm/10pm Fri–Sun
Through May 6

From a Sketch to a Work of Art or Vice Versa

Moscow Museum of Modern Art
25, Petrovka street
Open: 11am – 6pm except Mondays
Through May 10

The Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), though a rather young institution compared to such arts monsters as the Tretyakov gallery, possesses a rich collection of Soviet avant-garde artists. MoMA now has an exhibition on called: “From a Sketch to a Work of Art.” According to their press release, the exhibition: “displays the variety of the museum’s stocks.” For this purpose, almost the whole of MoMA’s building in Petrovka street has been given over to this exhibition; and over three hundred works are on display. The curator of the project, Anna Arutyunyan conveys a complicated intrigue of 20th century and early 21st century arts: how the visual arts evolved from an academic etude of a nude model to a complete work that is sometimes referred to as an arts object. It is obvious that an exhibition with a name like this can quickly become a kind of anthology of different genres and movements where the cubist Malevich can stand next to the realist Chistyakov. Besides, when still in etudes, the works of fierce antagonists sometimes look similar, to their angst no doubt. However gaudy the exhibition may seem, its division into sections “Canon,” “Nature” and “Metamorphoses” is logically strict. Thus when you see etudes from the students of the Surikov school of the end of the 19th century, you can feel why they wanted to escape so much to real nature.

Master and Margarita

Spiridonov’s house
March 28 – April 28
Open: 11am – 7pm, except Mondays
M. Gnezdikovsky pereulok 9/8 building 1

It is not for the first time that Jean-Daniel Lorieux has come to Moscow. A famous fashion photographer, he brought an exhibition of portraits a couple of years ago to Moscow and now is back with a project that can be described as related not only to photography, but to literature and cinema as well. Lorieux presents in Moscow a series of illustrations to the famous Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel “Master and Margarita,” featuring Isabelle Adjani as Margarita and Russian actor Vladimir Koshevoi as Master. For Lorieux, who is used to large-scale fashion photography projects that he makes for Dior, Nina Ricci, Cartier, this story is about a wider scope for himself as an artist. He is not only true to the original in terms of Margarita’s black coat and yellow (“repulsive”) flowers she is carrying on the day of her meeting with Master, but as a stage director he conveys the whole story through the means of photography. They say that the exhibition was a huge success in Paris in January. Let us see what it will look like in Moscow, amongst the scenery where the book was written.

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