The fourth International Competition for Young Composers, which will be held during the 11th Winter International Arts Festival, is dedicated to the memory of two great Russian musicians of the 20th century — Alfred Schnittke (1934−1998) and Sviatoslav Richter (1915−1997). They were musicians from different generations, one a composer and the other a pianist, one is an avant-garde composer, while the other is the largest representative of the Russian pianistic school, the Neuhaus Children’s Music School.
However, much (not only German roots) unites the two musicians. Both lived a rich creative life, full of bright creative ascents and dramatic life circumstances. Both exerted enormous influence on the Russian and world art of the last century and, at the same time, often sailed “against the current”, not fitting into the generally accepted norms and canons of a typical Soviet musician. Richter never performed Schnittke’s music, though he for decades closely followed the creative development of the great artist. However, he was always open to something new and did not like streamlined paths.
The two musicians also have something else in common — a craving for chamber music. Sviatoslav Richter’s passion for ensemble performance is well-known. The greatest instrumentalists of his time have repeatedly performed with him on the same stage. Alfred Schnittke —the author of large-scale oratorical and symphonic works — composed chamber opuses with special awe; his piano quintet still remains one of the most repertoire works of the late 20th century.
Contestants are invited to submit a piano ensemble composition (trio, quartet or quintet). The jury of the competition is made up of leading figures in contemporary composer art, such as Professor Alexander Tchaikovsky (People’s Artist of Russia and Head of the Composition Department of the Moscow Conservatory), Professor Anton Tanonov (Head of the Composition Department of St. Petersburg Conservatory), Yuri Bashmet (Artistic Director of the Winter International Arts Festival, professor, People’s Artist of the USSR), Patrick De Klerk (Belgian composer, teacher and art manager, organizer and director of international music festivals), and Alvin Singleton (American composer, Professor of composition at Yale University). The jury will also include representatives of the younger generation — Belarusian composer Valery Voronov, now living in Germany, Italian-Swiss composer Oscar Bianchi, and Kuzma Bodrov — Associate Professor at the Moscow Conservatory, chairman of the Young Composers Club of the Moscow Conservatory.
On February 23, compositions of participants of the second round, selected based on the results of correspondence listening, will be presented to the audience at the Hall of Organ and Chamber Music of the Sochi Philharmonic. Winners of the 2018 competition will also be announced on the same day.