The program of concerts of the XV Winter International Arts Festival in Sochi

Parade of Stars and Worlds Premieres

Opening gala of the XV Winter International Arts Festival in Sochi
February 17, 2022
Beginning at 19.00
Winter theater
Concert description

For a decade and a half, the festival and its leader have turned a popular Russian resort into a winter “arts capital” – Yuri Bashmet’s Sochi Festival attracted the attention of Russian top officials and distinguished foreign guests, became the brightest page of the cultural program of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, a member of the European Festivals Association. The festival hosted dozens of Russian and world premieres; performances by world stars of academic music, opera and ballet, jazz art, drama theatre, folk and ethnic trends.
This February evening a very special program awaits the audience. Even the Winter Theatre in Sochi hardly remembers the adjacency of such outstanding performers on the same stage!

“This is the way that only great musicians play,” claims the world press about Boris Berezovsky. “Undoubtedly, we have a true follower of the great Russian piano school”, is the assessment of the “Gramophone” Music Magazine. One of the greatest representatives of Russian and international pianism whose creative biography includes dozens of prestigious prizes and more than 40 CDs, Berezovsky will held his first-ever concert in Sochi! and with an unusual repertoire: he will perform the concert piece “Young Apollo”, a juvenile work by English canonical composer Benjamin Britten.

Italian bass baritone Luca Pisaroni is called “one of the most charismatic singers of our time”. An acclaimed interpreter of Mozart’s and Rossini’s parts, with which he has won lasting success on the world’s best opera stages, Pisaroni is expanding his line with the Baroque opera and the German romantic Lied, Bach’s music and works of the 21st century.

“Mr. Cencic is blessed to be the best countertenor of our time,” says Opernwelt magazine. “He concentrates the best achievements of the baroque music,” echoes the critic of the L’Opera Magazine. For almost two decades, Max Emanuel Cencic, an Austrian singer of Croatian origin, has occupied a leading position among vocal performers of baroque and classicism. Unfortunately, people in Russia are still little acquainted with the art of the outstanding master; for Max Cencic it’s also going to be the first performance in Sochi.

“World star with a heart of gold,” with this subtitle was recently published the biography of the outstanding German clarinetist and teacher Sabine Meyer. For her sake 40 years ago the “great dictator” of the orchestra Herbert von Karajan broke his own rule by inviting a woman to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra! But she made a career as a soloist, performing with the best orchestras and instrumentalists in the world; her repertoire spans over four centuries of music, from baroque to jazz and avant-garde.

Critics call the music of the Japanese composer Atsuhiko Gondai “a bridge between West and East”. He began studying composition in Japan, then continued his education in Freiburg (Germany) and at the famous IRCAM Center for Contemporary Music in Paris. Today Atsuhiko Gondai is in demand all over the world as a composer and teacher – from Bergen to New Zealand; he firstly emerged at Sochi Festival in 2017. At the opening of this festival we will be the first spectators of his new piece that combined the sound of European strings with the Japanese lip organ “sho”. Manabe Naoyuki, one of the best sho performers will take part as a soloist.

“Composer of bright colors and new dimensions,” – such an enthusiastic assessment was awarded to the young Korean composer Donghoon Shin after his triumphant victory at the International Composer Competition. K. Abbado in Berlin (2020). At the XV Festival in Sochi, the composer will also take part as a member of the jury of the Composers competition and as a teacher of the Composition Department of the Festival.

The concert traditionally involves musical groups fostered by Yuri Bashmet. The Grammy winner in the category of classical music, the Moscow Soloists Chamber Ensemble is known to millions of listeners in Russia and around the world – in the coming year the ensemble will celebrate its 30th anniversary. As well as the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Russia that is going to celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2022. Young musicians gathered from different regions of Russia and regularly passing through competitive selection have firmly earned the fame of the orchestra, which adequately performs with world-class performers and masterfully reveals the beauty of classical masterpieces and modern scores.

Soloists and performers

“Parade of Stars and Worls Premieres”
Opening gala of the XV Winter International Arts Festival in Sochi
(Artistic Director – Yuri Bashmet)

Boris Berezovsky (piano)
Max Emanuel Cencic (countertenor, Austria)
Luca Pisaroni (bass baritone, Italy)
Sabine Meyer (clarinet, Germany)
Manabe Naoyuki (sho, Japan)

Chamber Ensemble “Moscow Soloists”
Youth Symphony Orchestra of Russia

Conductor & soloist – Yuri Bashmet

Other concerts during the festival