on 23 August 2019

Musical Olympus Foundation will take part at the Septembre Musical Festival

From 1st to 9th September Montreux and Vevey, the Septembre Musical Festival will be held for the 74th time. For the first time in Switzerland the general public will be offered such a broad program dedicated to Russia and Russian its culture.

Septembre Musical will be showcasing within the program the latest generation of Russian virtuosi. The Septembre 8th, program presented by the Musical Olympus foundation will feature four outstandingly gifted young musicians – the mezzo-soprano Vasilisa Berzhanskaya, violinist Marc Bouchkov, pianist Daniel Kharitonov, and harpist Alexander Boldachev– all participants in Musical Olympus festivals who have become established soloists on the world circuit. “The Musical Olympus Foundation is a unique organisation, established in St Petersburg in 1995. The Foundation's aims are to provide support for talented young musicians, no matter what their nationality or citizenship. The theme of this year's Septembre Musical Festival in Montreux is Russia – which is why the Musical Olympus Foundation is only presenting Russian soloists within the program”, says Irina Nikitina, the President of the Musical Olympus Foundation. “Music is the world's international language – one that enables people to understand each other with no need for words. Music is accessible and emotional, and has no place for falsity – something that everyone needs in today's modern world”.

This year's festival program is given over entirely to the theme of Russian culture, with totally nearly 40 events over just nine days – classical music concerts given by world-famous names, performances by talented young musicians, dance groups, cinema screenings, theatre performances, talks, workshops, and many more activities.

The ceremonial opening will be a highlight for children and their parents. Sergey Prokofiev's wonderful orchestral tale Peter & The Wolf will take the stage, performed by the legendary Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Valery Gergiev - and recited by singer and composer Henri Dès, who takes on the role of the storyteller for the first time. A second, no-less-illustrious ensemble, the Russian National Orchestra (RNO) will also appear, under the direction of its conductor and founder, Mikhail Pletnev. In one of its festival performances, the RNO will play the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto – composed by its composer right here on the shores of Lake Geneva. Other stars of the festival line-up include legendary pianists of the Russian school of pianism – Boris Berezovsky and Nikolai Lugansky.

In the field of music, talent has nothing to do with age – as the winners of the Nutcracker contest prove perfectly. The festival will introduce its audiences to the competition winners – among whom is pianist Alexandra Dovgan, who was just ten years old when she won her competition gold medal; oboist Timofei Yakhnov (a winner in 2015); violinist Daniil Bessonov (who won in 2016); and saxophonist Sofia Tyurina (a winner from 2017).

From now onwards, the main Septembre Musical festival program will be supplemented by the OFF Festival. The centre of attention will, of course, remain music in all its permutations – but there is also so much more. OFF events will also feature classical ballet, the 'Russian Ball' flashmob happening directed by Ekaterina Grafodatskaya and Dmitry Platonov – the founders of the Sevastopol Officer's Ball; a program of Russian art-song romances; talks; cinema screenings; national dance and craft events; folk-rock; a chance to taste Russian national dishes; iconography; Russian Orthodox chant; opera arias; a jazz night; master-classes in the traditions of Russian theatre; and a ceremonial event celebrating September 1st – which is Knowledge Day in Russia. This platforms the OFF Festival's open-to-all events as a natural outlet to showcase the depth and diversity of multi-ethnic Russia's culture. “While devising the concept of OFF, we had Dostoyevsky's ideas in mind, when he said “The essence of being Russian is, undoubtedly, pan-European and global. To become a real Russian, to become entirely Russian, can really only mean to become a fellow of all mankind, an Everyman, if you like. Our destiny is universality – not achieved by the sword, but by the power of brotherhood, and a fraternal desire bring people together once again”, says Zlata Smirnova, the organiser of OFF.

Festival audiences will also have a chance to hear Alexander Kantorow, who became the Grand Prix winner at the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition; the astonishing young violinist Daniel Lozakovich; young violin star Alexandra Conunova; mezzo-soprano Polina Shamaeva; tenor Yury Rostotsky and a host of other musicians. Boy Choir of the Glinka Choir College – Russia's oldest professional musical with its 500-year history will be performing Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. The Septembre Musical programs will also present works by Scriabin, Balakirev, Liadov, Prokofiev, Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky, and Shostakovich. Alexander Raskatov's opera The Eclipse – dedicated to the Decembrist revolt of 1825 – received its premiere in the Mariinsky Theatre in June 2018. The extracts to be heard in these festival concert will be a Swiss premiere.

The Septembre Musical's Russian programme will end on a spectacular and philosophical note with Reverse performed by the Moscow Musical Theatre. This production is a synthesis of music, choreography and acrobatics, produced in association with Cirque du Soleil great choreographer Debra Brown. The show is a reflection of man's ongoing struggle with both the external world, and with himself. Reverse hands us a philosophical message about the destiny of mankind – an impressive way of closing the festival's window on the unlimited wealth of Russian culture.

Septembre Musical Montreux-Vevey – A Window On The World – the 74th Festival. 1st-9th September 2019. For information and tickets – www.septmus.ch