Bashmet Festival: only the best

The 9th Yuri Bashmet International Festival gathered the best of the best

Appreciation of music and the visual arts requires neither knowledge of foreign languages, nor any special training, as was obvious at the 9th Yuri Bashmet International Festival, which gathered the best of the best, delighting all with magical moments and picturesque canvases
By Irina Ovsepyan

Appreciation of music and the visual arts requires neither knowledge of foreign languages, nor any special training, as was obvious at the 9th Yuri Bashmet International Festival, which gathered the best of the best, delighting all with magical moments and picturesque canvases

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Violinist and conductor Sergey Krylov at a concert marking the opening of the 9th International Yuri Bashmet Festival


The festival is known for combining the arts, having last year brought poetry in liaison with music, and cinema the year before last. This time, Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 was accompanied by pictures and frescos from the 18th century, shown as a slideshow: the Apocalyptical Lamb, from St. Alexander and Theodor Basilica in Ottobeuren, Fragonard’s A Young Girl Reading, works by Johann Nepomuk della Croce, Zoffany and Canaletto. Musicians played in darkness, so that the photographic illuminations would be visible clearly, flickering as if underwater.

The Bashmet Festival opened with a concert by the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Sergey Krylov. The Artistic Director of the festival, pianist Rostislav Krimer, tells us that Krylov is a master violinist and, indeed, the conductor played in the second part of the concert, alongside Krimer on the piano, and the Sergio Calligaris Orchestra. Krimer notes, “Sergey is a very good violinist: among the top-three worldwide.”

Krylov played a violin made for him by his father: well-known master Alexander Krylov. Of course, playing at the Yuri Bashmet Festival is a great honour, as the artiste admitted. In spite of being a musician of world level, he is modest and exacting. During rehearsals, he moved the conductor’s stand, saying, “I like symmetry: for everything to be centred!”

For one and a half weeks, Minsk welcomed the best performers to the Belarusian State Philharmonic Society and other venues, including hosting master classes by eminent artistes — for young musicians.

The Yuri Bashmet International Festival was held for the first time in 2006, under the patronage of the President of Belarus, aiming to unite the creative power of Belarus, Russia and other countries. Outstanding artistes attend each year, allowing young talents to play beside true masters. Artistic Director Rostislav Krimer, a Belarusian pianist and laureate of international competitions, who graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London, is the driving force behind the event. Meanwhile, the honorary co-chairman of the organising committee of the festival is National Artiste of Russia Yuri Bashmet — a laureate of State Awards of the USSR and Russia.
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