By Galina Grishkovets
Fifteen students from the Young Belarus Symphony Orchestra of the Belarusian State Academy of Music have joined fifty of those from the Conservatoire du Grand Nancy to perform in Nancy. The first half of the concert featured Franz Liszt’s works (whose 200th anniversary is celebrated this year). They played to a full house in the Poirel Concert Hall, with music by famous Belarusian composer Dmitry Smolsky played in the second half.
Although the French audience is ‘spoilt’ for local and foreign celebrities, it was greatly impressed by the brilliant performance of Belarusian and French musicians, led by Mikhail Kozinets. The young performers had only four rehearsals before the event.
The performance was met by a storm of applause, with Belarusian soloist and international contest laureate Natalia Kotova delighting the audience with her virtuoso piano playing.
The event was part of a Belarusian-French cultural project, initiated by Arkady Volodos, a famous opera singer in Europe. He was born in Belarus and has lived in Paris for 32 years; he studied at the Belarusian Conservatoire at the same time as Mr. Kozinets.
His talent and hard work have allowed Mr. Volodos to enjoy a meteoric career in Paris, teaching at the Conservatoire du Grand Nancy. His idea to unite the efforts of gifted young musicians from our two countries has been finally brought to life with assistance from Mr. Volodos and the Director of the Conservatoire du Grand Nancy, Jean-Philippe Navarre. In addition, Nancy Town Hall and the Belarusian Culture Ministry have supported the project.
In October 2010, the joint Belarusian-French Youth Symphony Orchestra debuted on the stage of the Belarusian State Philharmonic Society in Minsk. The orchestra was conducted by Jean-Philippe Navarre, with 18 French musicians arriving in Minsk. Now, Belarusians have visited the city of Nancy.
Mr. Navarre, who has worked hard to implement this musical Belarusian-French project, is delighted by the brilliant performance of the Belarusian musicians. He believes that his students have something to learn from their Belarusian colleagues. In particular, our Belarusian musicians boast very strong skills in string instrument playing. Meanwhile, the French are wind instrument experts, so we can certainly learn much from each other.
Mr. Navarre stresses that, in future, musical exchanges between France and Belarus will continue, probably including teachers. The Head of the Conservatoire du Grand Nancy also notes the talent of Belarus-born opera singer Arkady Volodos, who initiated the wonderful project and has helped realise it.
Mr. Volodos attended the concert in Nancy and was impressed by the perfect performances of works of Franz Liszt and Dmitry Smolsky. He believes co-operation between our two states’ young musicians will yield good results.
People’s Artiste of Belarus Mikhail Kozinets emphasises that an audience’s reaction is the best way of assessing a concert; clearly the event was a resounding success.