Musical consonance of striking talents
Brest hosts Days of Culture of Russian Kaliningrad Region
By Mikhail Samsonov
The three day event, held in the city over the River Bug, saw a wealth of events, including Musical Consonance — a concert by Kaliningrad’s Regional Russian Folk Orchestra, conducted by Andrey Stepanenko, and hosted by the Regional Social-Cultural Centre. Following the performance, Mr. Stepanenko noted, “Our programme is called Orchestra and Soloists, from Classics to Avant-Garde, featuring a wide range of genres: folk music, jazz, fragments from operettas and fragments from our Koenig-Tango and Rock on Balalaikas. The public has warmly received each performance so, if we have the opportunity, we’ll return to Brest.”
In addition, the Musical Streamer concert took place at the regional Philharmonic Society, drawing a big audience.
Meanwhile, Sovetskaya Street gallery displayed an exhibition of works by Kaliningrad artists, under the title Baltic Vernissage. Artists from Kaliningrad are frequent guests to the city over the River Bug, emphasises Larisa Bytsko, employed by the Brest Regional Social-Cultural Centre. She explains, “Belarus has signed an agreement on cultural co-operation with the Kaliningrad Region of the Russian Federation, making it easy to work with our colleagues. Belarusian Days of Culture have been many times held in this region of Russia, and most recently, in August of this year, the National Academic Choir, conducted by Mikhail Drinevsky, performed in Kaliningrad, at the second international festival Peace Territory. Our Brest artists often visit Kaliningrad, so friendly ties with Russian artists are never lost.”
At present, 100,000 ethnic Belarusians live in the Kaliningrad Region, accounting for every tenth inhabitant; accordingly, interest in ethnic culture is huge. In early 2005, a monument to Frantsisk Skorina appeared in Kaliningrad, so Belarusian artists are always welcomed. Galina Yankovskaya, Vice-governor of the most western region of Russia, tells us, “In taking up permanent residence, Belarusians brought with them their culture. They are still keen to hold on to their native language, music and traditions so, every two years, we hold Days of Culture of Belarus. Of course, Belarus also hosts the Kaliningrad Days of Culture. These days give us the chance to learn about Belarus’ rich talents. We are proud of our friendship with such a country.”