Professionals love good music

National Concert Orchestra of Belarus prioritises its support of talented young musicians

By Tatiana Pastukhova

On August 16th, the Orchestra launched its jubilee 25th concert season. “Time has passed quickly. It seems hardly any time has passed since we were worried about setting up such a large team. We can now look back on our achievements over the years. One of our focuses today is our search for new talent, supporting budding musicians and singers. In our 25 years of work, many famous Belarusian pop singers have emerged from our team, later becoming People’s or Honoured Artistes and winning laureate titles,” emphasises Professor Mikhail Finberg, who heads the Orchestra and is a Belarusian State Award holder.

Another branch of the Orchestra’s work is the promotion of Belarusian music. Already, 27 programmes have been prepared — dedicated to the artistry of Maxim Bogdanovich, Yanka Kupala, Yakub Kolas, Arkady Kuleshov and Vladimir Korotkevich, among others. The Orchestra also initiates various festivals. Its jubilee season includes the Jazz Music Festival and the Hits for All Times Festival. Additionally, the team has been organising smaller festivals in 15 Belarusian cities, devoted to the history of Belarusian music from the 18th century onwards. “I’m proud to say that, in recent years, we’ve revived the names of many famous 20th century Belarusian composers,” notes Mr. Finberg. “Although these people are seldom covered by the media, they each significantly contributed to the development of our national musical art. Among them are Piotr Podkovyrov, Yevgeny Glebov and Dmitry Smolsky.”

The National Concert Orchestra traditionally performs at the annual Slavonic Bazaar in Vitebsk Festival of Arts and, this year, was delighted to accompany Belarusian Alena Lanskaya — who won the Grand Prix at the 20th International Vitebsk-2011 Pop Song Contest. “Our Orchestra supports young musicians involved in jazz and symphonic culture. This year, we toured a dozen Belarusian specialised music schools, offering master classes and lecturing on the development of Belarusian music. These were highly appreciated,” says Mr. Finberg.

The jubilee season will be full of surprises — as is traditional. Apart from organising the usual festivals, the Orchestra plans festive concerts in Minsk and Moscow. “We’ll then look at the results, deciding on what should become our future focus,” explains the maestro. Speaking of his own musical preferences, Mr. Finberg notes that he loves good music. “We don’t have anything to do with unprofessional music,” he adds.

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