Stanyuta, Mozart and Stradivari violin

As it draws closer to September 30th, the opening day of the 11th Yuri Bashmet International Music Festival
As it draws closer to September 30th, the opening day of the 11th Yuri Bashmet International Music Festival, the more excited we are to learn what surprises are in store for fans of music. For myself, the charm of the Bashmet forum is in the unique style of playing which typifies these concerts.


Viviane Hagner

Many moving pieces are expected in the concert entitled Legend on a Stradivari Violin which will be held on October 7th in the concert hall of the Belarusian State Philharmonic Society. Regular concert goers will remember such leaders of violin playing, as Maxim Vengerov, Vadim Repin (with Guarneri’s violin) and Victor Tretyakov, who previously performed this series in other years.

The German violinist Viviane Hagner is eagerly anticipated. The daughter of German and Korean parents, Viviane is a delicate beauty with an oriental appearance. A powerful virtuoso, at the age of 14 she caused a storm, performing Rondo Capriccioso by Saint-Saëns, extremely difficult even for an adult violinist, at a concert of the Berlin and Israeli philharmonic orchestra under the guidance of Zubin Mehta. Since then, Viviane Hagner has travelled all over the world, performing with the best conductors and orchestras from many continents.

We will hear her for the first time in Minsk accompanied by the East-West Chamber Orchestra, a unique collective created in 2015 on the initiative of the art director of the festival, pianist and conductor, Rostislav Krimer. Last year’s concert showcased the East-West Chamber Orchestra with the well-known Austrian pianist, Paul Badura-Skoda, and gathered a record number of listeners. Tickets sold out very quickly. Why is the East-West Chamber Orchestra so popular, we ask? Firstly, because outstanding musicians play in it, all are laureates of international competitions from Belarus, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and other bordering countries. All of them are young, beautiful and passionately keen on music. This dedication and professionalism reaches out to the listeners.The orchestra is especially good at playing the works of Mozart. This time they will play at least two of his works, the famous Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, and the spectacular Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D-major. The only work unknown even to experts. Why this particular piece? Because Mozart left it unfinished. He wrote 120 bars of the first part, orchestrated 74 of them and stopped. His circumstances changed and the customer moved to another city.

207 years later, young British composer Philip Wilby has finished the concerto. In the first part he used the material that Mozart had no time to compose. While the second and third parts he borrowed from violin sonata KV306, having arranged them for orchestra and added to them. The premiere of the revived masterpiece took place on August 15th, 1985. Today, more than 30 years later, it will be heard in our country. Viviane Hagner will perform the solo violin part, while the piano part will be performed by Rostislav Krimer who, on this occasion, will both play and conduct.

There is more to come! In order to surprise the respectable public, the organisers have invited the Belarusian gymnast Melitina Stanyuta, to perform accompanied by the East-West Chamber Orchestra. The name of the number she will perform on the stage and its music are still a secret.

To remind readers of other concerts at the Bashmet Festival, held in the concert hall of the Belarusian State Philharmonic Society are the following.

By Alexey Bondarenko

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