Symphony and philosophy meet at concert

20th century Belarusian academic music performed at Zaslavl-2012 Festival of Arts

By Irina Vesnina

As is traditional, the festival launches the artistic year of the National Academic Concert Orchestra of Belarus (headed by maestro Mikhail Finberg). Zaslavl-2012 is the 140th event for the orchestra, which is celebrating its 25th birthday this year.
The Zaslavl Festival always focuses on prominent domestic composers. This time, a concert was devoted to the 100th birthday of outstanding Belarusian composer Lev Abeliovich (1912-1985), whose artistry unites the folk legacy of Belarus with the traditions of Western and Russian musical schools. The Samples of 20th Century Belarusian Symphonic Music concert featured bright, sensitive works by the composer, who was often called a philosopher. “Abeliovich’s music — like that of other Belarusian composers from the last century — brings together a contemporary feel and the best traditions of domestic musical culture,” notes Professor and Doctor of Art Studies Olga Dodiomova — a permanent member and host of the Festival.

Speaking of the composer’s place in the musical traditions of Belarus, Mr. Finberg (who knew him personally), tells us, “Lev Abeliovich was a modest man. If he had attended this festival, he would have been greatly touched by such attention shown to his music and to his personality.”

The orchestra promotes Belarusian academic and pop music throughout the Republic. “Its obligation is to bring the joy of true music not only to Minskers but to the residents of small towns. For many years, they have been travelling countrywide; the annual holiday is Zaslavl is an example for other regions,” Mr. Finberg stressed, speaking at a press conference dedicated to the festival, which was being held in the city for the 12th time.

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