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Moscow Easter Festival (Artistic director Valery Gergiev)
01 May 2016 - 17 May 2016

SCHEDULE 01 May 2016 - 17 May 2016

The Moscow Easter Festival was inaugurated by the artistic and general director of the Mariinsky Theatre (former Kirov Ballet Theahre) Valery Gergiev and the mayor of Moscow Yury Luzkov. It has quickly developed into one of the largest and most authoritative musical forums in Russia and Europe.
The First Festival was held at Easter 2002 with support of the Moscow government and blessing of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexei II. It was a resounding success and the decision was quickly taken to make the Festival an annual event, with the Russian Ministry of Culture as co-promoter.
The musical programme and the international dimension of the Festival have grown steadily richer year by year.


The XV Moscow Easter Festival runs from 1 to 17 May 2016 with the support of the Moscow City Government, the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation and with the blessing of His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. Intense in its geographic scale and the number of exclusive artistic events, the anniversary festival will be dedicated to the 125th anniversary of the birth of Sergei Prokofiev. In line with tradition, the tempo of the festival will be set by the Mariinsky Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev as well as outstanding contemporary musicians, winners of the Tchaikovsky Competition and the world's finest instrumental and choral ensembles.

The grand opening of the XV Moscow Easter Festival takes place on 1 May on Easter Day at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire. The performances by the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev commence on 29 April and will take place over nineteen days in twenty-one Russian towns: Tula, Oryol, Kursk, Smolensk, Vladimir, Moscow, Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Magnitogorsk, Perm, Votkinsk, Izhevsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Lipetsk, Voronezh, Rostov on Don, Sochi, Krasnodar, Vladikavkaz, Astrakhan and Saransk. The concert programmes include works by Sergei Prokofiev. For younger audiences in the regions there will be performances of the symphonic tale Peter and the Wolf. In line with tradition, the musicians will travel on the Moscow Easter Festival's specially chartered train.

The choral programme opens on 2 May at the Hall of Church Assemblies of the Church of Christ the Saviour where there will be a performance of Sergei Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky cantata and the cantata for mixed chorus and symphony orchestra Prosper, Our Mighty Country. Among those participating in the programme are musicians from Russia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Serbia, Armenia, Greece and Sweden. The festival will feature twenty choral ensembles: the State Academic Sveshnikov Russian Chorus (Moscow), the State Academic Yurlov Cappella of Russia (Moscow), the Patriarchal Chorus of the Church of Christ the Saviour (Moscow), the Vesnianka concert chorus (Moscow), the Russian Rhapsody ensemble of soloists (Moscow), the Overcoming chamber chorus of the rehabilitation centre for people with limited abilities (Moscow), the Mariinsky Chorus (St Petersburg), the Optina Pustyn male chorus (St Petersburg), the Vladimir Choral Boys' and Young men's Cappella (Vladimir), the Russian Partes chamber chorus (Tver), the Symbol of Faith male chamber chorus (Voronezh), the Chorus of the First Belgrade Song Society (Belgrade, Serbia), the Zero Eight male chorus (Stockholm, Sweden), the Dragostin Folk National Chorus (Sofia, Bulgaria), the Gerard Convent Women's Chorus (Yerevan, Armenia), the Rosarte children's chorus (Athens, Greece), the Mtskheta ensemble (Tbilisi, Georgia), the Byzantine chorus Thessalonikis Imnodi (Salonika, Greece), the Northern Russian Folk Chorus (Arkhangelsk) and the vocal ensemble Pomorskie Kruzhaniya (Arkhangelsk). The concert programmes will be held in Moscow, the Moscow Region (Korolyov, Balashikha, Mytishchi, Khimki, Dmitrov, Serpukhov, Istra, Zaraysk, Yegorevka and Kolomna), Tver, Staritsa, Tula, Murom, Alexandrovo, Kaluga, Ivanovka and Arkhangelsk.

The chamber programme will take in Moscow, Murmansk, Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Belgorod, Tolyatti, Vladimir, Ivanovo, Kostroma and Yaroslavl. Soloists of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers and its director Larisa Gergiev will present special programmes dedicated to the anniversary of Sergei Prokofiev's birth. The programme will also feature the Russian-German Youth Academy.

The bell-ringing programme will be held at twenty-six churches in Moscow, St Petersburg, Ramensky, Sergiev Posad, Istra, Zvenigorod and Rzhev. The open-access bell-ringing concerts will be held at historic and modern sites and at bell-towers in Moscow and the Moscow Region, including Red Square, Taganka, the Danilov Monastery and Sokolniki, the estate-museum Kolomenskoe and the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery in Zvenigorod and the New Jerusalem Monastery in Istra. This year the programme will see an increase in the number of participants; forty campanologists will be arriving from St Petersburg, Vologda, Veliky Novgorod, Yaroslavl, Rybinsk, Yekaterinburg, Omsk, Tyumen, Petrozavodsk, Nyandoma, Samara and Rzhev as well as in Minsk and Kalinkovichi (Belarus), Riga (Latvia), Pavlograd and Alchevska (Ukraine) and Bad-Laasphe (Germany).

There will be charitable concerts as part of the XV Festival at officers' homes, children's homes and shelters, homes for the disabled and homes for veterans. On 9 May (Victory Day) on Poklonnaya Hill there will be the traditional open-to-all concert by the Mariinsky Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev.


Over the years since it began as a musical celebration, the Moscow Easter Festival has turned into a cultural symbol of national significance. It is a spiritual symbol like the consecration of Holy Easter, a patriotic symbol like Victory Day; and finally for a great many Russians it symbolizes spring, hope and renewal.

This immense Russian musical forum attracts tens of thousands of listeners each year. The Festival, which is meant to reach the widest possible audience, offers programmes that range from classical masterpieces to rarely heard worksall of them performed by the finest artists of the day. Nevertheless, this Easter forum continues its policy of offering tickets at affordable prices and giving a large series of charitable concerts.

From its very inception in 2002 as the brainchild of Valery Gergiev, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Mariinsky Theatre, and Yuri Luzhkov, Mayor of Moscow, the Easter Festival immediately won the hearts of the public and the critics. The First Easter Festival had both support from the Moscow City Government and also the blessing of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II. The accolades it received soon determined its future: it was to be an annual event. In 2003 with the support of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, it was granted nationwide status.

The Moscow Easter Festival holds a distinguished position among such western European Easter musical forums as those in Salzburg, Vienna, Berlin, Lucerne, and London.

The Festival has become the annual culmination of the musical season in the capital and all across Russia as it presents a series of 150 events during two to three weeks.

From the very beginning the Moscow Easter Festival was set apart from others by its social prioritiescharity, education and enlightenmentthat are advanced in each of the four main Festival categories: the symphonic, chamber, and choral programmes as well as Bells Week.

Through the years the Moscow Easter Festival has been host to several thousand artists from all over the world, among them both world-class stars and promising young artists. The Festival's concerts have been graced by such fine vocalists as Anna Netrebko, Olga Borodina, Natalie Dessay, Vladimir Galouzine, Bryn Terfel, Ferruccio Furlanetto, and Ildar Abdrazakov. There have been violinists such as Vadim Repin, Viktoria Mullova, Nikolaj Zneider, and Leonidas Kavakos; violist Yuri Bashmet; cellists such as Mischa Maisky, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, and Sergei Roldugin; pianists Denis Matsuev, Mikhail Pletnev, Lang Lang, Vladimir Feltsman, Alexander Toradze, and Yefim Bronfman along with many, many more.

The symphonic programme, which began as a series of concerts in Moscow, has now reached more than 30 cities in Russia and surrounding countries.

The choral programme started in 2002 with concerts in Moscow by 7 choirs, but in the very next year choral performances were heard in 6 cities. In each subsequent season the programme covered more and more territory. Through the generous cooperation of the Russian Orthodox Church, for the first time in history it became possible to give concerts of liturgical choral music in active places of worship. Choral groups from countries near and far are another important part of the choral programme.

From the very first days of the Festival, a broad segment of the public was drawn to the art of Easter bell ringing as the best Russian practitioners of it came each year to Moscow for the Bells Week programme. In 2002 for the first time since 1917 a garland of bells was recreated in the historical centre of Moscow with the bells ringing out from one church to another.

As part of the chamber programme in 2003 the Academy of Young Opera Singers of the Mariinsky Theatre directed by Larisa Gergieva performed in 7 cities. Artists from the Academy have now travelled all across the country.

The Festival's charitable concerts in municipal hospitals, veterans' and children's institutions, and children's music schools give those who might be unable to go to a concert hall the opportunity to hear fine musical programmes. Each season there is also a free concert for students and faculty at Moscow State University.

A constant feature in every Easter Festival is the free concert at Poklonnaya Gora in Moscow on Victory Day which draws about 300,000 listeners each year.

SCHEDULE 01 May 2016 - 17 May 2016

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