In Сelebration of
90th Birthday

Moscow-St Petersburg

27 March–5 April 2016

Through performing music, I defend human rights. What matters most to me is knowing that people are happy and free.
Mstislav Rostropovich

The VII Mstislav Rostropovich International Festival will open on March 27th 2016 with a Gala event at the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire. The Festival was founded in 2010 in memory of this great musician and humanist. Today, it is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Government of Moscow, and the Mstislav Rostropovich Foundation for Cultural and Humanitarian Programs, whose President, Olga Rostropovich is also Artistic Director of the Festival.

The cultural community and the media have defined the Festival as “one of the key events of the spring season in Moscow”, noting it is “always eagerly awaited for the guaranteed level of excellence.” Over its six years of life, the Festival has seen the participation of 25 orchestras, 8 choirs, 28 conductors, and over 80 soloists. Its programmes have been enhanced through performances of works in a great variety of genres and styles given by world-renowned musicians, and has been further enriched by many brilliant premieres and the debuts of young talents. The Mstislav Rostropovich International Festival can pride itself on first presenting in Moscow such artists as the pianist Rudolf Buchbinder, the conductors Christoph Eschenbach and Dmitri Jurowski, as well as staging the Russian debuts of the cellists Enrico Dindo and Truls Mørk, the pianist Yuja Wang, the violinist Ray Chen, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Tonkunstler Orchestra. Amongst the Festival’s other revelations and novelties were the first appearance in Moscow for more than 50 years of the world-famous American Ballet Theatre, the return (after a long break from the stage) of the violinist Maxim Vengerov in solo recital as well as of the Orchestre de Paris, back to Moscow after 23 years.

The 2016 Festival is dedicated to the 90th birthday festivities of Galina Vishnevskaya, Rostropovich's muse. On 27th March, the Maestro's birthday, the opening performance will be of Mozart's Requiem at the Grand Hall of the Conservatoire – a work which was a firm favourite with both Vishnevskaya and Rostropovich. On this occasion the soloists will include the distinguished singers Barbara Frittoli, Daniela Barcellona, Ramón Vargas, Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, performing together with the Russian National Orchestra and the Yurlov Sate Academic Choir under the baton of Massimo Zanetti. Further performances will take place in Moscow during the 10 days of the Festival: on April 2nd the London Philharmonic Orchestra under its chief conductor, Vladimir Jurowski with the violinist Boris Brovtsyn as soloist, on 5th April the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France with Myung-Whun Chung in the double role of conductor and pianist – indeed it is the first time he will appear in Moscow in the guise of piano soloist since winning the second prize at the Tchaikovsky International Competition in 1974.

One of the main events of the Festival will be a concert performance on 30th March of Giuseppe Verdi's Aida, the opera in which Galina Vishnevskaya dazzled audiences with her appearances in the title role at opera houses throughout the world. The cast in this performance will be made up of Maria José Siri, Veronica Simeoni, Fabio Sartori, and other well-known singers, as well as the choir and orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under Maestro Zubin Mehta.

According to established tradition, the Festival will also welcome the participation of many brilliant young musicians. First and foremost, the French pianist Luca Debargue (the Russian audience favourite amongst prize-winners of the 2015 Tchaikovsky competition) will give a solo recital at the Grand Hall of the Conservatoire on 29 March. Then on 3rd April a group of soloists from the Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Centre will give a concert in Kronstadt, the town where the great singer was born, followed the next day by a staged performance of Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, which is recognised as one of the Opera Centre’s most striking productions, at the Hermitage Theatre in St. Petersburg.

The Artistic Director of the Festival, Olga Rostropovich never tires of emphasising the continuous link between the life and work of her great parents and their innumerable admirers, the contemporary world, as well as of the Festival itself, which she has erected as a monument to honour them. “Here stand, invisible to us, two happy, loving people, holding hands, – my parents. Together with us, they will be listening to the music – that music which meant everything to them.”

Greetings from Olga Rostropovich

Greetings from Olga Rostropovich

Dear Friends! From the bottom of my heart I extend to you a warm welcome to the VII Mstislav Rostropovich International Festival. [Read more]

Greetings from Vladimir Medinsky

Greetings from Vladimir Medinsky

Dear Guests! Each year with the approach of spring we impatiently await the opening of the Mstislav Rostropovich International Festival. [Read more]

Greetings from Sergei Sobyanin

Greetings from Sergei Sobyanin

Dear Friends, once more the time has come round for this great celebration of Art here in Moscow.
[Read more]

© International Rostropovich Festival “Mstislav Rostropovich Week”, 2010 — 2017