News from Russia

ECMTA Vice-Chairman Keijo Aho also contributes this report on the Vmeste-Together! Festival in Petrozavodsk

Vmeste! Together!
International Youth Festival in Petrodzavodsk in 26. - 28.3.2013

Already since 2009 there has arranged a festival called "Together" for professionals and amateurs, adults and children in Petrodzavodsk, in Russian side of Carelia. Each year there has been a different theme in the festival and this year it was "Mozart of the III Century". Next year the festival will concentrate on chamber music.

The main organizer of the event has been an institutional member of ECMTA, Mily Balakirev Children School of Arts in co- operation with other music institutions of the city.

As part of the festival there were competitions for both solo- and chamber music performers and solo players. In each category there were groups from 6 years old children to adults and family music. The competitors came from different institutions from the western side of Russia, especially, of course, from the area of Carelia. The main part of jury consisted of teachers of the Conservatory of Petrodzavodsk and some other institutions, but there was also an ECMTA – member Francesca Durante from Italy, who had participated to the pre- screening of the competitors through cd- recordings, and Vice -Chairman Keijo Aho, who was present at the festival and in the jury of the competition. He had also some masterclasses for the students from Petrodzavodsk and Vologda.

Each participant of the competition got rewarded a diploma and the best ones got in addition 1- 3 prizes. Two contestants, 13- years old girl from Petrodzavodsk, Galina Ivanova and pianoduo Elisabeth and Anastasia Postnikovi from Vologda got the most valuable Grand Prix.

Every day there was also a concert, where one could admire multifaceted and comfortable performances of the students. Because of the spirit of Children´s art school as well as that of their festival, one could also enjoy a lot of dancing, paintings, singing and music-making with original Russian instruments. It was really nice to listen, for example, to Mozart played in an intensive way by a domra- ensemble (a Russian string instrument, a little like balalaika).

In the final concert there were, of course, performances of the most successful participants from all categories of the competition. The concert hall of the Carelian Philharminic was almost sold-out, and the atmosphere was warm and family-like with speeches, prize distributions and nice performances.

In all the Vmeste festival is a combination of old-fashioned and modern, and one can only hope, that it will remain that sympathetic, warm and friendly atmosphere. It is something different and therefore it is the force of the festival.

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