An Orthodox church in Tver
On 14 March, the International Bach Festival opened in the city of Tver on the upper approaches of the River Volga. It is being held for the 16th time and it many believe it to be one of the most dazzling music events in Russia. Maestro Garry Grodberg, a renowned organist and brilliant interpreter of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, was one of the founders of the festival. He is convinced that Bach’s music, even the most dramatic, aspires to radiance and humanity, and believes that everyone can have a dream of that ideal.
The church depicted is the Spas na Krovi in Petersburg, erected on the site of the assassination of Tsar Aleksandr Nikolaevich. The solo cellist is Aleksandr Knyazev, mentioned in the text below
On 21 March, on the German classicist’s birthday, he will perform on the stage of the Tver Philharmonic Society as a part of the festival’s programme. Such a performance by Maestro Grodberg has become a traditional part of the festival. This concert is the culmination of the crowded programme of his season of concerts. According to Maestro Grodberg, Tver is a city of rich cultural traditions. It possesses one of the best pipe-organs in Russia, and a remarkable concert hall in terms of acoustics.
Music themes at the Tver Festival differ from year to year, for example, in previous years, it concentrated on “Bach and Mozart” and “Bach and the music of German Romanticism”. This year, the festival’s theme is “Johann Sebastian Bach and the great Italians”. Classical music aficionados in Tver have a chance of listening to compositions of great Italian composers such as Vivaldi, Rossini, and Verdi. Compositions of Bach’s predecessors were also included in the concert programme.
How about some Bach played by the immortal Svyatoslav Rikhter?
The main participant in the festival is the Tver Philharmonic Orchestra under Andrei Kruzhkov. In 2007, it was awarded with the most prestigious artistic prize in Russia, the Gold Medal for Achievements in the Musical Performing Arts. The orchestra will give several concerts of chamber music and perform with prominent soloists. Amongst them are the Russian violinist Mikhail Fedotov and cellist and organist Aleksandr Knyazev. There also new names for the Tver listening public on the festival’s posters such as violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky from Great Britain, clavecin player George Kiss from France, and the Israel Chamber Orchestra.
21 March 2008
Voice of Russia World Service