Voices from Russia

Friday, 20 June 2008

The Centenary of Futurism

Visual Synthesis of the Idea: “War”

Gino Severini

1914

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Moscow’s Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts opened an exhibition to mark the approaching centenary of the foundation of Italian Futurism. The exhibition features artworks by Italian and Russian artists. In 1909, the Italian poet Filippo Marinetti published the famous Futurist Manifesto and launched a new movement that rejected the past, celebrated speed and machinery, and sought the modernisation and cultural rejuvenation of Italy. Marinetti denounced Italy as a museum of the past and called for getting rid of “professors, archaeologists, and antiquarians”. Sixteen days after its release, the Manifesto was published in Russia. Like their Italian counterparts, the Russian Futurists were fascinated with dynamism, speed, and the restlessness of modern urban life. They purposely sought to arouse controversy and to attract publicity by repudiating the standards of the past. The likes of Pushkin, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy, according to their own manifesto of 1912, should be “heaved overboard from the steamship of modernity”.

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Abstract Speed + Sound (Giacomo Balla, 1914)

Irina Antonova, Director of the Pushkin Museum points out that there were considerable differences between Russian and Italian Futurists. “Italian artists sought ways to show speed, aggressive intensity, and dynamism. In contrast to them, Russian Futurism was a literary rather than a plastic movement. Most Russian artists who propounded Futurism were trying to implement the canons and style of Futurism, but, developed their own highly individual manner”. The Pushkin Moscow has completely renovated its interior to create a pastiche that toys with Futurist ideas. Its luxurious grand staircase is covered with a fabric mottled with Futurist texts, whilst the marble walls of the side galleries are hidden under graphics and poetry. About 30 museums of Russia, Israel, Italy, Switzerland, and the United States provided showpieces for this exposition. It boasts sculptures and canvasses by Gino Severini and Umberto Boccioni, and legendary noise machines by Luigi Russolo. Born as a rejection of the past, Futurism died away within a short period of time. In Russia, its influence was paramount for only seven years, as there were few who dared to heave Pushkin and Dostoevsky overboard from the steamship of modernity. At present, Futurism is no longer regarded as a total annihilation of tradition, but, rather, as a significant component of modern Western culture.

19 June 2008

Olga Bugrova

Voice of Russia World Service

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28609&cid=62&p=19.06.2008

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

18 June 2008. A Shot of Culture, if you please…

Main Prize of the Kinotavr Russian Film Festival Goes to the Movie Schultes

A short clip from Schultes

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The Main Prize of the 19th Kinotavr Russian Film Festival has gone to the movie Schultes by director and scriptwriter Bakur Bkuradze. This came in a statement during the festival’s closing ceremony on Sunday. According to Pavel Chukhrai, the chairman of the panel of judges, the festival is bound to support this kind of movie. In Schultes, the main character leads a double life. At present, he is a poor soul who lost his memory. In the past, he was a thief. The film is an attempt to understand his troubled personality. Mr Chukrai believed that the director’s point is to ask the audience if they think that they are any better than the protagonist.

16 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28414&cid=51&p=16.06.2008

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Moscow’s Pushkin Fine Arts Museum to Take its Collection of Matisse to an Exhibition in Shanghai

The Dessert: Harmony in Red

Henri Matisse

1908

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Moscow’s Pushkin Fine Arts Museum is going to take its collection of paintings, drawings, etchings, and statuettes by the French post-impressionist artist Henri Matisse to a panoramic exhibition in Shanghai. The opening is due for 2010. The announcement came from the chief curator at the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum, Dr Irina Antonova.

16 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28452&cid=51&p=16.06.2008

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Book about Valery Gergiev Published

Maestro Valery Gergiev (1953- ), Artistic Director of the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg

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The book Valery Gergiev. Music. Theatre. Life, comprising statements made by the Maestro, was presented in St Petersburg’s Angleterre Hotel in the presence of Maestro Gergiev. The book is based on quotations from the conductor, his thoughts, and comments, presented in the form of a diary. Maestro Gergiev voiced the hope that the book would enable readers to get an idea of how much the Mariinsky theatre company has done over the years to push their theatre into a leading position on the world art music scene. In his opinion, the theatre exerts every effort to ensure that St Petersburg continues as a world cultural capital in real terms.

17 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28494&cid=87&p=17.06.2008

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Third International Festival of Baltic Cities Due in St Petersburg

Interior of the Hermitage in St Petersburg

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The Third International Festival of Baltic Cities is due in St Petersburg. According to the festival director, Sergei Shub, St Petersburg came up with the idea of holding this kind of festival, since the city boasts much experience in staging this sort of thing. Art celebrities now pave the way for politicians, who sometimes find it difficult to meet each other halfway. The festival agenda features a roundtable discussion entitled Culture as a Universal Language in the Baltic Countries’ Dialogue.

17 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28494&cid=87&p=17.06.2008

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Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater Begins a Week-Long Tour of Latvia

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A voice from the past of the Bolshoi, tenor Zurab Andjaparidze

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Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater begins a weeklong tour of Latvia as part of a festival of Russian culture opening today in this former Soviet Baltic republic. Last year, the Latvian National Opera Company performed in Moscow as part of a Latvian art festival in Russia. The Bolshoi’s tour kicks off a long series of Russian cultural events, concerts, and exhibitions to run throughout the summer.

17 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28461&cid=51&p=17.06.2008

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Julio Iglesias Concert in Moscow Tonight

Julio Iglesias (1943- ), famous Spanish pop singer

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The famous Spanish crooner Julio Iglesias is kicking off a new Russian tour with a single concert in Moscow tonight, offering the audience a wide selection of new songs and old hits like Manuela, Hey, and El Amor. Señor Iglesias turns 65 in September; he says that this is his farewell tour. During his long career, Julio Iglesias has released a staggering 77 albums and has given almost 5,000 concerts.

17 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28493&cid=51&p=17.06.2008

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Life in World Heritage Monuments Exhibition Opens in Moscow

Golden Twenties development in Berlin, designed by Bruno Taut, built 1927-28

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The presentation-exhibition Life in World Heritage Monuments. Residential Heighbourhoods of Berlin Constructivism opened in Moscow. The exhibition documents the history of the construction of settlements built to the design of the German constructivist architect Bruno Taut in Berlin and its suburbs in the 1920s. The travelling exhibition has already been in Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Athens, and Glasgow, and is timed for the 125th anniversary of Herr Taut’s birth.

18 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28534&cid=87&p=18.06.2008

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Solo Exhibition by Photographer Marina Antonova Due in St Petersburg

From the cycle “Planeta Petersburg”

Marina Antonova

2008

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The magazine Digital Photo is due to launch a solo exhibition of the artistic photographer Marina Antonova in St Petersburg this coming Friday. The project, officially known as Planet Petersburg, is due to last for a whole year. Visitors will be welcome to enjoy the artist’s large panoramic canvases, of which some are more than 5 metres (@16 feet) long.

From the cycle “Planeta Petersburg”

Marina Antonova

2008

18 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28534&cid=87&p=18.06.2008

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Voice of Russia World Service

Sunday, 15 June 2008

15 June 2008. A Shot of Culture, if you please…

Programmes of the year of France in Russia and the year of Russia in France to be presented in Paris

Muriel Mayette, director of the Comédie-Française

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The programmes of the Year of France in Russia and the Year of Russia in France shall be presented in Paris later today. Under an agreement between the leaders of the two countries, large-scale cultural events shall be staged simultaneously in 2010. An exhibition entitled Holy Russia in Paris shall be the culmination of the event. A tour of the Comédie-Française theatre troupe in Russia is one of the French offerings.

10 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28229&cid=51&p=10.06.2008

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Painting by Natalia Goncharova fetched record price at Russian art auction at Sotheby’s

A Still Life with Peonies

Natalia Goncharova

1900s-10s?

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A Still Life with Fruits by the early-20th-century artist Natalia Goncharova fetched a record price of 2.28 million pounds (105.71 million roubles. 2.881 million euros. 4.446 million USD) at yesterday’s Russian art auction at Sotheby’s. The Winter Landscape by Ivan Aivazovsky went for 555,000 pounds (25.742 million roubles. 702,329 euros. 1.082 million USD), seven times that of the start-up price. Zinaida Serebryakova’s Nude was sold for more than a million pounds (46.383 million roubles. 1.265 million euros. 1.95 million USD), about five times higher than expected. The auction’s organisers say it pushed a plank for Russian art sales further up.

10 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28266&cid=51&p=10.06.2008

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The Prince Lobanov-Rostovsky collection bought for the Konstantin Palace

Aleksei Lobanov-Rostovsky (1824-96), diplomat, scholar, and art collector

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The charitable foundation that funded the recent restoration of the Konstantin Palace near St Petersburg bought a world-famous collection of Russian art, namely the collection of Prince Lobanov-Rostovsky. The collection is the second world-famous collection of Russian artworks that’s due to be put on display at the Konstantin Palace. Last year, the Palace obtained the collection of Mstislav Rostropovich and Galina Vishnevskaya.

10 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28240&cid=87&p=10.06.2008

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10th International Beer Festival due in Moscow

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Not exactly from this festival… a funny beer ad, though.

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The 10th International Beer Festival is due in Moscow from the 14th to the 22nd of this month. Guests to the event are welcome to taste up to 130 sorts of beer by more than 20 breweries. The visitors will be likewise welcome to a retrospective exhibition of beer and to a beer museum featuring a great number of exhibits. Another highlight of the event is a firework festival, a highlight that’ll be around every day until the beer festival is over.

10 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28240&cid=87&p=10.06.2008

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Moscow prepared to play host to next year’s Eurovision music contest

Yevgeny Plyushchenko (1982- ), Olympic championship figure-skater

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2009 Eurovision contestant, Sakis Rouvas (1972- ) from Greece

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The Moscow city government said that the city is prepared to play host to next year’s Eurovision international music contest, if Moscow is chosen as the venue for the event. Russia qualified for the right to host the competition following Russian singer Dima Bilan’s recent victory in Belgrade. Dima performed the song Believe Me accompanied by dancing by the world-famous Olympic champion figure-skater, Yevgeny Plyushchenko, and the playing of Hungarian violinist Edvin Marton, who played a Stradivarius, ensured him a record 272 points. So far, the venue for Eurovision-2009 hasn’t yet been determined. The likely candidates are Moscow, St Petersburg, and Sochi.

11 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28300&cid=51&p=11.06.2008

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Pushkin Museum shall open an exhibition in Tokyo of pictures by Rodchenko

Dance: An Objectless Composition

Aleksandr Rodchenko

1915

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At the beginning of 2010, Moscow’s Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts shall treat art lovers in Tokyo to an exhibition of pictures by the Russian avant-garde painter, graphic artist and photographer Aleksandr Rodchenko. The Tokyo newspaper Asahi is expected to offer its sponsorship for the project at talks in Moscow next month. This was confirmed by the chief curator of the Pushkin Museum, Dr Irina Antonova.

11 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28314&cid=51&p=11.06.2008

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International band festival in St Petersburg dedicated to Russia Day

Golubiye Bereti (The Blue Berets), A Russian Army rock band

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An international brass band festival in St Petersburg is dedicated to Russia Day. The combined orchestra will march in a grand procession along the Nevsky Prospekt to lend a festive atmosphere to the city on Thursday, 12 June. Last on the holiday agenda are several extravaganza concerts at sports complexes and concert halls. Also on Thursday, the Palace Square in front of the Winter Palace shall host a gala concert of Russian pop stars to the accompaniment of military bands.

11 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28292&cid=87&p=11.06.2008

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Open-air jazz festival kicks off near Moscow

Charlie Hunter (1967- ), great American jazzman

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More than 50 well-known jazz bands from different countries shall perform at an open-air jazz festival that kicked off at the Arkhangelskoye estate and museum near Moscow today. The program covers all genres, swing, lounge, funk, ethno-jazz, fusion, and even jazz-rock. Russia is represented by Igor and Oleg Butman, Aleksei Kozlov with his Arsenal band, and the Billy’s Band group. There will be a competition of young jazzmen. Jazz lovers are in for a real treat, an exclusive concert by a legendary American jazz ensemble, the Charlie Hunter Trio.

12 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28339&cid=51&p=12.06.2008

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Noah’s Ark International Film Festival opens in Chechen capital

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The Noah’s Ark International Film Festival opens in the Chechen capital of Grozny later today. It is aimed at bringing closer people of various nationalities, faiths, and culture. Among the guests of the festival are Hollywood stars Mark Dacascos and Armand Assante. The jury has selected 44 films from 21 countries. The organisers hope to stage the festival annually.

13 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28353&cid=51&p=13.06.2008

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Memorial to Tsaritsa Yekaterina Velikaya unveiled in Sevastopol

An Equestrian Portrait of Grand Princess Yekaterina Alekseyevna (later Tsaritsa Yekaterina Velikaya)

Georg Christoph Grooth

1746

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After two days of picketing by City Hall deputies and Cossacks, a memorial to Tsaritsa Yekaterina Velikaya was unveiled in Sevastopol on Sunday. City Hall initiated the move despite Kiev’s unhappiness with the installation, which was initially expected on Saturday. Sevastopol was founded as the main base for the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which recently marked its 225th anniversary.

15 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28393&cid=51&p=15.06.2008

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Russian writer grabbed one of the most prestigious European literary prizes

Lyudmila Ulitskaya (1943- ), Russian novelist

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Russian writer Lyudmila Ulitskaya grabbed one of the most prestigious European literary prizes, the Grinzane Cavour Prize, for her novel Sincerely Yours, Shurik. The awards ceremony was held on Saturday in a medieval castle located on the outskirts of the Italian city of Torino. Previously, Ulitskaya’s other works were also much admired by the reading public in Italy, whose youth jury jointly with students from MGU and St Petersburg State University awarded Ulitskaya the prize.

15 June 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=28394&cid=51&p=15.06.2008

Voice of Russia World Service

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