Saturday, April 18, 2009

Russia Celebrates Orthodox Easter With Cultural Festival

From the Moscow Times:
Among the events on Sunday in celebration of the Russian Orthodox Easter will be the opening concert of the eighth annual Moscow Easter Festival.

Continuing until Victory Day on May 9, this year's festival will include the usual mix of symphonic and choral concerts and afternoon bell ringing from the towers of churches throughout the city.

In addition to its local program, the Easter Festival again reaches far beyond Moscow, bringing music to some 26 Russian cities and, for the first time in its history, going outside of the country for a pair of concerts in the Armenian capital, Yerevan.

The artistic director of the festival since its founding in 2002 has been conductor Valery Gergiev, and dominating its agenda have been performances by the orchestra of St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater, of which Gergiev is also artistic director. Once again, it seems fair to ask whether any other city in the world blessed with musical talent comparable to Moscow's would almost exclusively enlist musicians from elsewhere for the central element of a festival bearing its name. Rather by way of exception this year, a single slot in the festival's symphonic program has been allotted to a Moscow-based ensemble, the Novaya Rossiya Orchestra.
Happy Easter to our Russian (and all our Eastern Rite) readers!