First International Master Class Festival “Glory to the Maestro!”
September 13-19, 2009
Text by Marina Lukanina
The first international master class festival organized by the Mstislav Rostopovich Fund will be held at the Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Center on September 13-19, 2009. The festival will be devoted to the world famous musician Mstislav Rostropovich. The Russia Ministry of Culture and the Rostropovich Fund for Gifted Music Students are the founders of this festival. The Rostropovich Fund established in 1991 helps gifted young musicians enhance their arts’ careers. The fund operates thanks to private and corporate donations.
Passport spoke about the Master Class Festival “Glory to the Maestro!” with the fund president and also the initiator of this project, Olga Rostopovich.
How did you come up with this idea of an international master class festival?
One day I was at the office and the idea of a master class festival simply dawned on me. I decided it should be an evening event in the format of a concert around three hours long for a week. There has never been a master class festival here before so that is why I thought it would be an interesting and original project.
What is the concept of the festival?
The concept is based on providing an opportunity for young musicians to learn some professional secrets from virtuoso musicians. It ensures an interactive dialogue between reputable famous musicians and young musicians and the audience. The program will run in the evenings.
There will be young musicians performing, and world-famous musicians, such as Yuri Bashmet or Van Cliburn will be talking to them, discussing their performances and sharing their perspective on music. The audience will witness how each musician views one or another’s piece of music. It will be impossible to continue listening to the music or playing a musical instrument in the same way after attending this master class.
How did you choose the program?
The program is a very comprehensive one and is full of real stars. I had to figure out who would be able to give a master class because this is not something any musician, even an experienced one can do. Being able to eloquently speak in public about music and the necessary skills to perform it is essential. So that’s how I came up with the musicians’ names that you see in the program.
The festival opens with David Geringas, a cellist and conductor, one of Mstislav Rostropovich’s favorite students. Sergey Krylov, a brilliant musician will be giving violin master classes and Yuri Bashmet will be offering an alto-master class. Other members of the festival include Harri Maki (clarinet) and Arkady Shilkloper (French horn). The highlight of the program is the closing evening with Galina Vishnevskaya and her master class in singing.
I am proud that I was able to convince Van Cliburn to give his master class during the festival. It will be first time that he has given one in Russia and Europe. He truly is a legendary man who received the first prize at the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958.
How expensive will the tickets to the festival be?
The entrance to the festival will be free. It was clear to me from the beginning that such events must be free for the public. For the past two years I have always thought: “how would my father do this?” I am sure he would have never charged anything for a master class; therefore I am making this event free of charge.
What other arts projects of the Rostropovich Fund are coming up?
Starting in September, we plan to organize a children’s matinee on the last Sunday of every month. Our target audience will be primarily disadvantaged kids (disabled, orphans, etc). In an interactive and fun way, children will be told about world famous composers. Our fund scholarship recipients will be performing during these matinees. We will also offer children the chance to try to play musical instruments.
Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has suggested that we organize a festival in Moscow called “Rostropovich Week” devoted to my father’s birthday in March. It will be held from March 27 to April 2, 2010. The fund will organize this together with the Moscow government. For the opening night we’ll have Yuri Temirkanov with his St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Other Festival participants include the English Chamber Orchestra, Mikhail Pletnev with the Russian National Orchestra and, of course, Yuri Bashmet.