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30 December 2016

Traditions and Metamorphoses of the “December Nights”

Декабрьские вечера Святослава Рихтера

The “December Nights” in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

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On December 29, 2016, the XXXVI International Music Festival “December Nights of Sviatoslav Richter,” which traditionally takes place during the last months of the year at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, ended in Moscow.

The festival’s history dates back to 1981, when on the initiative of Irina Antonova, the Museum Director, and Sviatoslav Richter, the virtuoso pianist, “December Nights” became a symbol of the museum. After the death of the musician in 1997, the festival was named after him and Yuri Bashmet became the artistic director.

The festival’s feature is the simultaneous holding of concerts and art exhibitions united by one theme. The theme of this season has been “Traditions, Dialogue, Metamorphoses.”

One of the central events of the festival, of course, was the concert featuring the musicians, whose names say it all: Denis Matsuev, Alexander Rudin, Tatiana Samuel, Yuri Bashmet and the Soloists of Moscow chamber ensemble. The audience seats had to be almost doubled because the tickets for the concert were sold out well before the event. It happens quite seldom when one gets to hear the pieces composed by Schubert, Paganini, Brahms and Schnittke performed by such a composition of famous musicians; moreover, the viola of Yuri Bashmet is given life only on special occasions.

An early music ensemble Le Poeme Harmonique from France and Russian vocalists of the Intrada group under the direction of Ekaterina Antonenko shared their vision of the current festival theme at the final concert. The repertoire was chosen appropriately: pieces by the composers of the time of Louis XIV and those of anonymous authors of the XVII century.

All the events held within the festival took place with consistently great success and attracted a lot of connoisseurs by the fine program, famous performers and, of course, the dialogue between artistic images and music.

The XXXVI International Music Festival “December Nights of Sviatoslav Richter” is traditionally held with the support of Gazprom Export.

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