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Launched in 2013 by world famous director Emir Kusturica, the Kustendorf CLASSIC is an annual competitive festival directed at supporting young musicians. Held over four categories — piano, strings, wind instruments and vocals — participation in the Festival is completely free of charge, with the winners in the selection rounds given the chance to travel to Serbia and perform on the same stage as international stars.
Music gives us the opportunity to escape limitations, and feel genuine freedom. This independence of spirit is, for the fourth year running, filling Mokra Gora.
The main symbol of the festival is the musical matryoshka, reflecting the real essence of pan-Slavic unity — the embodiment of which lies in freedom of musical expression.
The Bolshoy Festival is a unique forum, harmoniously mixing musical styles, with both master musicians and absolute beginners performing on the same stage, and with everyone mixing with everyone else. There are no VIP zones, no ‘gongs’, and no hierarchies or one-upmanship, just creative freedom — making for a unique, festive atmosphere. And more and more young Russian musicians are coming to Drvengrad every year. For young people, taking part in the festival represents a very important stage in their creative journey — an event that shapes their world view, and highlights the boundlessness and universality of the language of music. And meeting famous stars gives them a genuinely unique opportunity to understand the secrets of mastering their art.
The power of this festival lies in bringing people together. It’s very important for young people to come together in the same place, and every competition marks a particular point in their lives. Talent is a mission they have been given in order to change the world for the better.
I’ve been involved in organising many festivals, and I can say that Mecavnik has an absolutely amazing history of what you might call love of the land, love for one’s people, and love for music. You have here that bustling “Kusturican” atmosphere, a vortex of passions — in the best sense of the word. From the minute I stepped onto the stage, I could feel how understanding and receptive the audience were. We can be proud of the fact that a generation has emerged over the past 20 years, brought up to attend concerts like this. This festival makes names — names that will, in the near future, make the Russian school of musicianship famous.
Drvengrad was built for scenes in Emir Kusturica’s film “Life is Beautiful” near the station on the narrow-gauge railway that once united Belgrade with Dubrovnik, on the Mecavnik hill in the Mokra Gora national park.Read more