Emir Kusturica and Gazprom Neft deliver the sixth “Bolshoy” Music Festival
The Sixth “Bolshoy” Festival of Russian Music opened on 14 July in the ethno-village of Mečavnik (in the Mokra Gora national park), a joint project between the famous Serbian film director Emir Kusturica and Gazprom Neft, the main idea of which is to support talented young musicians from Serbia and Russia. Twenty seven young musicians are taking part in the festival, from the Yamalo-Nenets and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrugs, Tyumen, Omsk, Tomsk, Orenburg and Moscow.
Over the course of four days young musicians will compete in their mastery of Russian classical music, in categories including piano, strings, woodwind and vocals, before a jury comprising People’s Artist of the Russian Federation Yuri Rozum, Dean of the Music Academy of the University of East Sarajevo, Dražan Kosoriḉ, and composer and conductor Zoran Komadina.
As is traditional, the Bolshoy Festival cultural programme includes performances from classical music stars, with the star of this year’s “Russian Night” being pianist Denis Matsuev. In addition to this, violinists Nemanja Radulović, Julian Rachlin, Roman Simovic and the Bolshoy Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Ivan Josip) will be taking the stage. As always, famous musicians will be holding master-classes for talented young people from Russia and Serbia, throughout the Festival.
A special project awaits guests and participants at this year’s Festival — Vsevolod Pudovkin’s new silent film, “Chess Fever”, with musical accompaniment from former Captain Beefheart guitarist Gary Lucas.
Gazprom Neft Deputy CEO for Corporate Communications Alexander Dybal commented: “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 — creating 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.”
Director Emir Kusturica stressed: “I sincerely believe Fedor Dostoevsky’s words — that beauty will save the world. The Bolshoy Festival is an opportunity for young talent from Russia’s and Serbia’s most remote corners to be heard — and, in developing new talents, the Festival, to some extent, at least, gives them a path in life: and that means we are bringing in another, small, piece of beauty into the world, making it a bit better. Partnering with a Russian company on this project is absolutely right — indeed, our countries have a longstanding and closely entwined history, and at Gazprom Neft they completely share our idea of the Festival, and believe, as I do, believe, that classical music can be both useful and important in the world today. Which is why we’ve been together for six years now, and the Bolshoy has become a well-known event beyond our two countries.”