4th Bolshoi Classical Music Festival in Mećavnik, 15 July

The fourth music festival Bolshoi will take place 15-17 July in the ethnic village of Mećavnik (Mokra Gora National Park), with support from Gazprom Neft as the general sponsor.

During the three festival days, the main stage of Drvengrad will feature performances of classical and contemporary pieces of Russian and Serbian composers by 65 young performers coming from music schools and academies from Serbia, Republic of Srpska and Russia. Split in two age groups (13-17 and 18-25), they will compete for the Gold, Silver and Bronze Matryoshka.

The Russian contenders come from seven cities: Muravlenko, Mys-Kamennyy, Noyabrsk, Omsk, Orenburg, Tomsk and Khanty-Mansiysk. The festival’s international jury will be headed by Yuri Rozum, a famous pianist, People’s Artist of Russia, soloist of the Moscow State Philharmonic Orchestra. The jury also includes Ljiljana Nestorovska, Dean of Belgrade Faculty of Music, and Zoran Komadina, Professor of Music Academy of East Sarajevo.

The Bolshoi Festival represents an effort to create a platform for a dialogue between young talents from Serbia, Republic of Srpska and Russia, and offers an opportunity for sharing experiences and musical and social networking.

This year’s festival has been given a new visual identity, uniting the cultural values of the two Slavic people – Russian and Serbian. The festival logo comprises multiple symbols, the central one being the Russian babushka in the colours of the national flags of Russia and Serbia.

The central features of this year’s event will be performances by violoncellist Narek Akhnazaryan, the winner of the international music competition carrying the name of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, as well as performances by world renowned musicians of Serbian origin – tenor Zoran Todorović and violinist Nemanja Radulović.

A performance by Zoran Todorović, one of the world’s greatest lyric tenors, will open the first festival day’s concert line-up, with a series of classical arias.

The evening programme on the second festival day will feature a solo concert by Yuri Rozum and a performance by Narek Akhnazaryan accompanied by the Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra conducted by Srboljub Dinić, Director of Mexico City Opera.

The Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra was established in 2015 owing to the classical music festival of the same name. The idea to establish their own orchestra evolved from a desire to give young artists and students an opportunity for their first professional appearances with distinguished classical music performers.

On the third festival day, the famous violinist Nemanja Radulović will perform pieces of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Johann Sebastian Bach and Dmitry Shostakovich, accompanied by the Double Sens Ensemble.

The Bolshoi Quintet will sound the final note of the festival by performing the score from the movie Aelita: Queen of Mars by Yakov Protazanov.

Media partners of the fourth festival are: TV channels Russia 24 and Russia Today, Snob magazine, the Russian website Lenta.ru and the Serbian daily Politika.

As part of the festival, the organisers have also prepared master classes with Narek Akhnazaryan for cello, Yuri Rozum for piano, Nemanja Radulović for violin, as well as vocal exercises with Zoran Todorović.

“Gazprom Neft is the largest foreign investor in Serbia, the scope of which extends beyond commercial, industrial projects. Support to the Bolshoi Festival is an investment into the promotion of cultural and social cooperation between the two counties, two fraternal nations, and into strengthening the historical ties between Russia and Serbia. Participating in this festival gives a chance to young performers to exchange experiences, to work with classical music masters and to develop and perfect their musicianship,” says Alexander Dybal, Deputy CEO for Corporate Communications at Gazprom Neft.

The Bolshoi Festival of Russian Music, under the auspices of the film director Emir Kusturica, was established in 2013 and takes place in the ethnic village of Drvengrad. Since its inception, Gazprom Neft has been the general sponsor of the festival. The underlying concept is to support young talents from music schools and academies from Serbia and talented young people from various regions of Russia. The Bolshoi Festival gathers around 5,000 attendees every year. The artists performing at the festival in Drvengrad include some of the most distinguished Russian and Serbian musicians: Denis Matsuev, Yuri Rozum, Nemanja Radulović and Alena Baeva.

Drvengrad is situated at 1,600 meters above sea level in the region of Mountain Zlatibor (Mokra Gora National Park) and represents a unique architectural project of Emir Kusturica. Drvengrad was built for the shooting of his film “Life is a Miracle” in the vicinity of a railway station on the narrow-gauge railroad that had once connected Belgrade with Dubrovnik. The small town, which has around 50 houses only, is centred around Nikola Tesla Square, the main building of which is the Church of St. Sava. All the streets and buildings carry a special name of a celebrity: Novak Djokovic Street, Maradona Street, Stanley Kubrick Cinema, Nikita Mikhalkov Square, the House of Dostoevsky, and many more.

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