Gazprom Neft gifts a concert piano to the Russian House in Belgrade

Gazprom Neft has presented the Russian House – Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Belgrade with a handcrafted Steinway & Sons concert grand piano.

The instrument is made up of more than 12,000 individual parts, and is considered a music industry standard when it comes to concert instruments. This was Gazprom Neft’s contribution to the celebrations held to mark the 85th anniversary of the establishment of the Russian House in Belgrade, the oldest foreign cultural centre in the city.

“For a number of years, Gazprom Neft has been Serbia’s largest foreign investor. Moreover, our company has launched many projects related to culture in this country, predominantly aimed at strengthening the centuries-old relations and preserving the common heritage of Serbia and Russia. This gift to the Russian House represents our contribution to the further development of these relations, which will include performances by world-renowned pianists, as well as the use of this piano at the festival of Russian music in Serbia, organized – with our support – by Emir Kusturica. We plan to invite Denis Matsuev to this festival, to give the first performance on this piano”, said Alexander Dybal, member of the Executive Board of Gazprom Neft.

The program dedicated to supporting culture and preserving cultural heritage is a key element of the social responsibility in which Gazprom Neft invests in Serbia. In addition, our company has helped the reconstruction of the Russian Necropolis, a memorial complex, and initiated the painting project for the dome of Saint Sava Temple. Every year, we organize a Russian classical music festival in cooperation with director Emir Kusturica. Moreover, our company provides support to the Russian House – Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Belgrade.

The establishment of the Russian House – Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Belgrade was initiated by a community of Russian immigrants. King Alexander I Karađorđević and Patriarch Varnava of the Serbian Orthodox Church gave support to their idea of founding a cultural centre, with the aim of preserving spiritual ties to Russia. Named in honour of Tsar Nicholas II, the Russian House was built in just a year and a half, largely thanks to joint efforts, according to a design by Vasily Baumgarten, a military engineer and former chief of the technical service in General Denikin’s Volunteer Army. The House opened its doors for visitors for the first time on 9 April 1933.

The Russian House has housed a theatre, a grammar school, a primary school, its own publishing centre and two museums (Nicholas II museum and a museum of Russian cavalry). This institution has also played host to a school church of the Protection of Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos, a Russian science institute, a sports hall and a society of Russian writers, artists and musicians throughout its history. The Russian House’s theatre and concert hall has witnessed performances given by the Russian National Theatre, Fyodor Chaliapin, as well as the famous “Kursk nightingale”, Nadezhda Plevitskaya. The Russian Science Institute employed some of the most famous Russian emigrants: Peter Struve, Zinaida Gippius, Konstantin Balmont and Igor Severyanin. In terms of size and cultural importance of its library, this institution is second only to the Turgenev Library in Paris, the oldest library outside Russia.

Today, the Russian House strives to strengthen friendly, cultural and international ties between Russia and Serbia, as well as to continuously promote Russian language, culture and science. The House hosts many concerts, exhibitions, theatrical performances, film screenings, and conferences each year, whose aim is to acquaint its visitors with Russian history and life in modern Russia.

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