Dear friends,

for the tenth time, The Northern Flowers open the door to the astoundingly rich world of chamber music. We tried to be true to ourselves, and as always, are happy to offer you interesting meetings with famous opuses — and absolutely new sound experience, with musicians who have been on the scene for decades — and with quite young performers.

Our Festival will be opened by Andrey Korobeinikov, a young Moscow pianist of great talent and formidable artistic prospects, prize winner at over twenty international competitions. His first recital in St. Petersburg will take place in the Glinka Hall of the Philharmonic on October 23, and we hope that music lovers will appreciate the talent of the superb musician. Moreover, Andrey Korobeinikov will appear with a very serious program of works by Schubert and Beethoven, such as the most excellent musicians generally include on their repertoire when they reach an age of performing maturity.

On Friday October 24, the Festival will invite its audience to the White Hall of Sheremetev Palace, a venue traditional for the Northern Flowers. The concert dedicated to the 20th century will feature an unusual virtuoso piece for clarinet by Norwegian composer Olav Berg, and striking piano miniatures by French classic Jean Francaix, and a deeply emotional string quartet by John Kinsella, one of Ireland’s leading composers, and The Russian Notebook, Valery Gavrilin’s vocal cycle of tremendous impact. Parisian pianist Bertrand Giraud and Petersburg singer Mila Shkirtil, performers already loved by the festival audience, will be joined in this concert by the remarkable Vanbrugh Quartet of Ireland and Norwegian clarinetist Anna Rostrup.

According to our tradition, a musical marathon will be held on one of the Festival’s days. “A Day of Music with The Northern Flowers” — this is how we called Saturday, October 25 at the Glinka Hall — will offer you five hours of the most exquisite musical impressions and meetings with live art and performers from five European countries. Petersburg’s singers will perform Anton Rubinstein’s Gedichte und Requien fur Mignon, a seldom-performed opus. Norwegian ensemble Noor, the world’s northernmost quartet, will perform music to Lapp tunes — and a piano quartet of Max Reger, classic of the last century’s German music. Bertrand Giraud, Anna Rostrup, Lydia Kovalenko, and Alexey Massarsky will join into an international quartet to play Quatuor pour la fin du temps of Olivier Messiaen, the great French master whose 100th anniversary the world celebrates this year. Franz Schubert’s songs will be presented in the marathon by prominent masters of the Lied art Mitsuko Shirai and Hartmuth Hoell from Germany. The evening will be topped with Johannes Brahms’s piano quartet, where Andrey Korobeinikov and the Vanbrugh Quartet will join in international artistic partnership.

The Sunday concert crowning the festival in St. Petersburg will be held in the cozy Raphael Gallery of Mikhaylovsky Castle. This musical evening will feature heritage of three centuries of human culture: a charming string quartet of Luigi Boccherini (the Vanbrugh Quartet, Alexey Massarsky), such precious pearls of German Romantic art as songs of Robert Schumann and Hugo Wolff (Mitsuko Shirai, Hartmuth Hoell), and the deep and extremely beautiful Piano Quartet of Alfred Schnittke (the Vanbrugh Quartet, Yuri Serov.)

As in the last year, the Festival will present one of its concerts to Veliky Novgorod. This time, the ensemble Noor will be the guests of Novgorod’s audience. On Monday, October 27 they will perform piano quartets of Max Reger and Bohuslav Martinu in the Philharmonic hall of that ancient Russian city.

Good luck, The Northern Flowers 2008!

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