Dear friends,

Described below is the program of the Northern Flowers 2007. It is great to realize that the Festival has won so many friends in these seven years, that it is interesting to many, and that the music we love is loved by our audience too. The Northern Flowers have gained its own circle of excellent performers, devoted helpers, and enthusiastic admirers.

The key event of this festival will surely be the musical marathon dedicated to the memory of Edvard Grieg — the whole world commemorates the 100-th anniversary of his death in this year. The great Norwegian’s music is loved in Russia, and The Northern Flowers have long been on friendly terms with the Edvard Grieg Museum in Bergen. Nearly all of the chamber compositions of Edvard Grieg, and many of his songs and piano pieces will be performed in the Kapella hall on October 28. For eight hours they will be presented by the festival’s guest musicians and by remarkable musicians of Petersburg: Norwegians Geir Botnen (piano) and Arild Helleland (tenor), the Vilnius String Quartet and the young Anima Quartet from St. Petersburg, violinist Lydia Kovalenko, pianists Igor Uryash and Yuri Serov, cellist Alexey Massarsky, singer Lyudmila Shkirtil, and the piano duo Carlos Lama and Sofia Cabruja from Spain. The Marathon will be crowned with the famous Concerto for Piano with Orchestra, to be performed by Brazilian pianist Eliane Rodrigues (long adored by Petersburg’s audience) and the Kapella Symphony Orchestra led by Edward Serov.

The festival’s concert for children completely dedicated to Grieg will be played in Sheremetev Palace on Saturday, October 27. The musicians will not only play Grieg’s music, but also tell the audience more about him, and answer questions.

Petersburg’s audience is in for two very interesting concerts in the Minor Hall of the Philharmonic. Friday, October 26 will be the Czech day. You will hear The Diary Of The One Who Disappeared for tenor, mezzo-soprano, three female voices, and piano — a lyrical vocal cycle by Leoš Janaček, little known in Russia but incredibly interesting and profound — and the piano quintet by Antonin Dvořak, a gem of the worldwide chamber repertoire. The performers will be established guests of the recent years’ festivals the Vilnius String Quartet, Eliane Rodrigues, and Lyudmila Shkirtil, and also Artem Korotkov, a really promising young tenor of St. Petersburg.

On Saturday, October 27, the musicians from Vilnius together with excellent cellist Alexey Massarsky will present one of the most perfect opuses of Franz Schubert, his String Quintet in C major. The program will be opened with two charming songs for voice, viola, and piano by Brahms featuring Lyudmila Shkirtil and Girdutis Jakaitis. At the end of the first part of the concert we will hear our guest from Bergen, perfect Norwegian pianist Geir Botnen. He will play a piano ballad by Edvard Grieg and his transcriptions of Norwegian folk dances.

A novel feature of this year’s event is two festival concerts that we are going to play in Veliky Novgorod. We value our very warm artistic friendship with the Philharmonic of that ancient Russian city, and we are always happy to share our musical achievements with its people. The evening of October 23 will be dedicated to Grieg’s music: the Novgorod audience will hear Lyudmila Shkirtil, Lydia Kovalenko, and Yuri Serov. Later, on October 29, our Spanish guests the piano duo Carlos Lama and Sofia Cabruja will perform in Novgorod’s Kremlin.


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