Int’l music festival opens in St. Petersburg


RIA Novosti, Russia
June 16 2004

ST. PETERSBURG, June 16 (RIA Novosti) – The St. Petersburg’s Palaces
12th international music festival opens in Russia’s northern capital.

Music will be played in the famous palaces of St. Petersburg and its
suburbs, which formerly belonged to the royal family and notable
aristocrats, the Hermitage Theater, Menshikov Palace, Sheremetev
Palace, Smolny Cathedral, Mikhailovsky, Catherine and Peterhof Palaces
and the Lutheran Church of Sts. Peter and Paul.

All in all, 15 concerts will be held during this month. Soloists
and bands from 10 countries, including France, the U.S., Lithuania,
Estonia, Germany and Italy. Among them are the Russian State Academic
Chamber Orchestra conducted by Konstantin Orbelyan, the Five Style
ensemble of Russian folk instruments, Armenian duduka-player Dzhivan
Gasparyan, French pianist Jean-Bernard Pommier, saxophonist Federico
Mondelci, violinist Hillary Hahn, singers Vasily Gerello and Oleg

The concert in the grand hall of the Menshikov Palace, the residence
of the first governor-general of St. Petersburg, on July 15 is the
highlight of the festival’s program. The organizers intend to turn back
to the atmosphere of the 18th century’s gatherings. Germany’s Consul
General Reinhart Kraus, a remarkable viola-player, will participate
in this concert.

The festival will close with a baroque music concert performed by the
Estonian Baroque Soloists and Internationales Ensemble der Akademie
fur Alte Musik on July 19.

The St. Petersburg Palaces festival was founded in 1990 by pianist,
chief conductor and artistic director of the Russian State Academic
Chamber Orchestra Konstantin Orbelyan. The festival’s message is to
remind that St. Petersburg has always been a world music center.