It is impossible to imagine the cultural life of Odessa without its annual festival of classical music «Odessa Classics». This event glorifies not only our city but the whole country. The founder Alexey Botvinov came up with the idea of festival in response to political events in our country. The first festival was hold in 2015.
«Before the war I hadn’t even thought about doing the project, especially on my own. If the city had organized something similar and invited me as a musical director I would accept the offer with a great pleasure. But I realized that no one was going to organize anything. Moreover it was totally unclear what to expect next. So for me it was an obvious thing that unless I do it myself nobody will do it. Especially the event of that high and uncompromising class I wanted».
The festival has become a status and image event just in seven years. And listening to classical music has turned into a fashionable thing. The festival has gained its popularity thanks to its exquisite format, extremely high class of performing, the most prominent musicians from all over the world as well as excellent program combining classics and innovation. And The Red carpet has already become an essential part of the festival. Nowadays more and more young people attend concerts unlike Europe where the main part of audience remains 40+.
Unfortunately it is not getting better. And pandemic has affected The Performing Arts the most. But anyway!
«Our main goal for this incredibly hard time is to hold the festival. We strongly believe that great music must be performed. Furthermore its significance now is as high as never before. Surely the festival is going to be hold with all regulations followed to minimize all the risks», said the President of festival Alexey Botvinov.
Every year the program of Odessa Classics amazes with its variety and scope. And 2021 is not an exception too.
This year we expect five orchestras to perform. Among them there are three symphonic orchestras: National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine conducted by Volodymyr Sirenko, Haifa Symphony Orchestra. and Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Hobart Earle; two chamber orchestras- Zurich Chamber orchestra and Brussels Chamber Orchestra.
Besides the festival’s program includes an evening of music and literature with participation of Mikhail Shishkin. And again we are honored to welcome on our festival a real superstar of the world stage, German concert and opera singer Matthias Goerne.
Traditionally British violinist Daniel Hope, a real favorite of our audience, is performing within three days. A brilliant German pianist Sebastian Knauer is performing a program dedicated to 250 anniversary of Beethoven. Unfortunately we were not able to hear it last year due to Covid-19 restrictions. We look forward to witnessing the Ukrainian premiere of the new project of Knauer and Iranian composer Arash Safaian.
Traditionally the day before festival, on the 1 of June, there is a unique exhibition «Retrospective of Odessa nonconformism»( curator Anatoli Dimchuk) in The Museum of Western and Eastern Art. And of course the festival is impossible without our devoted friend Michael Guttman attending the festival from the moment of its foundation. Every year( except last one) he brings extraordinary projects. He is usually accompanied by his charming wife, an outstanding cellist Jing Zhao. Besides traditional competition of young pianists is hold in the Odessa Stolyarsky Special Music School. The winner will perform on the Potemkin’s stairs.
This year’s additional program is really variable and interesting. Alexey doesn’t forget to support Ukrainian musicians and chooses the best ones. And the invitation of the world-renown pianist Evgeny Kissin is the greatest gift to our audience. The legendary pianist will close the festival. But let us take it step by step.
2 June 2021, Wed. Odesa Opera and Ballet Theatre
Haifa Symphony Orchestra opens the festival. Benjamin Yusupov (conductor)
Lucas Debargue (piano)
Verdi. Overture to the opera « The Force of Destiny».
Mendelssohn . Symphony No4 «Italian».
Mozart. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No23 in A major K.233.
Soloist is a prominent French pianist Lucas Debargue. His name has become rapidly one of the most significant names in the world classical music. Besides being an incredibly talented and outstanding musician he is also really profound and versatile person. In 2015 Lucas Debargue became the only participant in International Competition P.I. Tchaikovsky in Moscow whose performances were awarded a special prize from The Association of Music Critics.
3 June 2021, Thu. Odesa Philharmonic
Haifa Symphony Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Yusupov gives a concert in Odessa Philharmonic. Soloist is Maria Solozobova (violin). Program of concert consists of Benjamin Yusupov’s own compositions, concert «Voices of a violin», dedicated to Vadim Repin and Concert No2 for Violin and Orchestra Saint-Saenz, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso Brahms. Symphony No1 in C minor, op.68
Haifa Symphonic Orchestra plays an important role in the cultural life of Israel. It was founded in 1950 and gained its popularity not only in their own country but far beyond its borders. Nowadays the orchestra numbers more than 80 musicians of the highest class. They often perform with leading conductors and soloists from all over the world.
Maria Solozobova is a brilliant performer. Her teacher was the legendary professor Zakhar Bron. Maria plays the unique Italian violin by Nicolo Galliano (1728). She often performs with outstanding musicians such as Martha Argerich and Mischa Maisky.
4 June 2021, Fri
Open-air concert at the Potemkin’s stairs with participation of The National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine conducted by Volodymyr Sirenko, soloist is Alexey Botvinov (piano).
Rossini. Overture «Thieving Magpie».
Yuri Shevchenko. Suite from the «Zaporozhets on the Danube» ballet, based on the Gulak- Artemovsky’s opera.
Traditional performance of a winner of the 4th Ukrainian competition of young pianists in memory of Serafima Mogilevskaya.
Final accord is Concerto No1, Tchaikovsky. Soloist – Alexey Botvinov.
The National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine is one of the most famous orchestras in Eastern Europe. It was founded by Hetman Skoropadsky in1918. The Orchestra has always been a creative laboratory for Ukrainian composers, conductors and soloists. Many famous composers such as Lyatoshinsky, Revutsky, Silvestrov, Stankovich, Skoryk as well as Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Khachaturian chose The Orchestra for the very first performance of their compositions. This concert won’t be an exception as well.
5 June 2021, Sat Odesa Philharmonic
Brussels Chamber Orchestra
Michael Guttman (violin, artistic director) Jing Zhao (cello)
Paganini. Andante from Violin Concerto No. 4. Arr. Villuendas Ishmuratov.
Double Concerto for Violin,
Cello and Orchestra (world premiere)
Rachmaninov. “Vocalise”. Arr. Guttman Piazzolla. “Grand Tango”.
Arr. Villuendas Piazzolla. “Concerto for Quintet”.
Arr . Villuendas Grapelli. “Rols”.
6 June 2021, Sun Odesa Philharmonic
Matthias Goerne (vocals, baritone) Alexey Botvinov (piano)
Schubert. Vocal cycle «Winter way»
Today Matthias Goerne is a frequent guest on the most important stages of the world: opera houses – Theater Royal Covent Garden, Paris National Opera, Vienna State Opera, Metropolitan Opera in New York and concert halls – Carnegie Hall (New York), Wigmore Hall (London), Hall Pleyel (Paris) and others. And this time he performs on a stage of Odessa Philharmonic again.
7 June 2021 Mon Green Theatre
Mikhail Shishkin and Alexey Botvinov.
An evening of Music and Literature. «Rachmaninov. First comes death, then comes life».
The word and music. The writer and the pianist. Declaration of love to a great composer. Mikhail Shishkin recites his essay about Rachmaninov and Alexey Botvinov performs his music. They often perform together and this time is the first time for Ukrainian audience.
8 June 2021, Tue Odesa Philharmonic.
Beethoven. Symphony No5.
Arash Safayan. Fantasy for piano and orchestra « This is(not) Beethoven» Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra. Hobart Earle ( conductor)
Sebastian Knauer (piano).
Arash Safayan. Fantasy for piano and orchestra «Beethoven Variations», premiere Beethoven. Sonata in C minor op.10No1
Beethoven. Sonata in C-sharp minor op.27 No2 «Quasi fantasia» («Moonlight»)
The previous joint project of Knauer and the German-Iranian composer Arash Safayan «Überbach” became a worldwide sensation and was awarded the prestigious ECHO KLASSIK Prize for a project that extends the boundaries of classical music. It was performed in 2018 in Odessa with Berlin Chamber Orchestra and became one of the most memorable events of festival «Odessa Classics». And here comes another premiere. «Beethoven Variations» is a new project of Knauer and Safayan which will be performed on «Odessa Classics».
9 June 2021, Wed Odesa Philharmonic
Zurich Chamber Orchestra
Daniel Hope (violin, artistic director) Alexey Botvinov (piano)
Schnittke. “Suite in the old style”
Schnittke. Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1
Schnittke. “Tango in a madhouse”
Tchaikovsky. Serenade for string orchestra in C major in 4 movements
Recently a disk of works by Alfred Schnittke, performed by Alexey Botvinov and Daniel Hope has been released by legendary German record studio “Deutsche Grammophon”.
Last summer musicians made a short presentation during the festival and it had a great success. This year they are planning to perform the whole concert.
European music critics unanimously predict worldwide success and status of bestseller to a new album. «Absolutely fantastic! .. star interpretations.. Alexey Botvinov and Daniel Hope performs with incredible musical understanding. There is nothing to carp even for the most demanding experts. Listening to record is a pure delight in every phrase. Without any doubts there is a new masterpiece.»
10 June 2021, ThuOdesa Philharmonic
Zurich Chamber Orchestra
Daniel Hope (violin, artistic director)
Mendelssohn. Violin Concerto in D minor Silvestrov. «The Quiet music”
Elgar. Introduction et Allegro op. 47
Recently Daniel Hope, soloist and artistic director of the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, has recorded with the orchestra a disc with serenades created by great composers in different eras. Some of them will be performed in all three concerts of the orchestra at the Odessa Classics festival. And the performance of Zurich Chamber Orchestra is brilliant and perfect.
11 June 2021, Fri
Zurich Chamber Orchestra Daniel Hope (violin, art director) Alexey Botvinov (piano)
Tan Dun. Double concerto for violin and piano with orchestra (European premiere.The work was commissioned by the ODESSA CLASSICS festival and the San Francisco New Century Orchestra) Gershwin. Song suite. Arranged by Paul Bateman
The concert will feature the European premiere of “Double Concerto for Violin and Piano and Orchestra” by world-renowned musician and composer Tan Dun.
In the world practice it’s quite common when the largest festivals commission the most prominent composers to write music. And in the future it will be marked in the notes and programs for other concert halls that «Double concerto for violin and piano with orchestra” was commissioned by the Odessa Classics festival and The San Francisco New Century Orchestra. Thereby our festival appears in the world music history. Because music composed by the ingenious composer Tan Dun will sound many centuries later. Besides this concert is based on music written for famous film «Crouching tiger, Hidden Dragon» for which Tan Dun was awarded an Oscar.
24 June 2021, Sat
Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre Evgeny Kissin
Khrennikov. Dance, Op. 5 No. 3 Khrennikov. 5 pieces, Op. 2
Gershwin. 3 preludes
Chopin. Nocturne in B major, Op. 62, no. 1 Impromptu in A-flat major, Op. 29 Impromptu in F sharp major, Op. 36 Impromptu in G flat major, Op. 51 Scherzo No. 1 in B minor Polonaise No. 6 in A-flat major
This is his second visit of Evgeny Kissin to Odessa; the first took place back in 1990, when the author’s concert of the composer Tikhon Khrennikov took place here. To participate in the concert, Khrennikov invited three talented teenagers, students of the Central Music School – violinists Vadim Repin and Maxim Vengerov and pianist Evgeny Kissin. Two of them have become frequent headliners of our festival.
Evgeny Kissin has been living in Europe for 20 years. He is one of the most brilliant and outstanding representatives of Russian piano school in the world. As a boy he was considered a real whizz-kid. And now he is a winner of the most prestigious awards and titles.
3 June 2021
Odesa Fine Arts Museum 9.30 pm
Elena Andreychikova-«Manifesto», author’s reading of the play Alexey Petukchov (piano)- improvisations
Elena Andreychikova- Ukrainian author, interpreter, businesswoman. She is an author of novels «To stay at home on Monday», «The typical women».
The author’s reading is accompanied by jazz pianist and composer Alexey Petukchov.
4 June 2021
Roman Catholic Cathedral
33 Kateryninska St
Open Opera Ukraine
Musica Sacra Ukraine- partial dimension
5 June 2021
The Green Theatre 9 pm
Alter Ratio- vocal ensemble of contemporary music
6 June 2021
Odesa Fine Arts Museum 9.30 pm
Zoltan Almashi (cello)- famous Ukrainian composer, cellist, soloist of National Ensemble of soloists «Kyivska Kamerata», soloist of ensemble «New music of Ukraine»
10 June 2021
The Green Theatre 9 pm
Antoni Baryshevsky – Ukrainian pianist
« There is a special talent in Antoni Baryshevsky. I think he should be awarded the first prize» Marta Argerich (from the article of Filippo Michelangeli about
Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition).
So the countdown has begun until the most grandiose event OdessaClassics- 2021