“Embassy of Excellence” to the anniversaries of Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.

On March 19, soloists of the St. Petersburg House of Music under the direction of Professor Sergey Roldugin, People’s Artist of Russia, performed with great success at the Russian House in Brussels as part of the Embassy of Excellence project. The program featured young talented soloists, laureates of international competitions: harpist Ekaterina Dvoretskaya, pianist Alexander Kashpurin, clarinetist Philip Createlev and flutist Mark Yakovlev. Works by composers – Rimsky-Korsakov and Mussorgsky, as well as works by Tchaikovsky, Taneyev and others – were performed.

The concert program was feature compositions by two eminent Russian composers, both born in the Russian countryside. Rimsky-Korsakov was born in the Novgorod Governorate, and Mussorgsky in the Pskov Governorate. Despite their early affinity for music, both men initially pursued military careers, with Rimsky-Korsakov excelling in the Naval Cadet Corps and Mussorgsky attending the School of Guards Ensigns. They first met in Saint Petersburg in 1861 at a musical evening hosted by Balakirev and later became part of his renowned creative circle, known as “The Mighty Handful.” Following their military service, each embarked on his own musical journey while remaining like-minded and close friends, producing brilliant compositions distinguished by their strong individuality.

Ekaterina Dvoretckaia (harp), aged 20, is a student at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory under the guidance of associate professor Elena Ilyinskaya, Honored Artist of Russia. She is the winner of string instruments category at the Fifteenth International Competition of Young Musicians  (Moscow, 2019) and a laureate at the Classical Academy Fifth International Competition of Performers (Moscow, 2020). Furthermore, she was is a laureate of the Twenty-First Israeli Harp International Competition in 2022, and has since 2019 received scholarships from the Spivakov Foundation and the New Names Foundation. Ekaterina has been actively participating in programs at the Saint Petersburg Music House since 2020.

Alexander Kashpurin (piano), aged 27, is a graduate of the N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory (studying under Honored Artist of Russia, Professor Tatiana Zagorovskaya), where he is currently a postgraduate student. He is the winner and recipient of special prizes at the M.K. Čiurlionis Eighth International Piano Competition (Lithuania, 2019), the winner of the First International Piano Competition of Russian Music (Ryazan, 2019), and the winner of the “Les Etoiles du piano” Third International Piano Competition (France, 2021). Alexander has been participating in programs at the Saint Petersburg Music House since 2013.

Filipp Sazatelov (clarinet), aged 20, is a student at the N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory (studying under Andrey Kazakov). He won first place at the Crescendo International Music Competition (2019) and the Weber Clarinet International Competition (2021). He also won third place at the N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov Fifth International Competition (Saint Petersburg, 2022).

Mark Yakovlev (flute), 20 years old, is a student at the Central Music School of the Moscow Conservatory (studying under Honored Artist of the RSFSR, Professor Alexander Golyishev). He won third place in the solo performance category of the Moscow Open Competition for Young Flautists and Wind Instrument Ensembles (Moscow, 2015) and was also the winner in the wind and percussion instruments category of the Fourteenth International Competition of Young Musicians (Moscow, 2018). Additionally, he has performed as a soloist with the Yuri Bashmet National Youth Symphony Orchestra (2020).

“Embassy of Musical Mastery” is an annual project of the Saint Petersburg House of Music, running since 2012 and encompassing regions across Russia and other countries worldwide. It involves masterclass sessions by leading musicians in six Russian regions and tours by accomplished young soloists abroad. The concert component is conducted jointly with Russian cultural centers and diplomatic missions. In 2024, the project is set to hold concerts in Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Japan, Moldova, Morocco, Laos, with debuts in Lebanon and Tunisia, as well as in other nations.

Established in 2006, the Saint Petersburg Music House is a Russian state-sponsored cultural institution aimed at preparing young Russian musicians for international competitions and festivals. It is housed in the palace of Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich Romanov located at No. 122, the Embankment of the River Moika, in Saint Petersburg.

Its artistic director is the esteemed cellist and People’s Artist of Russia, Professor Sergei Roldugin.

Information: www.spdm.ru

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