On April 7, 2023, a concert-musical conversation was held at the Russian House in Brussels on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the great composer Sergei Rachmaninoff and the famous bass Fyodor Chaliapin.

The large audience that came to the Brussels-Europe Russian House this evening listened with enthusiasm to Maestro Andrei Chevtchouk’s story about the destiny and work of the great composer and the great artist, about their friendship, which began with a meeting at Savva Mamontov’s Private Russian Opera. A lifelong friendship, with common work, with warm encounters both in Russia and in Switzerland, in France, in America, of which we have as proof not only the photographs and memories of Fyodor Chaliapin and Sergei Rachmaninoff, but also portraits of both, painted by the two sons of Chaliapin.

The conference was accompanied by a video sequence and magnificent vocal illustrations performed by the soloist of the Brussels Opera La Monnaie, a magnificent bass-baritone, René Larya, with the accompaniment of Maestro Andrei Chevtchouk on the piano. The audience received with loud applause Rachmaninov’s romances performed by René Larya, Aleko’s aria from the opera of the same name, the beautiful aria that Chaliapin often sang, from the opera “Ivan Susanin”, the cycle of melodies from Don Quixote by Jacques Ibert. Rene Larya sang in Russian by heart, showing how deeply he feels Russian culture. The audience also gave a very warm welcome to the young student of Maestro, Tatiana Derache, who performed in a very touching way the romance “Lilas” by Sergei Rachmaninoff, the song by Vanya from the opera “Ivan Susanin” and the folk Cossack song “Oh, it’s not evening.”

Undoubtedly, the enthusiasm of Maestro Andrei Chevtchouk, which he knows so well how to communicate, his love for Russian and world culture, was once again conveyed to the public.