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Russian Music Festival

In 2021, the Russian Music Festival will start for the fourth time. This year, too, the focus will be on Tchaikovsky, who was celebrated last year on the 180th anniversary of his birth. Marcell Szabó, the artistic director of the festival, has put together a program for the festival, one that focuses on different instruments at each concert, such as violin, harp, organ, and piano, as shown by the Russian masters. 

In addition to Tchaikovsky, the works of Prokofiev, Rachmaninov Mussorgsky, Klui, Glinka will also be performed at the festival.

After last year, well-known and lesser-known Russian melodies will be heard again in three places: in Budapest, in Debrecen, and in Tihany. In Debrecen, the Kölcsey Center will once again host the festival.

Events of the Russian Music Festival in Debrecen:

October 5th, 2021
Kölcsey Center, Great Hall

5:30 p.m. – Two Piano Concert
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a
Rachmaninov: Suite I, Op. 5. With the participation of: Tamás Pregun and Marcell Szabó
Registration ticket price: HUF 500

6:45 p.m. – Four-hand concert       
Tchaikovsky – Rachmaninov: Sleeping Beauty Suite, Op. 66a
Tchaikovsky – Langer: Swans Lake Suite, Op. 20a With the 
participation of: Ádám Balogh, Marcell Szabó
Registration ticket: 500 Ft

8:00 p.m. Solo concert
Prokofiev – Nikolaev: Peter and the Wolf, Op. 67.
Tchaikovsky: Dumka, Op. 59.
Mussorgsky: Pictures from an exhibition
Contributed by: Marcell Szabó
Registration ticket: 500 Ft

Registration ticket price for three concerts / Piano marathon pass: 1000 HUF      

Detailed description:
The Russian Music Festival’s mini-marathon concerts in Debrecen will focus on Russian stories in three formats: two-piano, four-handed, and solo piano works. Rachmaninov recommended Suite I to Tchaikovsky and in one of his letters referred to it as a series of musical images (this is also referred to in the subtitle “Fantasy Boards”). 

The four-movement composition deals with poems by four poets. The “core” of the marathon is given by Tchaikovsky’s ballets: one of Tchaikovsky’s most popular works in the three fairy tales. With the first piece of the show, we commemorate the 130th anniversary of the birth of Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (last year). Prokofiev’s work for education was written by Peter and the wolf by the Russian pianist-piano teacher Tatiana Nikolaev, who also gave a concert at the Academy of Music in the 1950s. Tchaikovsky’s rarely heard Dumka’s piano piece has the subtitle “Scenes from a Russian Village” – all the joys and sorrows of being in the village appear in the composition. In closing, Mussorgsky’s cycle “Images in an Exhibition” brings to life our real and imaginary images of the author’s friend Hartmann, a painter, whose tablets resonate with the opening Rachmaninov suite.

October 8th, 2021 6:30 p.m.
Apollo Cinema, Kertész Mihály Hall
Ballet in three acts performed by the Royal Opera House about the recording.
Ticket price: 1200 HUF

Detailed Description:
The Passion and Tragedy of Shakespeare’s Legendary Lovers is reborn in a 20th-century ballet masterpiece by Kenneth MacMillan on stage at the Royal Opera House. Since its 1965 premiere, Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet has become a classic in modern ballet, depicting Shakespeare’s eternal love story, full of emotion and passion – the encounter of young people against all obstacles and the tragic end of their love. Each time in Royal Ballet remakes, new dancers are given the opportunity to reinterpret the story of lovers of tragic fate. The whole company appears on the streets of renaissance Verona as the bustling market suddenly becomes the site of a sword duel and where strife culminates in tragedy for both the Montague and Capulet families.

The length of the lecture is 3 hours 15 minutes, with two breaks.

October 10th, 2021 6:00 p.m.
Apollo Cinema, Kertész Mihály Hall

Meskó Bank – prose
Razvaljaeva Anastasia – harp

Registration ticket price: HUF 500

Detailed description:
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Votkinsk, May 7th, 1840 [April 25th, according to the old calendar] – St. Petersburg, November 6th, 1893 [October 25th, according to the old calendar]) is a Russian romantic composer. He was born a child of an engineer-clerk family. The family moved to St. Petersburg, where the young Tchaikovsky received a careful upbringing. He later served as an official in the Ministry of Justice for a few months. However, he proved to be completely unsuitable for this track. 

He only started to take music more seriously when he was 23 years old. His master was Anton Rubinstein. Thanks to his talent, Anton’s brother, Nikolai Rubinstein, invited him in 1866 to teach at the Moscow Conservatory of Music, which he founded. Tchaikovsky was attracted to his own gender, so he had to live a life hidden in the 19th-century tsarist world. He married at the age of thirty-seven to preserve his appearance but had already separated a month later from his much younger wife, who had previously been his disciple. 

A turning point in his life was his acquaintance with the rich widow, Nagyezsda von Meck, who supported him financially almost for the rest of his life. In this way, he was able to give up his increasingly oppressive teaching position and dedicate his life to composing. He traveled extensively in Europe and was celebrated as a composer and conductor both at home and abroad. 

His first successful work was the fantasy Romeo and Juliet. His reputation was mainly due to his symphonies and concertos, but his ballets, which filled the whole evening, were also very successful (Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker). Among his operas, Anyegin and The Queen of Spades proved timeless. 

His death was officially caused by a cholera infection, but this has been disputed among music historians to this day. The audience of the evening can follow his life through his special correspondence with the participation of Bánk Meskó (prose) and Anastasia Razvaljajeva (harp).