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Guide to live classical music and opera in Russia

April 2018
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Vladimir Ashkenazy © Keith Saunders
Interview

Witnessing history: Vladimir Ashkenazy

Before launching his series Voices of Revolution with the Philharmonia Orchestra to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution, Vladimir Ashkenazy recalls his experiences as a young Soviet pianist, his memories of Shostakovich and his witnessing history in the making.
Postage stamp depicting Shostakovich with the score to the Leningrad Symphony © Wikicommons
Russia month

Disentangling truth from propaganda: Leningrad

Many stories have been told about the genesis of the Leningrad Symphony, not least by Shostakovich himself and his many friends. 
Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich and Aram Khachaturian © Wikicommons
Russia Month

Music of the Russian Revolution

When the Bolshevik Revolution and subsequent civil war smashed through Russian society a hundred years ago, the close links between Russian and European music, and between Russian art, music and literature were shattered, and a new artistic world had to be built on what was left.
The Bronze Horseman - Peter the Great © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Postcard

Postcard from St Petersburg

With great music, exceptional palaces and unique architecture, if you have any pretensions to knowing the great cities of the world, Saint Petersburg just has to be on your bucket list.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Tchaikovsky Ballets

Stepping into Tchaikovsky Ballet: Swan Lake

Ask anyone who claims to know nothing about ballet to actually name one, the chances are it will be one of Tchaikovsky's.
Preview

From Russia to Cardiff: Russian Revolution in Wales

As we hurtle towards October and the centenary of the Russian Revolution, 18 organisations in Wales have banded together in a show of artistic muscle to mark the anniversary. 
Mikhail Glinka and Modest Mussorgsky © Wikimedia Commons
Russia month

Russian Composers and History

In attempting to cement a sense of Russian identity through music, the nation's composers looked to history for inspiration. 
Rodion Shchedrin
Russia month

Soviet composers in the late 20th century

The list of great Soviet composers over the last hundred years will always bring out the big names, but what about those unsung heroes of the late 20th century whose music captures the mood of a generation?
Tchaikovsky © Wikicommons
Tchaikovsky Ballets

Symphonic storytelling: The Sleeping Beauty

The Sleeping Beauty is perhaps the Ugly Duckling of Tchaikovsky’s three ballets. It was the second in the trilogy, completed in 1889, but has neither the dramatic thrust of Swan Lake nor the calorific sugar-coated charm of The Nutcracker in terms of popular appeal. 
Gary Avis (Drosselmeyer) in the Royal Ballet's Nutcracker © Bill Cooper | Royal Opera House
Tchaikovsky ballets

The Nutcracker: casting a Christmas spell

Along with chestnuts, turkey and Carols from Kings, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without The Nutcracker. It has become a staple part of the festive season. 
Here is the page where you can discover the best classical music events taking place in Russia. Whether you are looking for concerts, opera or dance, at Bachtrack you can browse upcoming events in Moscow and St Petersburg. You can also read our reviews and a number of articles about Russian music.
Upcoming eventsSee more...

St PetersburgRussian Music Seasons

Tchaikovsky, Khachaturian, Borodin, Balakirev, Prokofiev

MoscowUn ballo in mascheraNew Production

Verdi: Un ballo in maschera
Giacomo Sagripanti; Davide Livermore; Bolshoi Opera; Mariana Fracasso; Bolshoi Theatre Chorus; Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra

MoscowJenůfa

Janáček: Jenůfa
Evgeny Brazhnik; Alexander Titel; Stanislavsky Opera; Vladimir Arefiev; Elena Stepanova; Elena Guseva; Elena Bezgodkova

St PetersburgThe Queen of Spades (Pique-Dame)

Tchaikovsky: The Queen of Spades (Pique-Dame)
Mariinsky Opera; Mariinsky Theatre Chorus; Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra

St PetersburgRaymonda

Glazunov: Raymonda
Marius Petipa; Konstantin Sergeyev; Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra

MoscowMadama Butterfly

Puccini: Madama Butterfly
Vyacheslav Volich; Ludmila Naletova; Stanislavsky Opera; Elena Stepanova; Elena Guseva; Irina Vashchenko
Latest reviewsSee more...

The Bolshoi: Danish dancing with a Russian touch

© Damir Yusupov
The Bolshoi dancers Anna Tikhomiova and Artemy Belyakov shine in the stylish and poetic version of La Sylphide by Johan Kobborg.
****1
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Mieczysław Weinberg's The Idiot at the Bolshoi Theatre

Bogdan Volkov (Prince Myshkin), Pyotr Migunov (Rogozhin) © Damir Yusupov
Completed in 1985 and premièred in Mannheim in 2013, Mieczysław Weinberg's The Idiot is a true rarity. Seeing it revived for the first time, it's thrilling to see the opera given the vocal and musical treatment it desrves, lending a helping hand to its return from oblivion.
****1
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The epitome of Russianness: Boris Godunov at the Mariinsky

Edem Umerov (Boris) © Natasha Razina | State Academic Mariinsky Theatre
In Tarkovsky's venerable production, the Mariinsky orchestra and chorus are brilliant – but too brilliant for their soloists, including two replacement Borises for an indisposed Mikhail Petrenko.
***11
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Intoxicating, mystic, sacred, profane

Sergei Aleksashkin (Ivan) © Natasha Razina | State Academic Mariinsky Theatre
Rodion Shchedrin's opera mixes singing, choreography and storytelling to lend a potent sacred and mystic overlay to Nikolai Leskov's folk tale.
*****
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Netrebko takes on Adriana Lecouvreur at the Mariinsky

Anna Netrebko (Adriana) © Valentin Baranovsky | State Academic Mariinsky Theatre
Isabelle Patriot-Pieri's new production is a quirky mix of traditional and the opposite; Netrebko shows her star quality; Eyvasov impresses.
****1
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The Mariinsky celebrate Stravinsky's 135th

Mariinsky Concert Hall © David Karlin | Bachtrack Ltd
Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra celebrate Stravinsky with a gala that closes with an outstanding Firebird; young talent blooms in A Soldier's Tale
****1
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