RussianMind Special issue 2014 www.RussianMind.com
SERGEI VINOGRADOV Women by the Sea, 1915 £250,000–500,000
NIKOLAI DUBOVSKOY Blagovest, 1916 £500,000–700,000
KONSTANTIN MAKOVKSY School in Cairo £400,000–600,000
ALEKSEI SAVRASOV Hut in a Wintry Forest, 1888 £350,000–500,000
Russian Art Auctions in London Wednesday, 27 November 2013, from 10:30 Viewing: 15–20 November, 13:00–18:00 21–26 November, 11:00–18:00
MacDougall Arts Ltd. 30A Charles II St, London SW1Y 4AE, England Tel.: +44-20-7389-8160 Fax: +44-20-7389-8170
Ermolaevsky pereulok, 25, Moscow, 123001, Russia Tel.: +7-495-799-4683 Kiev Tel.: +38-044-466-2006 Paris Tel.: +33-1-5345-5418
Russian Art Auctions London
22nd NOVEMBER - 29th NOVEMBER 2013 LONDON
Fabergé, with the workmaster’s mark of Karl (HJALMAR) Armfelt 1903-1908 © CHRISTIE’S
Bathers on the Lido, Venice 1909 © MACDOUGALL’S
Man in a bowler hat 1917 © SOTHEBY’S
KANCHENJUNGA 1935-1936 © BONHAMS
Неделя Русского Искусства 22 Hоябрь - 29 Hоябрь 2013
Download your free guide to the Russian art sales at
In conjunction with Bonhams, Christie’s, MacDougall’s & Sotheby’s The best reviews, articles and news on Russian art, related exhibitions & interesting cultural events in the UK.
www.russianartandculture.com RM Special issue 2014
RussianMind Special issue 2014 www.RussianMind.com
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Celebrating Russian Culture Viva UK-Russia! Welcome note from the Russian Embassy in the UK
UK-RUSSIA YEAR OF CULTURE
8 RM Team Acting Editor Olga Kudriavtseva Guest Editor Theodora Clarke Editorial Assistant Ellen Pavey Sub Editor Julia Gobert Layout www.design2pro.ru A.D. â€“ Mikhail Kurov Designer â€“ Ala Costash
9 Welcome note from the British Council 10 Cosmonauts: Celebrating Russian Space Exploration 13 Russian Avant-Garde Theatre at the V&A 18 Tate Modern presents a retrospective of Kazimir Malevich
Cover Anastasia Strizhenova Managing Director Azamat Sultanov
IT Director Oleksii Vyshnikov Distribution Ekaterina Musatova
Contacts: Editorial Staff: firstname.lastname@example.org General enquiries: email@example.com Distribution: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 40 Langham Street, London W1W 7AS United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 207 637 1374 RM Special issue 2014
Preview of Russian Art Week in London
26 Igor Tsukanov: A Love for People and Art
Advertising Olga Sokolova Elena Martynova
In print: Simon Hewitt, Isabel Stokholm, Ellen Pavey, Theodora Clarke, Ali Hood, Mariana Haseldine, Ekaterina Poroshina.
First UK Exhibition of Boris Chetkov in London
32 Composer Alexander Levine: Music to Open the Year of Culture
Valery Gergiev: “We have to do our best to remain the Greatest Music Country in the World. That is how I see the Future!”
Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra to Perform at Cadogan Hall The Russian Ballet Icons Gala: “The Story of Russian Ballet”
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“Narcissus and I” the Ballet Story Inspired by Onegin and Cinderalla Russian Film Festival in London: Lights, Camera, Action! Moscow Never Sleeps to Rock Cannes in 2014 Catherine Merridale. Red Fortress: The Kremlin in Russian History Waterstones to Host an Evening on Researching in Russian Archives 2014 Book Releases Preview The 5th SLOVO Russian Literature Festival 2014 Katya Galitzine: 250 Years of Hermitage History
Natalia Osipova – Becoming a Swan Nabokov on stage: Belka Productions present a new Russian-inspired play “Three Sisters” and “Uncle Vanya” by Anton Chekhov and Andrei Konchalovsky
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Rossotrudnichestvo – the Russian Mission in the UK Russian Winter Festival returns to London in 2014 Russian Maslenitsa in London 2014 Westminster Russia Forum Adam Smith Conferences Pushkin House Russian Book Prize 2014 Ensemble Productions & Russian Revels events Jack of Diamonds exhibition Oxford University Russian Society Moffat Book Events Events in the UK 2014 Events in Russia 2014
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Celebrating Russian Culture Dear Readers,
am pleased to present this very special collaborative preview of the upcoming 2014 UK-Russia Year of Culture. Like our friends at RussianMind, the Russian Art & Culture team are committed to promoting Russia’s unique heritage. We make it our aim to bring our readers the most up to date news, reviews and articles on all aspects of Russian cultural life. We are delighted to join forces with RussianMind to bring you the first comprehensive guide to the exciting year ahead. The following pages are packed with behind the scenes previews and interviews with some of the most significant figures in the Russian music, theatre and art worlds. As an art historian I have a
RM Special issue 2014
particular interest in the upcoming exhibitions. I can reveal that Russian art fans can look forward to an array of spectacular shows. Exhibition highlights include the Victoria and Albert Museum’s exploration of Russian avantgarde theatre, a fresh look at the Jack of Diamonds group at the Courtauld Gallery, Russian space at the Science Museum and of course Russian Art Week, the bi-annual Russian art sales in London. Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated show of the year will be the major retrospective of Kazimir Malevich at the Tate Modern. Malevich, best known for his pioneering painting Black Square, is one of Russia’s most famous twentieth century artists. The Tate Modern display offers a rare chance to see an extensive range of works by this pioneering
and influential Russian artist. In addition to the visual arts, there are a huge range of other cultural events planned across the UK. Russian culture is going to play a major role in the upcoming schedule for 2014 with venues including the Edinburgh International Festival and Cadogan Hall. From film to literature there is sure to be something on offer that will appeal to British audiences. I look forward to celebrating a year of cross cultural dialogue. The UK-Russia Year of Culture is a great opportunity for our cultural institutions to work together and build lasting relationships. Theodora Clarke Editor, Russian Art and Culture, www.russianartandculture.com www.ukrussiayearofculture2014.com
Viva UK-Russia! Dear readers,
congratulate you with the UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014 and proudly present this special issue of RussianMind magazine – the first and the only preview publication of the most important cross-cultural events in the UK, which are taking place throughout the whole year in 2014. The Year of Culture is a celebration of the long and meaningful relations between Russia and the UK, it is evidence of the strong cultural alliance of our two countries and their intention to develop new creative projects together. The special issue of RussianMind is the result of the productive teamwork of two organisations – RussianMind and Russian Art & Culture, both of whom are taking practical steps to develop a platform for cross-cultural
communication between the Russians and the British. The idea for a Year of Culture has been in the air for a long time and everyone who has heard of it promises various exciting events to be staged at some of the most popular cultural destinations across the UK and Russia, however no one knows exactly what has been planned, where and when it will take place. The main aim of RussianMind’s special issue is to lift the curtain on the UK-Russia Year of Culture and unveil the programme, venues and dates. In 2014 Russian culture will be celebrated at public venues across the UK, including the largest museums, galleries, concert halls and cultural institutions. In this issue you could find detailed information about the theatre performances, concerts, ballets, art viewings and exhibitions, auctions, debates, conferences, round
tables, festivals, celebrations and many more events not to be missed. We believe that RussianMind will be your good fellow guide in making the Year of Culture exciting and full of new emotions, experiences and discoveries. On behalf of the whole RussianMind team I would like to thank the Russian Embassy in the UK and the British Council for supporting our project, cultural institutions and events organisers for providing “secret” information and Russian Art and Culture for being a very reliable partner. I wish everyone will make the most of the cross-cultural communication and enjoy every next day, which will be different from last. Enjoy the issue and the Year of Culture! Olga Kudriavtseva Editor, RussianMind magazine. www.russianmind.com
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ÂŠ The Embassy of the Russian Federation to the United Kingdom
Dear readers of Russian Mind, In March 2013, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Foreign Secretary William Hague signed a Joint Statement designating 2014 as the Russia-UK Year of Culture. This is going to be a fascinating year. The cultural attraction between our two nations is - and has always been - mutual. Art from Britain is met with open arms in Russia.
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We also know how much Russian culture is appreciated in Britain: every tour of, for example, the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Theatres is a huge success. However, Russiaâ€™s culture is much more diverse than that. I would like to encourage my British friends to take a closer look at the contemporary Russian arts, rooted in our great traditions. And the forthcoming
Year of Culture offers a unique opportunity for that. I trust that our two nations will benefit in many ways from this great event in our relationship, including for building up cultural and peopleto-people links, which is, after all, a pillar of any bilateral engagement of consequence. Alexander Yakovenko, Ambassador of Russia to the UK
© The British Council
Year of Culture
The UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014 is an important landmark in the history of cultural engagement between our two countries– a cultural engagement which dates back centuries and continues to develop and thrive. The variety and scale of Russian events taking place in the United Kingdom next year will be impressive and will, I hope open up some of the delights of Russian traditional and
contemporary culture to new audiences - old and young. It will also, I hope, provide fertile ground for engagement and cooperation at individual, institutional and governmental level. Most events – both in Russia and in the UK - will stand on their own as examples of the very best of what each country has to offer; but equally important is what we are able to do together. I look forward, therefore, to a
number of collaborative and reciprocal events in both countries that underline and celebrate the importance of cultural dialogue, exploration and engagement. With hundreds of performances, workshops, conferences, fairs and exhibitions planned, I am sure that 2014 will go down as an ‘annus mirabilis’ in our cultural relationship. Paul de Quincey, Director British Council Russia
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Cosmonauts: Celebrating Russian Space Exploration By Ellen Pavey
f all the exhibitions opening in the UK next year it is perhaps the Science Museum’s Cosmonauts display that will prove to be the most surprising for both British and Russian visitors alike. The history of the space race may seem familiar enough to many; some may even remember Yuri Gagarin’s famous visit to London in 1961, but few will be familiar with the complex story of Russia’s interest in space exploration. Fewer still will have seen first-hand the innovations and inventions that successfully reached and returned from outer space. Science Museum curators Natalia Sidlina and Doug Millard have the daunting task of bringing these spectacular space age artefacts to London and between them they will be responsible for presenting the history of Russian cosmonautics on an unprecedented scale. ‘This is the first Russian Space exhibition of this size ever in the UK and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say it will be the first of its type anywhere outside Russia’, explains Doug Millard. ‘There has never been the sort of assemblage of real objects that we are putting together for this exhibition’. So how did such an ambitious project come about? According to Natalia Sidlina the idea of staging an in depth analysis of Russia’s contribution to our knowledge of space has interested the Science Museum for some time. ‘An exhibition such as this takes probably three years in the making
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SOKOL space suit worn by Helen Sharman in 1991, manufactured by “Zvezda” © Science & Society Picture Library
and the UK-Russia Year of Culture had been signed off only in spring this year, so of course the work started long before the announcement. When I started working on this exhibition I discovered in the archives the very first concept, which was dated 1992. So the minute the Soviet Union collapsed and Russia started to open up, Doug realised that in our collection we didn’t have anything to represent the pioneering story of space exploration from Russia; we needed to have a temporary exhibition as a starting point for that. So really the project started over twenty years ago’. Russia has a particularly rich history of engagement with the idea of exploring and understanding space, and this is something that 10
the curators are keen to express. The exhibition will reach beyond the achievements of scientists and cosmonauts and look back to a time when the possibility of reaching into the unknown corners of the universe was an idea that intrigued scientists, artists and philosophers alike. ‘The central idea of the exhibition is to show that Russian space is as much about dreams, creativity and art as it is about rocket science, mathematics and physics’, explains Natalia. The exhibition is not just about scientific achievement but also about creating a sense of the climate that these advancements were born out of and likewise the buzz and excitement that permeated back into society. To articulate this message the show promises to include some unexpected additions alongside the real-life objects of space travel. ‘We will also have works on show by Russian avant-garde artists inspired by philosophical ideas of space flight, as well as propaganda art and posters and even works created by the cosmonauts themselves. The challenge for the curator to show a work of avant-garde alongside the engine of a rocket isn’t easy!’ And even today one doesn’t have to look far in Russia to uncover links to the space programme, something that Natalia was surprised to discover. ‘Whilst working on the exhibition I realised that in Russia there is practically no-one unrelated to Space. Everyone has an amazing story to tell, so in a way in this project we are not only discovering www.RussianMind.com
Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Dzhanibekov performs a space walk. July 25, 1984 ÂŠ RIA Novosti
Art the history of space exploration, we are also discovering the history of twentieth century Russia through the various people involved in making it all happen’. The main draw for visitors will of course be the space relics themselves; these are major historical objects, direct participants in some of the most famous events of the twentieth century. I asked Doug what we can expect to see. ‘Some of the most important objects will be coming from the Russian Space Industry and the Federal Space Agency. Hopefully there’ll be quite a few highlights and there is one which we are particularly fond of. It will be coming from the Polytechnic Museum and it goes under the rather glorious name of the ‘phantom mannequin’ or ‘phantom cosmonaut’. This is like an avatar or a facsimile of the human form that has actually been sent into space. It’s a very striking figure, it is painted gold and its face resembles that of Yuri Gagarin. For a museum space curator like myself that’s a really important object. Most items sent into space don’t come back but this one has done’. Natalia adds that the exhibition will be made up predominantly of loans from Russia, some of which are not currently available to the Russian public and have never travelled outside of the country. ‘It’s an object rich exhibition and standing very close to those true objects, such as a manned space craft, will impress anyone, from our youngest to oldest visitors. We even have a space suit worn by space-dogs Belka and Strelka, the first dogs to orbit the Earth and return safely’. This exhibition offers a chance to learn about the particular history of Russian space exploration, so often overshadowed in the West by the achievements of America and the drama of the space race. For many this will be an unfamiliar story but it offers a fantastic opportunity to marvel at the achievements of science and engineering. The lure of travelling into space, of leaving the Earth and discovering what lies beyond our planet has intrigued humans for centuries and it continues to fascinate us; the Cosmonauts exhibition at the Science Museum looks certain to be one of the most interesting and informative shows of the year. Cosmonauts Science Museum, London October 2014 www.sciencemuseum.org.uk
Korolev Yu.K. "Chief Designer", 1969, oil on canvas, 190 x 313 cm © The State Tretyakov Gallery №10 (25) Spring Edition 2013
Russian Avant-Garde Theatre at the V&A
ext year the Victoria & Albert museum in London will present a major exhibition focusing on Russian avant-garde theatre. Theodora Clarke caught up with co-curator Vitaly Patsukov at the National Center for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) in Moscow to discuss this important show. RM: Can you tell me about your planned Russian exhibition next year? VP: There are many links between Russian and British culture. The exhibition which I am curating with the V&A, alongside one of their British curators Kate Bailey, will open in
Alexander Rodchenko Costume design for the Policeman For the play «We» by Alexey Gan (To unrealized staging of 1919-1920 directed by Sergei Eisenstein) Moscow. Central Proletkult studio. 1920 www.RussianMind.com
October 2014. It focuses on Russian theatre at the beginning of the twentieth century. Just before and after the October Revolution of 1917 Russian culture underwent profound and permanent transformations. RM: Where are most of the exhibition loans from? VP: The Victoria and Albert Museum has a large collection of theatrical costumes and other materials. But the main loans and stage designs are from the State Bakhrushin Theatre Museum in Moscow. The museum contains works by numerous Russian artists who worked for the major ballet, opera and drama theatres in the 18th to 20th centuries with a special emphasis on the period around 1900 to 1930. The era witnessed an unprecedented cultural symbiosis of artists, musicians, performers and directors. RM: What kind of objects will be on display? Will you exhibit different forms of media? VP: Yes. There will be models, costumes, objects, photos, videos and documents. The major idea is to present the exhibition as an installation so that it reminds us both of the interior of a theatre and the repressive style of time which was life in the Soviet Union. The objects we want to display should be like jewels in this rusty environment. They are like precious things coming from the future – precious memories. We have a problem with cultural memory. Russia has a special history and there is a great disconnect between our cultural past and the current situation. We wanted this exhibition 13
Varvara Stepanova Costume design for Tarelkin For the play «Tarelkin's Death» by Alexander Sukhovo-Kobylin Moscow, State Meyerhold Theatre. 1922
to be educational especially to the next generation about their history. RM: How many works are in the exhibition? VP: About 200 objects. Key productions by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, Aleksander Tairov’s Chamber Theatre and Vsevold Meyerhold’s Theatre of the Revolution, for example, are represented in works by various Russian artists. RM: So which famous artists of the Russian avant-garde will you showcase in the exhibition? VP: The collection from the Bakhrushin Museum contains examples of practically all the artistic styles identifiable with 20th Russian and European art - from Symbolism to Futurism, from Constructivism to Socialist Realism. Kazimir Malevich is probably the most famous. We will have the curtain with his black square on from Victory over the Sun, along with original sketches for RM Special issue 2014
Art the costumes and theatre designs. There will also be works by Larionov, Tatlin, Rodchenko, Stepanova and Mayakovsky as well as Goncharova, Popova and Exter. RM: It is now one hundred years since Victory over the Sun was produced. Why was this production by Malevich so important? VP: Malevich is actually the father of cosmic consciousness in modern art. These productions engage with philosophy. He was the first one to make sketches of the first Suprematist satellite. He said that humans should leave the Earth. This was before space travel! Malevich was actually obsessed with consciousness and the cosmos when he was teaching in Vitebsk. He used to walk down corridors with a telescope looking at space. In his will he wrote that on his gravestone should be a telescope directed at Jupiter because he was sure that his soul came from Jupiter! His coffin was originally to be designed in the shape of an Alexander Rodchenko Costume design for the Officer For the play «We» by Alexey Gan (To unrealized staging of 1919-1920 directed by Sergei Eisenstein) Moscow. Central Proletkult studio. 1920
aeroplane, although that idea was rejected. RM: The British public may not be as familiar with some of these famous Russian names. How do you intend to present these figures to audiences in the UK? We are presenting the most famous theatre directors like Meyerhold, poets like Mayakovsky and Constructivist artists like Rodchenko and Popova. These are big and influential names. We have also focused on costumes which are popular. There is an idea to unite Diaghilev’s productions for the Ballets Russes with some of Malevich’s designs. RM: What was so ground-breaking and influential about Russian theatre? VP: Theatre and art are extremely important for Russians – we have lost our memory and exhibitions are a way to revive our cultural past. RM: Why do you think that Russia has produced the highest number of female avant-garde artists? Why were they so successful? VP: Any Revolution widens the horizon of freedom and women wanted to participate in life. In the West it was the suffragette movement but in Russia it was action through art. Many of them were connected to Malevich and his major idea was freedom, they wanted freedom as well.
Alexander Rodchenko Costume design for the inhabitant For the play «We» by Alexey Gan (To unrealized staging of 1919-1920 directed by Sergei Eisenstein) Moscow. Central Proletkult studio. 1919 RM Special issue 2014
El Lissitzky Costume design for Milda For the play «I Want a Child» by Sergey Tretyakov Moscow, State Meyerhold Theatre. 19271930
Alexander Rodchenko Set design for the 2nd act For the play «Bedbug» by Vladimir Mayakovsky
Alexander Rodchenko Costume design For the play «Bedbug» by Vladimir Mayakovsky Moscow, State Meyerhold Theatre.1929
RM: What did the Soviets think of these avant-garde theatre productions? VP: As a concept it was at first useful for the Communist Government – this idea of freedom and destroying the world. But in practise, the Government understood differently. They consequently started to close down theatres and productions. Meyerhold was killed and his theatre closed down. From 1927 the period of cultural oppression started. All the achievements of Constructivism and avant-garde theatre were subjugated to propaganda.
RM: What are you trying to achieve with the exhibition? VP: The collection of the Bakhrushin Museum is still unfamiliar to the British public. This forthcoming exhibition is the first time that its avant-garde material will be the focus of a dedicated museum exhibition.
the image in the West of Russia as an enemy. Any cultural action will build the bridges between countries. So culture can be important politically. This exhibition is important as it introduces a slice of Russian culture from our past to new audiences. It is also incredibly important for Russia as a country – particularly for our Government to showcase how important Russian culture was. It will be a travelling exhibition that begins in London and travels through major European cities. The final destination is in Australia.
RM: How is the Russian avantgarde theatre viewed today in Russia? Are they reintroducing it into the history of Russian art? VP: Russian theatre now is in a stagnation phase, contrary to the European situation. The situation in European theatre is quite positive. In the 1960s there was a spirit of reviving the avant-garde but at the moment Russian theatre is just entertainment. www.RussianMind.com
RM: How have you found the experience of collaborating with a British museum and working with our curators? VP: We have found that our British and Russian counterparts have worked well together. The V&A staff have been here to Russia to select materials for the show. In fact to reciprocate we are planning other shared projects such as an exhibition of British Theatre here in Moscow afterwards. RM: How important is the UK-Russia Year of Culture in improving relations between our two countries? VP: This exhibition is extremely important in terms of demolishing 15
VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM Russian Avant Garde Theatre War, Revolution and Design 1913–1933 October 2014 www.vam.ac.uk All images © Federal State Budget Institution of Culture “A. A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum”, Moscow RM Special issue 2014
James Butterwick began collecting and dealing in Russian Art in 1985 and is now established as one of the world’s leading experts. Russian Mind spoke to him in London to get his advice for collectors looking to buy during Russian Art Week. How did you become a dealer in Russian art?
I studied Russian at university and my family had always been interested in art. My grandfather was a Director of Sotheby’s. It seemed logical to combine my interest in Russia with my art knowledge. Thus, enthused by everything Russian, I’ve been doing this now for 28 years.
What does your gallery specialise in?
I focus on Russian and Ukrainian works (1890 to 1930) and works by the Non-Conformists (1960-1990). I have also expanded into Impressionist pictures with artists such as Renoir and Henri Martin. My main expertise though is the Russian avant-garde.
Which artists do you find are most popular with buyers?
My last two sales were a Non-Conformist painting and an oil by a Western artist to a Kazakh buyer, so it varies. There is a limited supply of good pictures left out there, but still much demand.
What advice do you have for collectors?
Listen to and trust your dealer! They have years of experience and are experts. If you are a buyer, you should buy from a top gallery like Saint Petersburg Gallery or from a dealer such as myself. Never believe in miracles and remember a little knowledge is a dangerous thing!
What do you recommend as a good investment?
Soviet Non-Conformists are the next growth market as there is very little great Russian art left to buy. If you look at prices, for say Aivazovsky or Shishkin, their prices are stable but a good painting by them will set you back several million pounds. Non conformists are cheap.
What are your predictions for the next Russian sales in November?
There a couple of major works coming up by Robert Falk at Bonhams and Sotheby’s. These pictures are absolute masterpieces and many people will be interested in them.
The Russian sales in June set a number of world records. Why are the prices so high?
There are so few quality pictures about that people are prepared to pay top prices when they appear. In June major works by Roerich and Mashkov were sold at huge prices. They did well because of their rarity value and that they are museum quality works.
Interview How does Russian art compare to other markets?
It is stable and will remain so. The top Russian paintings will always do well at auction.
If you are buying a picture what is most important to know? Credible provenance and exhibition history.
Buyers should certainly we aware of these issues. What is most important to know?
As dealers we live on reputation. There is far more to a picture than just the physical object. A dealer has knowledge and expertise and can spot which one is the forgery and which one is real.
There has been a lot of news about Russian fakes recently in the press.
Yes. This November I am reading a lecture on the falsification of Natalia Goncharova’s work in front of a major audience at the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. Leading experts will be there, and members of ICAAD, the International Confederation of Antique and Art Dealers of Russia, of which I am the only foreign member. Following this, I am now focusing on a long forgotten Ukrainian master Alexander Bogomazov. This is an artist, who in my opinion, is of the highest quality. There is a quote, “There are three great Futurists, Boccioni, Balla and Bogomazov”. I am currently working on his catalogue raisonn and an exhibition of his work.
Who are your main buyers?
Almost all Russian but I did sell a Repin to a wonderful Brazilian recently! I am English but I’m fluent in Russian which makes a big difference when talking to collectors.
Why is Russian Art mainly traded in London?
The world art market is focused in New York and London but Russians have always been attracted to the UK. Solely Russian auctions in America stopped a few years ago and, as you know, there are a vast number of Russians living here.
How do you guarantee works?
I give a certificate of authenticity for every single picture. This means that if Sotheby’s or Christie’s do not take this item for sale then you get your money back.
What project are you currently working on?
I am opening an exhibition in Kazakhstan October 20th. It is very exciting to be doing a show of Impressionist pictures which includes work by Sisley, Pissarro, Gauguin and Renoir, the first exhibition of its kind in the country.
Tate Modern presents a retrospective of Kazimir Malevich
retrospective of Kazimir Malevich (1878-1935), a leading pioneer of abstract art in Russia, will open at London's Tate Modern next year. The exhibition, which will open in summer 2014, is touted as being unprecedented in its scope and will shed new light on Malevich's career as a painter, printmaker and art theoretician. It is the first major exhibition ever in the UK dedicated to the Russian artist. Billed as a tribute to the artist and his contemporaries, the exhibition is also timed to coincide with the UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014. The exhibition is a tribute to the Russian avant-garde of the early 20th century, with Malevich as its focal point. Kiev-born Malevich was a key figure in the succession of avant-garde movements in the early half of the 20th century. His style of severe geometric abstraction, which he called Suprematism, was a precursor to the development of Constructivism. Through oil paintings, gouaches, drawings and sculptures, the exhibition traces the rich variety of his oeuvre. All phases of his career will be on view including a version of the famous Black Square. The exhibition is co-produced with the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundeskunsthalle), Bonn, where it will also travel. Each venue explores Malevich’s rich career from distinct vantage points, focusing on different aspects of the artist’s career,
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By Theodora Clarke including the context in which he formed his unique language, the radicality of his artistic trajectory, and his later return to landscapes and figures. Bart Rutten who is jointly curating the show explains, “Malevich is one of the most important figures in art; he brought it to total abstraction. In 1989 the Stedelijk Museum, where I am curator, organised one of the first Malevich exhibitions after Perestroika. The Malevich collection in Amsterdam reunites two important Russian collections that were built during the very dark years of repression”. Kazimir Malevich and the Russian Avant-Garde is the largest survey of the artist’s work in twenty years. The show presents the renowned Khardzhiev and Costakis collections together for the first time. Pioneering Russian collectors of the Russian avant-garde, they both assembled considerable holdings of work during a time when abstract art was forbidden in the Soviet Union. Rutten continues, “There is a strong Suprematist element to the exhibition and most audiences are familiar with these important works. However, we are also highlighting Malevich and his contemporaries. You cannot stop with just his oeuvre, you need to go beyond it. For example, his friends, colleagues and supporters such as Suetin and Kliun. We have reunited a number of early Suprematist works such as Malevich paintings from the infamous 0.10 exhibition in 1915. This is a focal 18
point of the exhibition which shows how radical he was. We also present his later, post-abstract work, which speaks about the repression of his time and the fact that artists were forced to work in the style of Socialist Realism”. Works on paper constitute an important element of the show. This is the first time that many of Malevich’s drawings will be publicly displayed. Rutten says, “For the first time we are giving a lot of space to works on paper so you can see his working process and the risks he took as an artist”. Other artists in the exhibition include Marc Chagall, Natalia Goncharova, Wassily Kandinsky, El Lissitzky and Alexander Rodchenko. Rutten says, “We have loans from approximately ten to twelve institutions in Russia, including some of the very small museums. A number of Russian works will be reunited for the first time in the West”. He continues, “Another highlight is the inclusion of Malevich’s later works such as his White on White series. We are going to exhibit four out of the five versions together with loans from the Stedelijk in Amsterdam and MoMA in New York”. The exhibition celebrates a number of milestones. It is over one hundred years since the experimental Cubo-Futurist opera Victory over the Sun (1913) for which Malevich designed radical, non-realistic sets and costumes. The opera was a turning point in the artist’s career, marking his first experiments with www.RussianMind.com
Kazimir Malevich, Bather, 1911. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
Kazimir Malevich, Gallant Company in a Park, 1908. Collection Stedelijk Museum Khardziev-Chaga.
Kazimir Malevich, Mystic Suprematism (red cross on black circle), 1920-1922. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
Kazimir Malevich, Suprematism: Self-Portrait in Two Dimensions, 1915. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. www.RussianMind.com
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Kazimir Malevich, Bathers seen from behind, 1908-1909. Collection Stedelijk Museum KhardzhievChaga.
Kazimir Malevich, An Englishman in Moscow, 1914. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
LEFT: Kazimir Malevich,The Woodcutter (recto) / Peasant Women in Church (verso), 1912. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
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total abstraction. Rutten adds, “The set designs and costumes for this opera mark a turning point for Malevich. He went from being a searching, radical, constantly changing artist to this important figure we know today. This is a chance to reassess his work a century on”. It has also been ninety years since the first major exhibition of 20
Russian 19th and 20th century art. This exhibition at Tate Modern is a unique opportunity to re-assess Malevich and the Russian avant-garde. Kazimir Malevich & the Russian Avant-Garde Tate Modern, London July 17 – October 26, 2014 www.tate.org.uk www.RussianMind.com
Preview of Russian Art Week in London By Theodora Clarke
Nikolai Konstantinovich Roerich, Kanchenjunga, 1935-1936. BONHAMS
s the auction houses prepare themselves for the next Russian Art Week, the bi-annual Russian sales in London, anticipation builds over whether June’s spectacular results can be matched. Since I launched the guide to Russian Art Week in November 2012, I have witnessed continual growth in this section of the art market. Although the auction houses have traditionally held Russian sales, Russian Art Week is unique in bringing together both commercial and the academic organisations. It has been exciting to watch how this new event has become a major week in the art world calendar. The last Russian Art Week in June 2013 saw exceptional amounts of money exchanged for a host of Russian art masterpieces. The £50 million total was the highest since the global markets crashed in 2008 and no doubt was helped by the record www.RussianMind.com
breaking £7.9m sale of Roerich’s Madonna Laboris at Bonhams. The different range of artworks that exceeded their estimates was particularly striking, proving the strength and depth of the Russian art market. Works from the nineteenth century through to the Russian avant-garde all managed to break the million pound mark whilst Sotheby’s reported a large increase in new buyers. So can the November’s sales build on this success? I spoke to representatives from the four biggest London auction houses to find out. Sophie Law, Head of Russian Art at Bonhams, predicted similar results for the next round of sales. “We are confident that the very best works with impeccable provenance will continue to break records”, she informed me. “Our November sale features Russian paintings and works of art which have never before been seen on the market and which our discerning buyers are looking to 21
acquire”. Highlighted lots from the auction house this time include Konstantin Makovsky’s portrait of his daughter Olga (valued at £200,000300,000) and a rural landscape by Lev Lagorio (£100,000-120,000). Bonhams will also be presenting another work by Roerich, this time a sweeping mountainous landscape in luminous blue hues. The painting is expected to break the million pound mark again. Like Bonhams, Christie’s will also be featuring another work by one of their previous record breakers. Ilya Mashkov’s brooding still life painting realised £4.7 million in the June sales, setting a new world record for the artist at auction. His Bathers, showing two striking angular nudes, carries the comparatively conservative estimate of £600,000 - 800,000, although it looks set to be another salesroom highlight. Sarah Mansfield, Head of Russian Art, said, “At Christie’s, 2013 has been a RM Special issue 2014
Viktor Vasnetsov (1848-1926), On Guard, signed in Cyrillic and dated ‘V. Vasnetsov/1914’. CHRISTIE’S №10 (25) Spring Edition 2013
Ilya Mashkov (1881-1944), Bathers, signed in Cyrillic and dated ‘Ilia Mashkov 1911’. CHRISTIE’S
Nikolai Fechin, Nude, Circa 1930s. SOTHEBY’S
Konstantin Egorovich Makovsky (Russian, 1839-1915), Portrait of Olga, the artist’s daughter. BONHAMS
particularly strong year for Russian avant-garde. Following on from the sale of the Mashkov still life in June, this season we will be offering The Bathers, an important Mashkov oil from 1911, and significant works by Goncharova and Lentulov. We have also continued to focus on sourcing exciting pieces from private collections – many of which have not appeared at public auction before. In the Works of Art section, we have an exquisite group of figures and Fabergé offered from the Estate of His Royal Highness The Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester KG., KT., KP with prices ranging from £6,000-35,000. The category has always been known for the incredible range of works offered – the challenge for auction houses today is to continually source high-quality property representing a broad price range, appealing to both the experienced connoisseur and fledgling collector”. Sotheby’s, who returned the largest overall sales figures last June will be presenting the widest range of artworks over the week. Alongside Russian paintings, Icons, works of art and Fabergé the auction house are
also presenting Contemporary East, the only sale of the week exclusively dedicated to contemporary art. At MacDougall’s, buyers will have the chance to purchase an exceptional painting depicting two of Russia’s greatest theatrical personalities. "We are very excited to present a rare masterpiece painting by Bakst, of Nijinsky and Diaghilev: Bathers at the Lido. Venice. This is from a series of three large scale works and the only one still in private hands”, director William MacDougall revealed. The painting is estimated to fetch between £500,000-700,000. Whilst attention will of course be focused on the drama of the salesrooms, Russian Art Week would not be complete without the accompanying array of other cultural activities taking place in and around the capital. Details of all of these can be found in our free guide to the event, which is available to download on our online platform RussianArtWeek. co.uk. Alongside sales highlights and images of the top lots, the website also features a comprehensive directory of galleries, specialist institutions and a calendar of events.
A range of exhibitions featuring Russian works of art are open during November and December. Both Erarta Gallery in Mayfair and the Cork Street Gallery have exhibitions opening during the week. Erarta will be showing the Valery Valran’s delicate and detailed paintings of St Petersburg whilst a selection of Russian painters will be featured at Cork Street’s International Modern Masters exhibition. Visitors willing to travel outside the capital should take the chance to visit Houghton Hall. The critically acclaimed exhibition Houghton Revisited provides a unique opportunity to view Old Master paintings sold by the house in 1779 to Catherine the Great. Other cultural activities taking place this year include theatre, music and lectures. Russian Art and Culture have teamed up with the Russian Bookshop at Waterstones Piccadilly to host three bestselling historians, who will be revealing their surprising and fascinating discoveries in Russian archives. Pushkin House has a varied programme of events in support of their current
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Konstantin Korovin, Street in the South of France. MACDOUGALL’S
Robert Rafaelovich Falk, Man in a bowler hat (portrait of Yakov Kagan-Shabshai), 1917. SOTHEBY’S
Leon Bakst, Bathers on the Lido, Venice, c. 1909. SOTHEBY’S
exhibition Visions of Utopia and ballet fans are guaranteed a treat at the English National Ballet’s Christmas Nutcracker productions. As we look forward to the 2014 RM Special issue 2014
UK-Russian Year of Culture we do hope you will be able to join us for this exciting celebration of Russian art and culture. Russian Art Week continues to grow and we have a thrilling programme of events 24
planned for our next week in June 2014. Russian Art Week November 22-29th 2013 and June 2014 www.russianartweek.co.uk www.RussianMind.com
Aleksei Savrasov, Hut in a wintry forest, 1888. MACDOUGALLâ€™S
Igor Tsukanov: A Love for People and Art by Simon Hewitt By Simon Hewitt Photographer: Andrei Voica
gor Tsukanov is one of the world’s leading collectors of post-war Russian art, and was the principal contributor to the Breaking The Ice exhibition that attracted record crowds to the Saatchi last winter. His love of art goes back a long way. The first picture to catch his eye was a fairy-tale image by Viktor Vasnetsov, Ivan Tsarevich on the Grey Wolf (1889), espied during a museum trip to the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow when Igor was 4. He came from an ‘engineering, intelligentsia background’ where regular trips not only to museums, but to the theatre and concert-hall, constituted ‘normal acceptable standards.’ Igor’s first professional involvement with art came via the Tretyakov, too. In 1996 he and his wife Natasha – they met as students at the Institute of World Economy & International Relations in Moscow in the late 1980s – were asked to help establish the Gallery’s fund-raising programme; some of the firms and businessmen they enticed, like Vladimir Bogdanov and Surgutneftegas, remain sponsors to this day.
COLLECTING: A STRATEGIC ART
But Igor only began collecting paintings himself in 2000, at the suggestion of charismatic New York dealer Tolya Bekkerman. He started with a variety of early 20th century Russian artists (Grigoriev, RM Special issue 2014
Yakovlev, Roerich, Exter, Anisfeld, Goncharova) but soon decided to focus on a tighter-knit theme. ‘Every scientist wants to do something in a specific field’ he observes. ‘I decided to approach collecting like managing a project, with three major considerations: defining a goal; methodology; resources.’ The goal he assigned himself was to build up a top-quality collection of Post-War Russian Art. One motivating factor: there were no major collections of art from the 1960s-80s in Russian museums, even though it was ‘a unique period within the special social environment of the Soviet Union.’ His method involved exploiting a nascent market in New York, Paris and especially London, fuelled by works taken out of Russia from the 1960s onwards, mainly by journalists and diplomats. As for resources: it had to be a field his family could afford. He began buying, mainly at auction, in 2004. His collecting coincided with the rise of an auction house dedicated to Russian Art, MacDougall’s, whose Managing Director William MacDougall calls Igor ‘one of the most important Russian art collectors of his generation. You cannot undervalue his work in promoting Russian postwar and contemporary art. Russia needs more like him!’ One of Igor’s great pleasures is meeting the artists whose works he buys. ‘They give me insight, and they 26
understand what I want to do.’ As well they might: Igor wants to acquire nothing less than ‘the best two or three pictures’ by each of them, and has no hesitation in paying world record prices (e.g. for Oskar Rabin, Oleg Tselkov, Evgeny Rukhin or Oleg Vasiliev) to do so. He is also prepared to be patient. He waited five years to acquire Tselkov’s important early work Man with Flower, politely asking (Mr Tsukanov is too gentlemanly to badger) its owner once a year if he wished to sell. In 2012 the collector finally agreed. It may have helped that Igor ‘always pays the best price.’ Although his collection will undoubtedly prove an astute investment, it is not locked up in a bank vault but plentifully arranged around his London residence, which was acquired for that very purpose. The family’s first London home, in Campden Hill Square, had period charm but limited wallspace. In 2007 – the year Igor sold his CentrInvest Group – the family moved to a spacious new house. It is located, as his wife Natasha stipulated, ‘still in Kensington and close to the tennis club.’ Igor’s own priorities were, however, slightly different. ‘White walls, wood, metal – that’s all we need’ was his brief to architect Seth Stein. ‘All the colour will come from the paintings!’ There’s a Rabin staircase, a Sots Art staircase, a Faibisovich wall, several Abstract walls, and a basement roomful of Alexei Kallima, including www.RussianMind.com
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Art a Spoerri-like, 3-D still-life ceilinginstallation which Igor snapped up from Regina Gallery on Eastcastle Street in 2012. Kallima’s presence reflects the growing presence of young Russian artists in the Tsukanov Collection (http://tsukanov-artcollection.ru), which now runs to approximately 350 works by almost 50 artists.
PRODUCING PLANS WITH SAATCHI
Igor Tsukanov never stands still. In September 2013 he signed a 5-year agreement with the Saatchi Gallery to stage annual themed exhibitions showcasing Russian art within an international context (an International Pop Art show is planned for Autumn 2014) and solo-country shows devoted to contemporary art from former members of the Soviet bloc, such as Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan – and Kazakhstan, slated to inaugurate the cycle in Spring 2014. Igor sees his rôle as extending well beyond lending works from his collection: he dubs himself an exhibition Producer, responsible for arranging financing, media coverage and curatorial brainstorming. ‘I work on a Hollywood model’ he grins. Turning that cinema metaphor into reality, he is currently conducting interviews of all the artists featured in his debut Saatchi show (and some – like Faibisovich, Yankilevsky or Schwarzman – who were not), to be shown in 20-minute videos on MoscowArt.net. Yet art is only one component of what Igor terms his ‘post-business life.’ His time is also taken with music, tennis, travel, and charity work under the aegis of the Tsukanov Family Foundation. His wife Natasha, meanwhile, continues to head Xenon Capital Partners, the investment and advisory firm she founded in 2009 after spending more than a decade at JP Morgan. They have three children – the first born in 1993, the third in 2012 – and www.RussianMind.com
are fervent advocates of English private education. Son Nikita went to Eton (and is now at Yale). Daughter Katya recently started at Wycombe Abbey. ‘I consider a boarding-school as a partner’ says Igor, ‘especially when the children are in their early teens – a difficult age.’ It’s not all about books and study, though. Nikita was a highly-ranked UK Junior tennis player. Katya, just 11, is a prodigious violinist who has already performed in Moscow and New York, and trains at the Zakhar Bron Academy in Switzerland during her school holidays. Music, like tennis, runs in the family. Natasha is an accomplished pianist – and an Honorary Director of the Royal Opera House and London Philharmonic. 29
The Tsukanov Family Foundation supports Russian musicians and backs the Moscow-based Spivakov Foundation in its support for young artistes. The Tsukanovs also fund scholarships to enable gifted children from Russia and former CIS countries to attend the Royal College of Music and 20 British schools, including St Paul’s Girls and Eton College – where Igor is a member of the Development Committee. ‘If there is a talented child whose family cannot pay the tuition fees, we try to help’, explains Natasha. Igor shrugs off their unstinting efforts to help others with typical modesty. ‘You feel you are needed, and meet lots of good people.’ tsukanov-art-collection.ru RM Special issue 2014
First UK Exhibition of Boris Chetkov in London By Ellen Pavey
Boris Chetkov, Supposed Man Against the Blue, 1970. Courtesy of Pushkin Gallery RM Special issue 2014
he Pushkin Gallery, in collaboration with Russian Art and Culture, will be presenting the first UK exhibition of works by major contemporary artist Boris Chetkov. Re-Imagining Russia: The Landscape and Genre Paintings of Boris Chetkov will open at the Westbury Hotel in Mayfair and is guest curated by the event’s founder Theodora Clarke. Showing for a strictly limited period, the Chetkov Exhibition will take place on the first weekend of Russian Art Week and officially opens the event. An accompanying catalogue will be available for purchase containing a number of previously unpublished works by the artists and an academic essay by Theodora Clarke, who analyses Chetkov’s works within the context of modernism in the twentieth century and the rise of abstract painting. The exhibition will look specifically at Chetkov’s highly personal depiction of life in twentieth century rural Russia. A key theme throughout the work of Chetkov is the communication of a raw and emotional response to the natural and physical world. Mixing hints of folk art and primitivism, spirituality and the pre-war avant-garde, Chetkov’s style is visually and thematically reminiscent of the earlier works of Wassily Kandinsky, Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail Larionov. His landscape paintings show rivers, forests and historic churches in Russia, that transform the local countryside through gestural brush strokes and vibrant colours, engaging with the environment on a conscious and subconscious level. This exhibition will also be a celebration of Chetkov’s life and work in light of the artist’s death in 2010. Born during the most oppressive years of the Soviet Union, Chetkov spent his early life on communal farms before being imprisoned in the infamous Gulag Archipelago during his late teens. After combat in the Second World War and his subsequent release from detention, Chetkov studied the art of glass making and began to paint in isolation from the established artistic groups and schools. Chetkov was a bold experimenter who took artistic risks which resulted in the creation of original and stunning images. This exhibition will explore the unique development of Chetkov’s career and feature works ranging from his earliest compositions in the 1960s to those executed in the final decade of his life. 22-24 November 2013 www.russianandculture.com www.RussianMind.com
Boris Chetkov, Russian Men, 1972. Courtesy of Pushkin Gallery
Boris Chetkov, Green Meadow and Flowers, 1969. Courtesy of Pushkin Gallery
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Composer Alexander Levine: Music to Open the Year of Culture By Olga Kudriavtseva
lexander Levine, the Moscow-born composer, who has been living and working in the UK since 1992. As a composer, arranger and musical director in the UK, Alexander Levine has worked on theatre productions, which have included The Beggar’s Opera and Love’s Labour’s Lost. His 1994 commission to write music for the Barbican Centre’s production of War and Peace was a critical success. He has collaborated with artists as diverse as The Mariinsky Opera Choir, The Russia State Orchestra “Novaia Rossia”, Maria Freedman, Christian Forshaw, The Stanzeleit/ Jacobson Duo and others. His recent achievement is a new piece for the launch event of the UK-Russian Year of Culture which will be premiered at the Embassy of the Russian Federation by the Voce Chamber Choir and Suzi Digby. RussianMind spoke to Alexander about his music and plans for 2014: RM: You have written a new piece for the launch event of the UK-Russian year of culture which will be premiered at the Embassy by the Voce Chamber Choir and conducted by Suzi Digby. Tell us, what this piece is about? AL: Thy Will be Done is the title for the piece. I set the Lord’s Prayer, also known as Our Father, and arranged it in a double choir setting. The superb Voce Chamber Choir will be singing in two languages starting in English before picking up in Russian. RM Special issue 2014
AL: I think that we may look at it not only through the historical and cultural perspective related to both countries but also from a contemporary point of view. The mutual endeavours of our two great nations to manifest the values of universal expression of freedom and creativity in the contemporary world is a wonderful thing. The contribution of the two countries to world culture has been enormous and today we can unearth a great deal of similarities between the two nations.
RM: How long did you work on it and what was your main source of inspiration, while you were creating the music? AL: It took me a month to complete the score. The idea for this piece had been suggested by Suzi Digby (Lady Eatwell) OBE with the intention of emphasising the musical and religious relationship between the UK and Russia. The source of inspiration for me was the universal and actual meaning of the text of the prayer. RM: It is an honour to be involved in the opening of the crosscultural year. How do you feel about the whole idea of UKRussia Year of Culture? Why do you think this year is important for both countries? 32
RM: Are you going to be involved in any other cross-cultural events throughout the year? AL: I am always trying to keep in store some fresh ideas and would be eager to contribute. My music will be performed by various choirs in the UK, as well as some of my piano music. I am lucky to be published by the great classical house Edition Peters who will help to spread the news of the cultural exchange. RM: Let’s talk about you. Before moving to the UK in 1992 you lived in Russia. While there you graduated from the Gnessin Academy of Music, worked with highly acclaimed national artists and won prestigious awards from Russian National Radio and Television. Why did you leave it all and move to the UK? AL: I think it was a hunch on a very personal level, the anticipation of the moment which would bring a feeling of creative versatility into my life. www.RussianMind.com
RM: As far as we know, even after all these years in the UK, you are still collaborating with Russian artists and worldrenown institutions, such as The Mariinsky Opera Choir. What motivates you to work with Russia? Is it nostalgia? AL: I cherish nostalgia mostly as a musical genre rather than a state of mind. I think that I have a kind of the inner intention to link my music to the existing world. For example when it comes to choral music, much loved by me, I use different languages alongside historical and cultural references. Every project of this kind helps me to rediscover myself. And I think that all of it (and in particular the Divine Liturgy as a mainstay of Russian Sacred choral music) would be unthinkable if I was not linked to my roots. RM: Do you perceive yourself as Russian or British? AL: I consider myself as being a British composer with a Russian background. I write music with the intention of embracing cross-cultural values and influences. RM: Is there any reason why Russian culture is so popular in the UK? AL: For me it is obvious, perhaps as I am linked to the two so intricately. I think that British and Russian cultures are tightly bound certainly on a deep level. RM: Your suggestions to RussianMind readers, how best to spend the UK-Russia Year of Culture. AL: To participate as much as possible, attending the events, to read great British and Russian writers and to listen to the music of the great composers of our countries. www.RussianMind.com
â„–10 (25) Spring 2013
Valery Gergiev: “We have to do our best to remain the Greatest Music Country in the World. That is how I see the Future!” By Mariana Skorokhodova Hesldein
hat is the phenomenon of this great human or shall we say superhuman? Valery Gergiev is already considered a legend for his multidimensional talent. The entire world is convinced that he is an extraordinary personality, including being a talented musician and entrepreneur, the ambassador of Russian music and a skilled diplomat, who has gone beyond time and space. Everyone knows that Gergiev can conduct for dozens of hours on end, on the same day participating in several concerts in different cities and countries; performing symphonies and opera scores with leading orchestras and singers; discovering new talents and at the same time being in charge of the negotiation and establishment of a worldwide network of friends and patrons. Whatever Gergiev is talking about or wherever he is located – in St. Petersburg, New York, Moscow, Vienna or London, there is always a star shining on him, the main focus of his attention and the most important symbol is the Mariinsky Theatre. The most famous Russian in the
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whole world – Valery Gergiev talked to RussianMind about his vision, plans, hopes and dreams. RM: Valery, what was most remarkable about the Mariinsky Theatre in 2013? VG: We have launched the new theatre Mariinsky-2. It is as significant as the Sochi Olympics. Many people from all over the world came to see Anna Netrebko, Diana Vishneva, Uliany Lopatkina, Placido Domingo, Denis Matsuev, Leonidas Kavakos, Yuri Bashmet and Ekaterina Semenchyk on the same stage. We have also experienced the entire triumph of Russian music, when touring in Europe - London, Saltsburg, Vienna and Paris in 2013. It was so very remarkable, because we were performing large Russian masterpieces in one concert, for instance “Firebird”, “Petrushka”, and “Right of Spring” – the ballets which have significantly changed the music history of the 20th century. In November 2013 we have also finished the triumphal “Russian Seasons” tour in the USA and Canada, which could be considered historical. 34
RM: What premiers have already taken place at the Mariinsky-2? VG: When Alexei Ratmansky came from New York in June, we performed Prokofiev’s “Cinderella” with his choreography. We also presented Rodion Shchedrin’s “Levsha” (“The Left-hander”). RM: In 2014 Russia and the UK will celebrate the Year of Culture. In what way will you be involved in the cross-cultural year as the London City Orchestra conductor? VG: Next year will be devoted to home performances, because there is a lot of work still to be done in the new theatre. Nevertheless we have prepared a few surprises for our British admirers. Since the opening of Mariinsky-2 our work schedule has changed. I will definitely spend more time in St. Petersburg and will perform less with the London Orchestra in the next 2-3 years. I am not responsible for La Scala or the Met, I’m in charge of the Mariinsky Theatre. I don’t want to be everywhere and have never wanted to. I could stop. Yevgeny Mravinsky has never performed at the Metropolitan, however he was acknowledged as the best conductor of the century. www.RussianMind.com
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Section RM: You are working hard to keep the reputation of Russia as a world renowned centre for classical music, thinking not only about the big stage, but also about the prestige of the Tchaikovsky Contest. What is your vision for education in Russia? VG: Our main priority as of now is to go back to the great cultural traditions in Russia. When we talk about the development of national economics we should bear in mind that we cannot measure cultural renaissance in numbers, especially when it comes to traditional choral singing or education of instrumentalists. I think that we should pay as much attention to restoring Russianâ€™s cultural traditions as we do pay attention to economic development. It is very important to bring international orchestras to Russia and even more important
to revive once well-known music assemblies in Kazan, Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg. I hope that our US experience will help us to get together a Russian national youth orchestra. We really need one. We owe these young people, because many of them have to leave the country at the age of 20 or younger to find better universities and tutors abroad. Nevertheless the situation in Russia is becoming more attractive for musicians and now there are fewer reasons not to study in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan or Yekaterinburg. The creation of a National Youth Orchestra is a very honourable thing to do. RM: There are quite a few cultural projects in Russia, compared to China or Japanâ€Ś VG: It is very important to invest into the creation of cultural objects in
places attractive for the international community, where economic and political connections are being established. It is impossible to overvalue the importance of the new theatre in St. Petersburg. When there is a tendency in Europe to cut budgets for cultural development, not only because of the recession, therefore the opening of new Mariinsky-2 in St. Petersburg is even more significant. In certain countries politicians think that if they reduce financial support in the cultural sector they may gain the approval of the electorate, because opera or classical music is designed for well-educated and intelligent people, who represent a smaller section in society. I am convinced that we should work and increase the educational and cultural level of our citizens. It is much harder than entertaining them with pop-star gigs or pints of beer to earn votes. This tendency is very dangerous. RM: With such messianic energy you have established a platform, where Russian music is worshiped on the most important stages worldwide. What is the price for carrying on with such a grand mission? VG: For the love of music and the responsibility for a Russian cultural legacy is my motivation! We are leaving our families and friends not for our own pleasure to travel the world in summertime. Sometimes we have a 20 hour flight, spent 20 hours in a city and then have a 20 hour flight back home. We've put on the stage all of Prokofiev's operas so that everyone in the world would enjoy Prokofiev, performed by a famous Russian orchestra with our great history! Although we are being paid more than any other Russian orchestra we still use our own money to cover the production of movies, CDs and records. We work hard and we earn good money. But very often we have to pay hundreds of dollars
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from our own pocket to get the opportunity to perform on the big stages like Carnegie Hall, Vienna or Edinburgh. RM: For the past 40 years you have been working with the Mariinsky Theatre and everything has changed: the country, the people, the theatre itself... VG: Yes, it has changed a lot. The most important work for us today is the educational and cultural programmes. It is not a one-off activity as it has national importance and requires not only my efforts, but everyone to work on achieving results. We are going to focus on children and teens to make sure they do not miss the greatest treasures of our culture. Noone is proud of being deaf and blind, isn't he? If you don't know who Prokofiev is or Tchaikovsky, or never seen Fedorovski, Petipa or Fokin's plays, nor are interested in art and have no clue what everyone is talking about, www.RussianMind.com
you look like philistine or even a fool! RM: Amongst your friends there are many very high-profile people, including the President of our country. How do they influence the success of your projects and in particular, Mariinsky-2? VG: If the President had been opposed, it would have been very difficult to realise the Mariinsky-2 project. However he differs from most Presidents and PMs by taking a real interest in culture and paying significant attention to promoting it. I know for sure that he supports the Mariinsky Theatre, the Hermitage and the Bolshoi. It's not about paying someone a visit, it is about personal responsibilities. Our responsibility is to perform with the theatre in dozens of Russian regions and in other countries around the world every year. In some way we are the Russian ambassadors in the world and a new theatre opening 37
in St. Petersburg is a significant promotion of the country's image in the world that has a strong, bright and positive impression of our culture. RM: How do you see the future for you? VG: We have discussed a lot how to make the Russian economy attractive for foreign investors, but it is a fact that massive festivals are always a factor of economic growth. It is really important to think about our people, so that they never lose the feeling that Russia is the greatest cultural country - the Motherland of Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. We have to do our best to remain the greatest music country in the world. That is how I see the future. Valery Gergiev will be performing in the UK on 30 March 2014 at Barbican. www.barbican.org.uk RM Special issue 2014
Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra to Perform at Cadogan Hall 8 May 2014, 7.30pm
The Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra was established after the Second World War by the Russian government and continues to amaze audiences with its performances with highly acclaimed conductors and soloists. This evening they are joined by world-famous cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, performing Shostakovich’s demanding First Cello Concerto – a highly virtuosic piece with an astonishing cello cadenza that stands as a movement in itself. The programme includes two of Tchaikovsky’s most bold and intensely felt works, both full of drama and anguish and often
performed together. The huge sound of a Russian orchestra playing Russian works that are in its blood promises an exhilarating evening. Repertoire Tchaikovsky Francesca da Rimini Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 Performers Yuri Simonov (conductor) Julian Lloyd Webber (cello) Part of Zurich International Orchestra Series 2013-14. Tickets: £40, £33, £27, £18 www.cadoganhall.com
Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra
The Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra is Britain’s leading orchestra for young musicians on the threshold of their professional careers. It provides invaluable experience to those who are studying or have recently completed their training, but are not yet established in the profession.
2014 Programme 22 Jan, 7.30pm Tchaikovsky Overture Romeo and Juliet Elgar Cello Concerto. Soloist Oscar Alabau Brahms Variations on a theme of Haydn Sibelius Symphony No 7 12 Mar, 7.30pm Borodin Polovtsian Danses Grieg Piano Concerto. Soloist Vesselina Tchakarova Tchaikovsky Symphony No 5 18 Jun, 8 Oct, 26 Nov Programme TBC 0207 222 1061 www.ymso.org.uk www.sjss.org.uk RM Special issue 2014
The Russian Ballet Icons Gala: The Story of Russian Ballet 9 March 2014, Sunday 7:00pm London Coliseum The special retrospective evening featuring famous excerpts from the classical repertoires of the greatest figures from Russian Balletâ€™s history and masterpieces by leading contemporary choreographers,
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will be performed by Russian and international star dancers from the Bolshoi, Mariinsky, Royal Ballet, English National Ballet; including ballets from the Grand Opera Paris, Berlin Staatsoper and New York City Ballet. The project will include round-table discussion on the history of the Russian ballet and master
classes by the leading Russian ballet pedagogues. Performances will be accompanied by the Orchestra of the English National Ballet. Box Office: 020 7845 9300 Book Online: www.eno.org For more information: www.ensembleproductions.co.uk
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Natalia Osipova – Becoming a Swan Behind the Scenes at the Royal Ballet with a Prima Ballerina Photographer: Andrej Uspenski
ussian ballerina Natalia Osipova is to join The Royal Ballet in the 2013/14 Season as the Principal. Her first performances will be as Juliet in Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet, partnered by Carlos Acosta. Natalia Osipova is one of
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the most gifted and extraordinary ballerinas of our age, her technique, poise and precision are sensational. Director of The Royal Ballet Kevin O’Hare said “I’m delighted that Natalia will be joining us for the 2014 Season and look forward to seeing her take on a full range of the Company’s
heritage and modern repertory. She is a wonderful addition to our world class roster of Principals”. Natalia currently dances with the Mikhailovsky Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. She performed with The Royal Ballet as a Guest Artist in Swan Lake earlier in the 2012/13 Season.
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Stage Natalia Osipova – Becoming a Swan is an intimate photographic portrait by Andrej Uspenski following the dancer as she prepared to dance the most captivating role in ballet, the lead in Swan Lake alongside Carlos Acosta for The Royal Ballet last year. Natalia Osipova – Becoming a Swan documents Natalia’s journey and debut with The Royal Ballet as she rehearsed the dual role of Odette / Odile in Swan Lake from first rehearsal to first night. Featuring over 150 beautiful black and white images taken from behind the scenes and on stage, this unique book includes glimpses taken from the wings at The Royal Opera House and in rehearsal with the Royal Ballet Principal Guest Artist Carlos Acosta. Published by Oberon Books and released in September 2013, this stunning volume also includes a forward by Royal Ballet Senior Teacher and Répétiteur Alexander Agadzhanov who worked with Natalia in preparation for the role. Andrej Uspenski is a First Artist with The Royal Ballet and celebrated photographer, his first book Dancers – Behind the Scenes with The Royal Ballet
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was released to great acclaim in 2013. As a Royal Ballet dancer himself, Andrej Uspenski has a unique perspective and understanding of dance photography, his unrivalled access and friendship with Natalia has enabled him to produce this revealing insight.
The Royal Opera House Ballet Performances 2013-2014 Romeo and Juliet 19 Oct - 7 Dec 2013 Kenneth MacMillan brings a contemporary interpretation to Sergei Prokofiev's classic score. His version of the ballet draws out the emotional and psychological intensity at the heart of the tale. Romeo and Juliet contains three passionate pas de deux: from the lovers' first meeting and the famous balcony scene to the devastating final tragedy. The lovers' story is set against a wonderful evocation of 16thcentury Verona: a bustling market place erupts into a violent sword fight and a lavish ball is held at an elegant mansion.
Stage Jewels 17 Dec 2013 - 7 Jan 2014 George Balanchine’s glittering ballet was inspired by the beauty of the gem stones he saw in the jewellers Van Cleef & Arpels. It was created in 1967 for the New York City Ballet and is the first abstract threeact ballet. Jewels was performed in full by The Royal Ballet for the first time in 2007. The production uses costume designs from the original version and new set designs by JeanMarc Puissant. The Nutcracker 4 Dec 2013 - 16 Jan 2014 Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker score was commissioned by the director of the Russian Imperial Theatres, following the resounding success of Sleeping Beauty in 1890. Marius Petipa created the scenario – based on a fairytale by E. T. A. Hoffman – and Lev Ivanov provided the choreography. The Nutcracker was first performed in 1892 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. It initially had a poor reception, but its combination of enchanting choreography and an unforgettable score have since made it one of the best-loved of all ballets. The Sleeping Beauty 22 Feb - 9 Apr 2014 The Sleeping Beauty holds a special place in The Royal Ballet’s repertory. It was the ballet with which the Company reopened the Royal Opera House in 1946 after World War II, announcing its move from Sadler’s Wells to Covent Garden. Margot Fonteyn danced the role of the beautiful princess Aurora in the first performance, with Robert Helpmann as Prince Florimund. Sixty years later, in 2006, the original 1946 staging was revived, returning Oliver Messel’s wonderful designs and glittering costumes to the stage once again. www.roh.org.uk www.RussianMind.com
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Nabokov on stage: Belka Productions present a new Russianinspired play by Isabel Stokholm Next spring the young theatre company Belka Productions will present their latest adaptation of Russian literature for the stage with A Dashing Fellow. Already acclaimed for their rendering of A Warsaw Melody by Azerbaijani-born Leonid Zorin and Sunstroke, inspired by the writings of Anton Chekhov and Ivan Bunin, Belka Productions now move on to one of the twentieth century’s most famous masters of the imagination – Vladimir Nabokov. A Dashing Fellow merges two Nabokovian short stories, dynamically adapted for the British stage for the first time by director Oleg Mirochnikov. Set amidst the crumbling decadence of Europe in 1930, one man's desire takes him far beyond the boundaries of human decency as he seduces a married woman and fellow train passenger.
Another man's crippling shyness leads him into a thrilling Faustian pact with the Devil herself, who promises him all the women he pleases. For both of them, a desperate bargain struck in a time of crisis leads to devastating consequences. Nabokov wrote both stories, A Dashing Fellow
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(1930) and A Nursery Tale (late 1920s), during his time in Germany. Born in 1899 to a wealthy family in St Petersburg, Nabokov fled for Berlin after the October Revolution of 1917. Twenty years later he and his Russian-Jewish wife would be forced to leave Germany in the wake of Hitler’s rise to power,
22 Apr – 17 May 2014,
at The New Diorama Theatre, London eventually settling in the United States where Nabokov was to write his most celebrated work, Lolita (1955). His first nine novels, including these two stories, were written in Russian, but the majority of his work was composed in beautiful and intricate English. Following Belka’s clever staging of two short stories alongside each other in their recent play, Sunstroke, there is much to look forward to in next year’s Nabokovian double-bill. Sunstroke explored two extramarital affairs in the heat of a Russian summer, bringing together Chekhov’s celebrated story of love on the Russian Riviera from The Lady with the Dog and Bunin’s tale of a chance encounter aboard a steamer sailing the Volga River. The company’s first production, the UK premiere of Zorin’s A Warsaw Melody, told a story of the fragility and resilience of love behind the Iron Curtain. In this work by one of Russia’s greatest modern playwrights, love blossoms between a young Russian man and a beautiful Polish singer. But in Stalin's brutally controlled empire their love simply cannot be, and over the span of two decades of missed opportunities their passionate desire matures into an altogether different and more moving kind of love. Both Sunstroke and A Warsaw Melody garnered a string of excellent reviews, with the latter featuring as Critics Choice in The Times for the duration of its run. It is exciting to see a new company in London focussing exclusively on Russian-inspired theatre and acting as a strong focus for Anglo-Russian cultural exchange. Formed in 2011 by actors Oliver King, Rosy Benjamin and director Oleg Mirochnikov, the company is named
in honour of one of the first Russian dogs in space. Belka was launched from Russian mission control in August 1960 and became the first dog to actually orbit and return alive. By adapting classic Russian texts for British audiences, the young company hopes to continue Belka’s pioneering work, albeit in the arts! With 2014 now designated as the UK-Russia Year of Culture, A Dashing Fellow comes at a particularly appropriate time to celebrate the achievements of Russian cultural figures. Belka are also currently co-producing the West End transfer of the Mossovet Theatre and Andrei Konchalovsky’s Russian-language productions of Chekhov’s Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya, which will be staged at Wyndham’s Theatre in the West End in April 2014. Belka’s bold, physically expressive and imaginative productions are not to be missed. Few other theatre companies offer British audiences the opportunity to experience Russian texts that are rarely shown on stage abroad. In A Dashing Fellow, Vladimir Nabokov’s sumptuous dream worlds of fantasy and nightmare will undoubtedly be made vividly real and unforgettable by Belka Productions. ____________________________________________ A Dashing Fellow will run from April 22nd to May 17th 2014 at The New Diorama Theatre near Regent’s Park, London. For tickets (£10 - £17) and further information please visit www.newdiorama. com or call 020 7383 9034. You can contact Belka Productions at email@example.com
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Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov and Andrei Konchalovsky The internationally renowned film and theatre director, producer and screenwriter, Andrei Konchalovsky, will transfer his productions of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya and Three Sisters from Moscow’s Mossovet State Theatre to London’s Wyndham’s Theatre between the 23rd April and the 3rd May 2014.
eeding an increasing appetite for international theatre in London, with extended seasons of Russian Ballet at the Coliseum and a growing number of foreign language productions in the West End, Uncle Vanya and Three Sisters will be performed in Russian with English subtitles. Andrei Konchalovsky has utilised the same setting and cast for both productions, drawing on the striking similarities between Chekhov’s two most celebrated plays. The plays will be performed in rep, with the press night for the productions on Thursday 24th April.
First staged at the Mossovet in 2009, this production coincided with two significant events in the literary world: 150 years since the birth, and 105 years since the death, of Chekhov. Uncle Vanya is undisputedly one of the best of Chekhov’s plays – subtle, expressive and woven into an intricate tapestry of psychology and explosive RM Special issue 2014
Stage 2005), House of Fools (Grand Special Prize, Venice International Film Festival 2002), The Inner Circle, Tango and Cash, Duet for One, Runaway Train, The Odyssey (Emmy winner for Best Director) and Uncle Vanya.
“When people ask me why is Chekhov meaningful today? I think that the time is near when journalists will ask Riccardo Muti what is so meaningful about Mozart is or why does Gergiev conduct Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony?” Chekhov is a symphony. A symphony of life. Of life without tragic incidents, grand events or spiritual outbursts. Of life where there are no heroes. As Chekhov said himself – it is a simple, “gray, philistine life...”. A person is incapable of staring endlessly at the moon to watch it disappear beyond the horizon. A person cannot watch a tree and see it go yellow. By the same token we cannot watch life so closely that we see how it leads to death. Nevertheless, we know that the moon sets, that trees go yellow and shed their leaves, and that life comes to an end. Chekhov was able to see and distinguish life in closer detail than any almost any other writer. He was the founder of the modern drama that replaced the romantic tragedy of the 19th century. It’s easy to love talented heroes, unbroken by misfortune or life. It’s difficult to love ordinary people, who are incapable of heroic acts. Chekhov loves these very people because he knows that life is unique and short. As the poet Marina Tsvetaeva said, “Love me, too, for I shall die”. Chekhov’s notion of theatre is precisely captured in his observation that, “People on stage dine and drink tea and at this very moment their lives are unravelin”. Andrei Konchalovsky, 2013 www.pc.konchalovsky.ru
humour. Wasted aspirations, unrestrained anguish, life lived without purpose – the author studies closely the characters' internal world, set over a few days of the nineteenth century in the self-imposed isolation of a remote, stagnant Russian estate.
Although Konchalovsky's theatre generally embraces traditional psychology, the characters in the Three Sisters are played in an unexpected, paradoxical and, in some cases, strongly ironic style. The monologues in the play take on a new meaning, thus inviting viewers to see the entire play from a very different perspective. Konchalovsky intentionally causes a distraction between every scene, pulling the audience back out into the "real" world and then allowing them to delve back into the world of Chekhov when the next scene starts. With their complex polyphony, the cast force the audience to see these well-known characters in a new light as they once again relive this tragic tale.
is a renowned theatre and film director as well as a producer and screenwriter. His film and television credits include In The Dark, The Last Station, The Nutcracker, The Lion In Winter (Golden Globe nomination www.RussianMind.com
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Narcissus and I the Ballet Story Inspired by Onegin and Cinderalla
About Paul Surety, the Director: “The year of 2014 has been announced as the UK-Russia Year of Culture, which will celebrate the long-lasting cultural links between the two countries, and illustrate how the relationship continues to develop exciting new creative and contemporary narratives. It is in this context we have aimed to conceive a project to celebrate the best of Russian and UK culture in beautiful union, and directly explore the connection of performance and audience in this cultural setting. With this goal in mind we have developed this short film “Narcissus and I”. “Narcissus and I” celebrates some of the best of Russian culture - classical ballet, and Pushkin poetry, but the plot is set in contemporary London.
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It is a modern day Cinderella tale. The narrative revolves around the action of a young woman and a striking male ballet dancer (performed by renowned Russian ballet dancer Sergei Polunin). The film is narrated to translations of the love letters from Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin (read by great British actor Simon Callow)”.
Sergei Polunin is a world-known ballet dancer, former a principal ballet dancer of the British Royal Ballet. Currently he is a principal ballet dancer of The Stanislavsky Music Theatre (Moscow) and Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre (Novosibirsk) in Russia. He joined the British Royal Ballet School at the age of 13 in 2003, sponsored by the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation, and became a first soloist at the Royal Ballet in 2009. In June 2010 Polunin became the Royal Ballet’s youngest ever principal. He was first shown in the international spotlight in the role of Slavemaster/ Sheppard in the 25th Anniversary of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall. 50
Simon Callow has played some of the theatre’s most iconic roles. These have ranged from Titus Andronicus, Mozart in Amadeus and Faust to Oscar Wilde in The Importance of Being Oscar, Captain Hook and Pozzo in Waiting For Godot, opposite Sir Ian McKellen, Ronald Pickup and Patrick Stewart. Simon has also written 13 books. These include Being an Actor, Shooting the Actor, a highly acclaimed biography of Charles Laughton, a biographical trilogy of Orson Welles (of which the first two parts have now been published), Love is Where it Falls and his memoir My Life in Pieces. “Narcissus and I” will be released in 2014. www.dreamingof.co/Narcissus-I
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Andrei Plakhov, Programme Director of the London Russian Film Festival; Sergei Soloviev, film director; Tatiana Drubich, actress; Anna Soloviev, composer
HE Ambassador of Russia Mr Alexander Yakovenko, Svetlana Adjoubei, festival director, and Nana Yakovenko
Russian Film Festival in London:
Lights, Camera, Action!
n 27 September 2007, the doors of the Apollo West End cinema opened, marking the official beginning of the first Russian Film Festival in London organised by Academia Rossica, a UK arts and culture organisation. The idea of the festival was to familiarise British audiences with recent Russian works, in the hope of bringing the two cultures together. Moreover, the festival provided those living away from the Motherland with an opportunity to immerse them in the atmosphere of Russianness, painted by their compatriots on the screen. For the past years, the festival has become an integral part of Russian
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cultural in the UK, being the only event where you can see the best Russian releases at the same time. In 2014 Russian Film Festival would play an important role in the crosscultural integration, bring to London new releases and the most famous Russian film making celebrities. While we are approaching this cultural extravaganza, RussianMind found out about the Festival’s past, present and future from Svetlana Adjoubei, the Head of Academia Rossica Art and Culture Foundation
The 8th London Russian Film Festival
“The London Russian Film Festival has been an important feature of 52
the London cultural scene for the last 7 years – for both the British and Russian audience. The UKRussia Year presents us with new opportunities and at the same time, undoubtedly, our audience’s expectations will be higher than ever. To meet these expectations we have already started preparing for the 2014 Russian Film Festival. In preparation for 2014, this year the London Russian Film Festival moved to one of the most famous cinemas in the world – the legendary Empire Leicester Square. A range of big screens makes it possible to show Russian films to a bigger audience and will also include more films in the Festival programme. www.RussianMind.com
At the 6th London Russian Film Festival, November 2012
Andrei Malakhov, actor, and Victor Ginzburg, film director
Maria Shalaeva, actress, in conversation with Chris Curling, film producer
Svetlana Proskurina, film director
Vitaly Mansky, documentary film director with his fans
Cinema We try to make our programme as divers as possible - through intense dramas, sparkling comedies and powerful documentaries, the Festival showcases today’s Russia as well as contemporary Russian cinema. The festival always invites awardwinning film directors, producers, actors and actresses to present their work to a London audience and meet with their Russian admirers – watch out, in 2014 London will sparkle with Russian film celebrities! The London Lion Award will be awarded to the director of the best film of the festival. The winner will be selected by a panel of eminent century – starting from the silent movies through Soviet musicals of the 1930s and the great late Soviet melodramas and historical blockbusters. This will be free and a great way to celebrate Russia’s great cinematography”.
Pavel Lungin, film director
British film critics, directors and producers and the London Lion Award represents a London critics’ perspective on Russian cinematography. Apart from the main programme showcasing new works, the festival will be showing a retrospective of one of the great Russian film directors – this will be a surprise and a real treat for our audience. Despite its title, the London Russian Film Festival’s geography is much wider than London. Every year the festival collaborates with the UK leading universities bringing a selection of screenings and directors to those cities. We hope that more cities will join the festival in 2014 inviting new Russian films and their creators. British-Russian Coproduction Forum is another important side of the festival. It provides Russian and British film producers and directors to introduce their new projects and RM Special issue 2014
At the London Russian Film Festival
ideas and discuss the possibilities of working together and producing new films. I am delighted that in 2014 we will be releasing two Russia-British co-productions that were conceived at our First British-Russian Coproduction Forum three years ago”.
Academia Rossica is a cultural organisation set up in 2000 to promote and strengthen cultural and intellectual ties between Russia and English-speaking world, pioneering intercultural projects and bringing the best of contemporary Russian culture to the outside world. With offices in London and Moscow, Academia Rossica acts as a bridge between these two thriving cultural capitals. Academia Rossica events: academia-rossica.org
Russian Films under the British Skies
“Whereas London Russian Film Festival is dedicated to presenting the best new Russian films, in summer 2014 we are launching a new project which will celebrate Russia as a country of the great cinematic tradition. Academia Rossica will organise a series of open-air screenings for some of the best known Russian films of the 20th 54
Svetlana Adjoubei, the festival director; Anna Melikyan, film director; Maria Shalaeva, actress www.RussianMind.com
Moscow Never Sleeps to Rock Cannes in 2014 RussianMind spoke to Michael Masterovoy, the producer of upcoming film Moscow Never Sleeps which will open at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014. The feature film in Russian is a multi-narrative drama about the hidden bonds that connect us all. The film follows the intimate lives of five people and depicts a cross-section of Moscow society.
RM: Can you tell me more about this central character? MM: Oleg Lebedev-Bovolsky is playing the oligarch called Anton. His character is a developer and he has a girlfriend called Katya. He is divorced and he has a nine year old son. He is very focused, and he’s a successful
RussianMind: Tell me about the film’s origins. What inspired Moscow Never Sleeps? Michael Masterovoy: The movie is kind of inspired by Magnolia, several stories which are interconnected. It’s a funny project; it’s an Irish movie but set in Russia, with Russian characters. Fifty percent of the film is sponsored by the Irish Film Fund and Euromarché - the European Film Fund. The film has an artistic and universal quality which demonstrates the talent of our director Johnny O’Reilly. He lived in Russia for ten years and first came to Moscow at the start of the 1990s as a correspondent. Plus he is a fluent Russian speaker. Two years ago he wrote the script for ‘Moscow Never Sleeps’. We met in Cannes and I was really excited about the project. I deeply related to his ideas about the cast. RM: What is the plotline for the film? MM: The film is in Russian with Russian actors. It will be dubbed into English and the idea is that it will go into the Oscars next year as a foreign language film. There are five novels in the movie and it shows one day in the life of Muscovites, of different social classes and different statuses. In the process of the film they are interconnected. One novel is about a Russian oligarch, in Russia the people who are worth a bit less are called minigarchs! RM Special issue 2014
Cinema and aggressive businessman. All he is concerned about are the figures in the bank. At the end of the film his project is taken away by another company that is connected to the KGB and he has to leave his business. He gets an offer he can’t refuse and at the end of the film he takes a plane to New York, leaving everything he has behind in Russia. RM: It sounds like some of the Russian oligarchs based in London! MM: Yes, it’s a typical story. It’s very contemporary because I think in Russia nobody feels safe; it’s one of the reasons everybody likes to seize the day. If you see a party in the Premier Lounge, one of the top Russian clubs where the oligarchs take their girlfriends, and where the girls seek wealthy men, you will see it’s like a Gatsby party. I think Johnny wanted to make the Gatsby impression; that nobody knows what tomorrow will bring, maybe the cash-flow from the oil will run out. The situation looks like the final days of prohibition in America when everybody knew that in a few months it would be over.
RM: So will the film be distributed here in Europe? MM: Our overseas agency is Fendi Films, which is based in London. RM: There are many examples of contemporary artists commenting on political society in Russia today which can cause problems. For example, in St Petersburg recently there was an artist who painted Medvedev and Putin in their underwear and now he’s fled to Paris. Is there a political angle to your film?
MM: I prefer to stay out of politics. We wanted the movie to show the life of real people and not many people in Russia are concerned about politics, just as long as they get their pay-cheques. I don’t think politics is one of the major issues in this film. Of course one of the characters is Anton, who is pushed out of his business – this is politics, because his opponents are connected to power structures and that’s the way business is done in Russia. But I don’t think the other characters care about what’s going on in the Kremlin.
RM: I read that the Director wanted to present the real Russia, because the perception in the West of Russia and the reality of the country is very different. So how are you trying to present Russia? MM: We tried to present Russia a little differently than how it is presented in the New York Times or the magazines. Everybody thinks that Russia is all about oligarchs in contrast to the poor and there’s an enormous gap, which is more like what is going on in the United States. We have a middle class, but a lot of people still think it is like it was in the 1990s when Russia was really poor. Now it is completely different, people live regular lives, the country is becoming a consumer society. www.RussianMind.com
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Cinema RM: Tell me about the other characters. It sounds like you have different people representing all levels of society? MM: Absolutely, and at the end of the day they all meet in Gorky Park, which is the biggest park in Europe, and it has more money than Central Park in New York. It’s funded by the Government and also, supposedly, by Abramovich. So at the end of the film they all meet in Gorky Park and there are fireworks, it’s a spectacular end to the story, and the visuals are really great. Our cameraman Fedor Lyass is a real genius, he’s shot several series in Moscow, and his last movie was Dukhless, which was a big hit in Russia. RM: Which famous actors are in the movie? MM: We have a fantastic cast, it’s A-list, for example we have Mikhail Efremov, who is very famous for his performance on a TV show on Dozhd Channel, everybody used to watch it every evening. Now he is one of the most sought-after actors in Russia. We also have Yuri Stoyanov, who is also a legend. His TV show was a comedy, which was on the air for 20 years and had the highest ratings. In this film he plays an actor recovering from a coma, the actor that he plays is really famous, and is fond of drinking. He is tired of life and he’s disappointed that the doctors saved his life. The bottom line of the film is that every character at the end of the film realises the real value of life; it’s not money or fame, it’s human relationships. So that unites all the characters. It’s really humanistic and I think it will speak to all audiences. RM: Russian literature, music, and art are well known here in London. But Russian actors and Russia films are maybe not as familiar. Is one of your objects to introduce contemporary Russian life to Western audiences or is it mainly aimed at audiences in Russia? RM Special issue 2014
MM: Well everybody speaks about universal values, and I think that Americans, British, or Europeans will relate to this film and the characters. Johnny was trying to show the qualities of the characters, so it’s not just action, or a blockbuster, or stereotypes, it shows how they are and I think this is great, it’s really humanistic. RM: Many of the big studios have turned away from drama to focus on superhero blockbusters. What is the state of contemporary Russian film today? Is drama still popular and is the Russian consumer market different from what we’re producing in Britain, Europe or in the USA? MM: I read the applications to the Film Fund for the films that they supports and I think about 70% were comedies. This is because they are cheap to shoot and they are romcoms, which are always popular. But they don’t think about artistic qualities, they speak only about their return on their investments. That’s a policy of the Film Fund, because initially they talked about the artistic quality and the ideas, and now they only think about the money. RM: What’s the budget for the movie? MM: It’s US$3.2 million, so by Russian standards it’s big budget. RM: How long will the feature film be? MM: Around 110 minutes. RM: How far through production is the film at the moment? MM: We are planning to finish the movie before Christmas and then Johnny will go to Dublin to edit it, in the same studio that is owned by U2. We’re planning to have that finished by March to send it to Cannes, where we hope to have it featured in one of the official programmes. It won’t be their main competition, it might be 58
the Director’s Fortnight because it’s Johnny’s second motion picture. RM: You mentioned about the Oscars. Are you applying to be part of the official language selection for Russia’s entries? MM: Actually we are applying for it to be through Ireland. Technically it’s Irish because it’s supported by the Irish Government and in Russia we only have private investors backing it. RM: You’re filming in Moscow, what have been the challenges filming in a real city where you have traffic and people always around? MM: I think one of the main challenges is the weather. It’s so easy to shoot somewhere like Mumbai because you know tomorrow there will be the same weather as today. In Moscow several shooting days were cancelled. It’s actually my first film shooting in Moscow and I thought that it would be a nightmare due to organisation, and having a Russian crew etc. We didn’t have too many problems regarding security and permits so that was good. I saw a lot of goodwill, a lot of people and a lot of businesses were really excited about the film and they really helped us. A lot of companies, retailers and construction companies, although they couldn’t help us financially, but offered their premises and facilities which saved us a lot of money. ‘Moscow Never Sleeps’ has received development finance from the Irish Film Board and is to shoot on location in Moscow. The film is being produced by Katie Holly and Andrey Zakharov. www.facebook.com/ moscowneversleepsfilm www.RussianMind.com
Catherine Merridale. Red Fortress: The Kremlin in Russian History Russian Mind spoke to Catherine Merridale, Professor of Contemporary History at Queen Mary University of London, about her new publication Red Fortress: The Kremlin in Russian History.
© Jochen Braun
Kremlin. It’s such a fantastic monument to Russian history.
Russian Mind: What first attracted you to write about Russian history? Catherine Merridale: I learnt Russian when I was at school. It was complete serendipity, and learning the language was such a pleasure that I got hooked. RM: You’re latest book is on the history of the Kremlin. Why did you choose this subject? CM: I went to Russia for the first time in 1982. I was fascinated by the bleak landscape that was Soviet Moscow. One of my previous projects was on the oral history of trauma and pain. I was at a conference and someone suggested doing something on perpetrators, the KGB or interrogators. If you want to look at Russian history the ultimate perpetrator is the state. This book was an opportunity for me to get to grips with the state in a very big way. Like falling in love with Russian, I became increasingly fascinated with the www.RussianMind.com
RM: What do you think it is about the Kremlin that makes it so iconic in Russian history? It is a symbol of power and authority, but it is also an extraordinary historical building. CM: Yes and it is also a religious symbol. So it’s that combination of all those things. It’s a symbol of Russianness that combines the religious, the powerful, and historical pain. I think it’s the pain of all the losses that the Kremlin embodies, and the fact that it has survived. It is to some people, not everybody, very beautiful in its way. Lots of Russians want to see their history – here it is. RM: What does Kremlin actually mean? CM: It means stronghold or fortress. It comes from the North. In the 14th and 15th centuries Russia wasn’t Russia but a series of citystates. Pskov and Novgorod had to fortify themselves against all sorts of invaders and so they built these fortresses to protect themselves. RM: Your book covers a huge time span. As an historian, how do you tackle so many centuries in one publication? CM: Slowly! And with the help of everybody I could lay my hands on! When I was a student I read a book by 59
James Billington called The Icon and the Axe, and I absolutely loved it. In the back of my mind there’s always been a thought that I would write a book of Russian history similarly ambitious in its scope. But if anybody had told me it would take six years; three full time years and three years thinking about it, it’s a daunting thought. But it’s so enriching to understand not just Russian history from the 9th century to the present, where it fits into the stream of European and world history. RM: You have included unpublished material from Russian archives. Where did you find that primary material and how important are these documents to historians? CM: Archives are always enriching. I found lots of material in the Archive of Ancient Arts in Moscow. They would give me the documents but I’d find I couldn’t always read them because they were in medieval Russian! The archivists were very helpful me to locate these beautiful and valuable artefacts. RM: What kind of documents were you looking at? CM: Documents relating to accounts for instance, I was very interested in how much things cost and who paid. I was looking at documents relating to big fires and monasteries, which no longer exist. They’re very interesting because they take you into another world. The written histories that were written in the 1950s and 1960s about the Kremlin were written by the Kremlin Museum curators. They tend to focus on the big things like the Uspenskiy Cathedral. RM Special issue 2014
Literature RM: You’re a Western historian but you have spent a long time in Russia and working in former Soviet archives. Have you faced any challenges as a Western historian there? CM: The way it works is that you can get into the archive with your letter of introduction but then you won’t necessarily get the documents you want. You have to make several visits! It’s like peeling an onion. The most traumatic time for me in the archives was when I would see upsetting material. I worked on the Auschwitz documents for my last book on the Red Army. The archivist shut me in the room on my own all day with these rather distressing photographs. But then there are funny stories. I went to Smolensk to visit their city archive. Officially it was closed so I went to see the head of the archives. She said that it was closed but because I was a woman they’d let me in. So I was put into a room where they had a big notice on the door which said ‘Dangerous. Do not enter’. The archive was in an old Cathedral that was falling into the ravine, so there was no heating or electricity, and as I worked the ceiling was falling onto my desk! RM: Working in archives means you can stumble across material that you aren’t expecting. Did you find any crucial documents like this? CM: Many times. In particular the document about the nuns being kicked out of the Kremlin in 1920. With the Red Army it was the soldiers’ letters in the Komsomol archive, and they were filed alphabetically according to the soldier that sent them. I was on ‘L’ or ‘K’ and I read one series of letters from a soldier to his wife. He wrote to her every other day telling her how much he loved her and how much he missed her. They were very moving. Then I went to the next one in the file and it was from the same soldier to his mistress telling her the same things! RM Special issue 2014
RM: So how important do you think primary material is? CM: You can’t work without it. Particularly because Russian history has been so controversial, so anything written before the 1990s is not terribly reliable. I know that during the 1970s Soviet historians used to falsify their footnotes under pressure to do so. So if you rely on stuff that was published early on, then you’re in trouble. It’s like eating food without spices. The archives not only give you new facts but they give you the colours and the textures.
to all of history is respect and listening. Of course people tell you the most dreadful lies. There was one particular woman who invited us to her flat and lied to us solidly for about an hour. At the end of the hour I said that it was nice to meet her but that I was well aware that what she had said wasn’t true. And she admitted it, but she said that she just wanted someone to see her new parquet floor as she’d just had it laid! So you just have to keep reminding yourself that they are people and not respondents.
RM: What is role and status does the Kremlin have today in Russian society? CM: First of all it’s a tourist attraction. It still is the number one tourist attraction in Moscow, above the Tretyakov Gallery. It’s old status is as a pilgrimage site and it’s the seat of the President, and to Russians that means a huge amount. Watching the news, seeing Mr. Putin in that grand office, walking down those huge corridors, that’s their President and their Kremlin. I think that makes a great difference. And finally it is a military base. It’s a secure military compound.
RM: What would you say is the role of the modern historian today? CM: Historians tell stories that people want to hear, or need to hear. I’m certainly driven by a desire to understand and to know.
RM: So in a way it is used for political purposes as a tool of propaganda? CM: Yes, the Kremlin propagates the idea of an eternal Russia. The idea that it gives you is that Russia is secure, strong and safe. But if you look a bit closer the red staircase was rebuilt in 1994 and another one was rebuilt in the 19th century. Huge amounts of it are not as they used to be. I suppose the walls are Stalinist because he had them re-done. So wherever you go it doesn’t actually symbolise eternity.
RM: What advice would you give to any up and coming historians interested in Russia and Russian history? CM: Buy some comfortable shoes! You’re going to have to do a lot of walking around. If I were a young historian now I’d be looking to travel into the countryside where the archives are full of wonderful things. Where people want to talk and there is so much history that wants to be found out and it’s very rich.
RM: How do you deal with oral history as an historian? People’s memories change over time and people’s testimonies can change. CM: It’s very easy to think of people as respondents but they’re actually people. First of all I had to learn Russian manners. Then really the key 60
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Waterstones to Host an Evening on Researching in Russian Archives
o coincide with Russian Art Week, the Russian Bookshop at Waterstones and Russian Art and Culture has teamed up to give audiences a chance to meet a panel of popular historians. Resurrecting the Past: Lost Stories from the Russian Archives, will be a round table discussion between Vladimir Alexandrov, Catherine Merridale and Giles Milton all of whom have recently written surprising and enthralling accounts of Russian and Soviet history. Focusing on the theme of personal experiences of Revolutionary Russia, the authors will discuss their research into the lives of a handful of exceptional individuals who found their lives upended by the events of 1917. The panel will also reveal how they used archival material to piece together the experiences of their subjects and what these individual stories can reveal about Russian history as a whole. There will also be an opportunity on the night to purchase the trio’s latest publications.
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Vladimir Alexandrov, The Black Russian Vladimir grew up in New York City in a Russian émigré family. After teaching in the Slavic Department at Harvard, he moved to Yale University in 1986, where he continues to teach courses on Russian literature and culture. His most recent publication, The Black Russian, tells the remarkable story of Frederick Bruce Thomas, an African-American man who made his fortune in Russia during the final years of Imperial rule. After renaming himself Fyodor Fyodorovich Tomas, he took Russian citizenship and grew to become one of the city’s richest and most famous owner of various theatres and restaurants. Yet his success was short lived. Alexandrov’s book recounts not only the spectacular rise, but also the sudden and dramatic downfall that befell Frederick after the 1917 Revolution. Catherine Merridale, Red Fortress: History and Illusion in the Kremlin Catherine Merridale is Professor of Contemporary History at Queen Mary, University of London. A pioneer of oral history in Russia, Professor Merridale has covered a fascinating range of Russian history, from her study of how Russians have coped with loss and bereavement in Night of Stone: Death and Memory in Russia (Granta, 2000) to her look at the Second World War from the perspective of a typical Soviet soldier in Ivan’s Death in the Red Army War: Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939-1945 (Faber and Faber, 2005). Her forthcoming book Red Fortress: History and Illusion in the Kremlin (Metropolitan Books, 2013) takes readers behind the red 62
walls and towers of the Kremlin, tracing the rich history of Russia’s most famous landmark from Ivan the Terrible to Vladimir Putin. Giles Milton, Russian Roulette: A Deadly Game: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin’s Global Plot Giles Milton is the internationally best-selling author of eight works of popular history, including Nathaniel’s Nutmeg. His books have been translated into twenty languages. His latest book, Russian Roulette: A Deadly Game: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin's Global Plot, tells the unknown story of a group of British spies smuggled into Soviet Russia on an undercover mission to thwart Lenin’s Bolshevik-Islamic plot to topple British India and the Western democracies. Their work was to have an unexpected consequence, one that continues to influence our lives today. Resurrecting the Past: Lost Stories of the Russian Archives A roundtable discussion with Catherine Merridale, Vladimir Alexandrov and Giles Milton Tuesday 26th November, 6.308.00pm at The Russian Bookshop, Waterstones, Picadilly www.RussianMind.com
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Book Releases 2014
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Literature Musorgsky and His Circle A Russian Musical Adventure By Stephen Walsh Release Date: 7 November 2013 An accessible and thoughtprovoking biographical study of the five creators of some of the bestknown and most admired Russian music of the nineteenth century. The extraordinary group of Russian composers who came together in St Petersburg in the 1860s – the moguchaya kuchka (Mighty Handful) or simply ‘The Five’ – gave rise to one of the most intriguing and colourful stories in musical history. Stephen Walsh, author of a major biography of their direct successor, Stravinsky, has written an absorbing account of Musorgsky and his circle – Borodin, Cui, Balakirev, RimskyKorsakov and the art historian Vladimir Stasov. With little or no musical education they created works of lasting significance – Musorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Borodin’s Prince Igor and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherazade. Written with deep understanding and panache, this engaging biography is a significant contribution to cultural history.
phenomenon; the author suggests a method, a personal path each citizen of Russia may follow to avert corruption in their country.
in Russia, with concrete examples and historical references, is now available to the reader in the English language. Soloviev goes further than just talking about the basics of this evil
Empire of Corruption The Russian National Pastime By Vladimir Soloviev Release: 8 May 2014 Empire of Corruption is Vladimir Soloviev’s attempt to share his opinions on Russia’s ways of dealing with corruption. With a certain irony, Soloviev calls the issue ‘the Russian national pastime’, explaining why in the country where everyone is supposedly fighting corruption, corruption still rules. The author’s detailed research into the corruption structure www.RussianMind.com
Myths about Russia By Vladimir Medinskiy Release: 8 May 2014 Russia’s rich history is full of secrets: there’s not another country in the world with so many skeletons in its closet. Vladimir Medinskiy’s new book offers the reader an opportunity to get better acquainted with some myths about Russia in a quick, easy and entertaining way. The book covers some of the most interesting, colourful and controversial debates in Russian history and the most popular myths about Russia: vodka and its role in some incredible adventures; Russia’s problems (apart from the roads and having too many fools); some lessons from the Bastille and the Civil War; the last testament of Peter the Great, amongst many others. In his book the author tackles some of the most pressing questions about Russia: whether you can trust Russians; the meaning of progress in Russian terms; who really won at the Battle of Borodino two hundred years ago; why Russians call Napoleon ‘the consummate liar’; and also whether Russians are the true originators of petrol, mobile phones and the cinema. Myths About Russia is Medinskiy’s original and humorous take on the subject: in this book, he diligently unravels the myths surrounding this vast and complex nation, picking them apart to uncover the truth about Russia and her fascinating history. www.glagoslav.com RM Special issue 2014
The 5th SLOVO Russian Literature Festival 2014
rom Pushkin to Pelevin, Dostoevsky to Shishkin, Mayakovsky to Bykov literature has always been Russia’s calling card and writers have been its most important ambassadors! Their stories, their insights into human nature, their philosophical musings and debates continue to engage and inspire readers all over the world. And when speaking about the relationship between Britain and Russia, it is certainly the literary links that have been the strongest ties between the two countries. It is no surprise then, that the only festival of Russian literature outside Russia was established in London! Launched in 2008, SLOVO festival celebrates the best in contemporary Russian fiction, explores the vibrant world of new Russian poetry and represents the breadth of Russian non-fiction. The festival brings the most acclaimed contemporary Russian authors to the UK to discuss and debate the most current literary and social issues with UK writers and
readers. Now in its fourth year, the festival builds stronger cultural and intellectual links between Russia and Britain. Svetlana Adjoubei, the Head of Academia Rossica: “In March 2014 Academia Rossica will be celebrating Russian literature with its SLOVO Festival for the
Writer Boris Akunin talking to Paul Mitchell, documentary film maker; Vladimir Grigoriev, deputy head of the Russian Federal Angency for Press and Mass Communications, and Svetlana Adjoubei, Director of Academia Rossica
Seva Novgorodtsev, legendary BBC radio host with Banu Tuyakbayeva, Academia Rossica RM Special issue 2014
fifth time! We were delighted with the enthusiasm of our audience in 2013 – 2,000 people came to SLOVO Festival events. This of course should not be a surprise as literary links between Russia and Britain are probably the strongest. The best known Russian writers – Dmitry Bykov, Mikhail Shishkin, Boris Akunin, Zakhar Prilepin, as well as
younger generation of authors – will be visiting London to take part in SLOVO to delight our audience again! In 2014 the programme of SLOVO will include not only literary readings and discussions. We are also preparing film screenings, theatre performances, musical recitals inspired by Russian literature and a few other surprises for SLOVO audience”. www.RussianMind.com
The Rossica Translation Prize
Winner John Elsworth and Judge Pamela Davidson
he Rossica Translation Prize is the only prize in the world awarded to a new English translation of a literary work written in Russian. Since 2005 the Rossica Translation Prize has shone a spotlight on Russian literature in translation and honoured the talent and dedication of the translators and publishers who give Russia an English voice. The value of the prize is £5,000, to be split between the translator and the publisher at the Judges’ discretion. It aims to raise the international profile of translators and the art of literary translation, as well as that www.RussianMind.com
of contemporary Russian literature. We accept new translations of any work of prose, poetry, drama, biography or history, including multiauthor anthologies and short story collections. The 2012 Rossica Prize's winner was John Elsworth for his translation of Andrei Bely’s Petersburg, while previous winners include Oliver Ready, Joanne Turnbull and Amanda Love Darragh. We invite publishers to submit books published in 2011, 2012 and 2013 for the next Rossica Prize, which will be awarded in 2014. 67
Svetlana Adjoubei, the Head of Academia Rossica: “I am delighted that Academia Rossica will be part of the UK-Russia Year of Culture. It will be a very special year for British-Russian relations and it is a great opportunity for people of both our countries to get to know each other better and to learn from each other. For Academia Rossica it will be a very special year also because at the end of 2014 we will be celebrating Academia Rossica’s 15th anniversary!” academia-rossica.org RM Special issue 2014
Katya Galitzine: 250 Years of Hermitage History RussianMind spoke to Princess Katya Galitzine about her role as chief executive of the Hermitage Foundation UK and future plans for the UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014 and the 250th anniversary of the museum. RussianMind: What role do you and the Hermitage Foundation UK play? Katya Galitzine: The Hermitage Foundation has evolved since the days that the Hermitage Museum had rooms in Somerset House. There are International Friends organisations throughout the world set up to support and develop relations with the Hermitage Museum. The first Foundation began in Amsterdam, mainly due to the enthusiasm and energy of Ernst Van Weem, who recognised the importance of restoring the ceiling for the Rembrandt Gallery - which was in a dreadful state after the Soviet years and threatened to ruin one of the greatest collections of their most famous Dutch artist. St Petersburg and the Netherlands have much in common, as it was Amsterdam
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that Peter the Great went to learn ship building before planning his ideal city, his 'window on to the West' - St Petersburg. After the Dutch Friends, the British Friends united to open the Hermitage rooms in Somerset House in 2000, where for 6 years there were exhibitions brought over from St Petersburg. When Somerset House redeveloped its premises, the organisation changed its focus and now works like a very exclusive 'art club' - membership is for those that know and love the Hermitage and through their donations we are able to support many projects suggested by the Museum. RM: What kind of events do you organise here in the UK? KG: To thank our 'Friends' we organise private visits to the main Museums in London, often with the curators. The Hermitage has a constant flow of exhibits coming to exhibitions in the UK and we arrange viewings of these pieces. This year alone, there have been exhibits at The British Museum, the National Gallery, the Courtauld Institute, the V&A, as well as less famous galleries such as The Brunei Gallery and, of course, the hugely successful exhibition Houghton Revisited at Houghton Hall in Norfolk, where the paintings from the collection of England's first Prime Minister, Robert Walpole are on display in their original setting, 68
having been purchased by Catherine the Great in 1773. RM: What sort of projects does the Foundation support? Is there a lot of interest in the Hermitage Museum here in the UK? KG: Projects that our Friends support vary - from sponsoring a visit to England for a Hermitage curator, which allows them to meet their colleagues in the UK Museums and research academic papers on their chosen subjects. This scheme is hugely popular with both the Hermitage and the British curators, as it allows an exchange of information that would otherwise is quite difficult to access. Through the Foundation we publish one catalogue raisonnĂ¨ per year; these catalogues are vital for the art world to know what is held in the Hermitage collections - so often, the department has every exhibit listed with its provenance, only in Russian and these volumes we produce, then get distributed around the world to museums, art libraries and academic research centres again expanding people's awareness of what treasures lie within the walls www.RussianMind.com
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of this great museum. The books are beautifully produced and are available to the general public too. RM: Recently you've supported various exhibitions in Russia and the UK, such as Houghton Revisited. What events do you have planned for 2014? KG: Over the last few years, the main thrust for the Hermitage Foundation UK has been the 20/21 Project; so called because it supports the new premises in the General Staff building, where the collection of 20th and 21st Century art will be displayed. Since 1926, the Hermitage has not made any acquisitions and therefore the general public in Russia has not seen 20th Century art first hand. Therefore, the plan is to use these galleries to bring exhibitions of major collections from the 20th Century to Russia. The first big show, this year, 2013, has focused on German Expressionism; next year will be Surrealism and Dada'ism; to be followed by a Marcel Duchamp exhibition, as a landmark of when the language of art changed; Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. These 5
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major shows are considered by the new contemporary art department to bring the Russian audiences up to date with what is going on in the art scene of the 21st Century. At the same time, individual shows will be brought to the new galleries - which opened with a lot of uproar with The Chapman Brothers 'End of Fun' last October, an exhibition that provoked a lot of attention in the Russian press and hence launched the new exhibition space for the Hermitage. The exhibition was entirely funded by money raised by the Hermitage Foundation UK. RM: Can you tell me more about plans for the Morozov and Shchukin collections? KG: The General Staff building will be up and running throughout 2014, as the famous collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionists collected by the Moscow merchants Shchukin and Morozov, will be moved to this new venue. Some of the best examples of work by Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse will be given a space of their own, rather than the low ceilinged, stuffy third floor of the Winter Palace, where they have hung since the 1930's. RM: Hermitage 20/21 Project, which will be hosting Manifesta next year. What do you think of the Hermitage's venture into contemporary art? KG: Manifesta, the European Biennale will explode upon St Petersburg, infiltrating the old halls of the Hermitage museum with contemporary art. The chosen curator, Kaspar Konig, is keen to have living artists interacting with the old collection of the Hermitage museum. The same idea was used by Antony Gormley in 2011, when he removed all the Greek classical statues from their pedestals and interspersed them with his own block sculptures of the human form, 'Still Standing' was another exhibition funded entirely by the UK Foundation and was a huge success, visitor numbers breaking all previous records for contemporary art. 70
RM: What projects do you have planed for the upcoming UKRussia Year of Culture at the museum? KG: For next year, the 250th Anniversary coincides with the Anglo Russian year of culture, so the big show to end the year will be one of the greatest British artists, Francis Bacon - an exhibition planned together with the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich. On a smaller scale but of no less importance to the world of art, the UK Foundation plans to raise the money to restore a lost canvas by Francois Gerard of the Duke of Wellington, that has been found in the storage rooms of the Hermitage, having been rolled up for over 80 years. We hope the project will conclude during the Anniversary year of the Battle of Waterloo, in 2015. RM: Next year will also be particularly important for the Hermitage, as it will be celebrating its 250th birthday! How will you be marking this momentous occasion? KG: Next year will be a year of celebration and attention for the Hermitage. 250 years ago Catherine the Great began her private collection of art, by sending her Ambassadors around the world to buy collections for her Hermitage. Now, we the Foundations of the Hermitage (also in Holland, Italy, Canada and USA) are working together to make this year particularly important for the Hermitage; we will host a magnificent event at Spencer House on 1st May and the Winter Palace will host a Gala Ball in the Museum on 27th June. Let us hope that by the end of 2014, the name of the Hermitage and itsâ€™ collections will be as famous and familiar to everyone as the Louvre, the Prado and the Met. www.hermitagefriends.org Images ÂŠ State Hermitage Museum www.RussianMind.com
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Rossotrudnichestvo – the Russian Mission in the UK
wo years have passed since Rossotrudnichestvo representative office opened its doors to London's vibrant public and in no time has become a true Russian cultural centre. Located in the heart of Kensington where everyone can find an event that educates and engages in the fascinating world of Russian culture. Anton Chesnokov, the Director of Rossotrudnichestvo in the UK spoke to RussianMind about their upcoming projects:
“We see our top priority objectives are aimed at promoting Russian culture by educating about our country's vast historical heritage as well as giving everyone an opportunity to explore the modern Russia in the 21st century. We strengthen our ties with a steadily growing number of compatriots from the Russian speaking communities across Great Britain. Today Rossotrudnichestvo representative office has a great creative environment serving at least two public events each week
Presentation of the project "Following the steps of the Tsars in London". 04.07.2013 RM Special issue 2014
Opening of a new representative office of Rossotrudnichestvo in London. Prince Michael of Kent. 23. 03.2012
and we are continuously looking for new projects to take on. In 2013 we hosted over 100 non-profit events including children’s language classes, music competitions and gala concerts; Russian language teachers’ forums and round tables; captivating art exhibitions from Russia and Russian compatriots living in the UK; hosting the International festival of Russian poetry “PUSHKIN in BRITAIN”; we support the annual Russian Maslenitsa Week in London. We host Russian cuisine tasting events with RussianRevels; quarterly intellectual seminars in partnership with RussianMind; movie screenings commemorating 400 years of the Romanov Dynasty, as well as hosting various press conferences including the recent one with Vladimir Fedoseev (Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra) and many more. On the educational side we have had exiting one off events, such as master classes in wood carving, painting, ceramics and Matryoshkadoll making, as well as a very successful weekly Russian language classes for children from bilingual 72
families and the first Russian Chess School classes”.
UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014
“As 2014 UK-Russia Year of Culture draws closer to its grand opening, we are excited to see the great interest and proactive movements and ideas from both Russian compatriots and British people across the UK. In general 2014 cross cultural year between our great countries will give an additional boost towards creating strong, widespread and long-term cultural partnerships for the future. We are sure that there is much to look forward to in 2014. Both Russian and British organisers have made sure of this by creating a remarkable range of events that will bring enormous cultural and social benefits and enrich people lives, proving that 2014 cross cultural year will be an unforgettable experience”. www.gbr.rs.gov.ru Facebook - FB.ME/RSGovUK 0207 937335 www.RussianMind.com
Evening with Russian writer Lyudmila Ulitskaya. 16.04.2013
Russian folk artistic crafts exhibition. 14.03.2013
â€œDancer inside Londonâ€?. A photo-exhibition of a prominent Italian photographer and architect Simone Ghera. 18.06.2013
Exhibition of works by Mikhail Shemyakin. 05.02.2013
Minister-Counsellor of the Russian Embassy A.M. Kramarenko and the Embassy School children visit the exhibition of the Borodino battle layout. 06.09.2012
Special event for British veterans of Arctic convoys. 29.01.2013
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Russian Winter Festival returns to London in 2014
n December 2014 – at the end of the UK-Russia Year of Culture - the London based Russian British Cultural Association is planning to bring back one of London’s most vibrant cultural events – the Russian Winter Festival. The much anticipated return of the Festival, not staged in London since 2008, is scheduled to take place in the magnificent surroundings of Kensington Olympia. With a capacity of 10,000 at any one time, the 14,500 sq. m enclosed space will be alive with the finest examples of Russian art, culture, music, theatre and cuisine. The RBCA will bring the best rock, pop and traditional acts to the British capital, with a special
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emphasis on the cultural richness of Russia’s provinces. The Russian Winter Festival has won a strong following in London since the inaugural event in 2005, when it was conceived as an initiative that would show-case the richness of Russian culture to the British public. The result was a Russian cultural festival staged in Trafalgar Square, targeted at a wide audience, that would create a positive splash in the Russian, British and international media. From 2005 to 2008, the Festival was organised with the full support of London City Hall and the Moscow Mayor’s Office. In the four years it was staged at Trafalgar Square, the Festival
attracted up to 90,000 each year. One of the reasons for the Festival’s success is the outstanding, carefullyselected repertoire. Previous events have seen performances by the Red Army Choir, the A.V. Aleksandrov Russian Army Song and Dance Ensemble, as well as an appearance by the Kremlin Guards Regiment, all complemented by regional folk performances and rock groups. The Festival is also a rich environment for young visitors and families, with specially designed kids’ zones, street entertainers, face-painting and a tantalising range of traditional Russian food and drink, ensuring the event offers something for the whole family. www.rbca.info
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Russian Maslenitsa in London 2014
ussian Festival Maslenitsa returns to London for a week of events starting 24 February 2014, culminating in a huge celebration in the heart of the capital, Trafalgar Square on 2 March 2014. This most Russian of traditions is organised in London in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture from the Russian Federation and the Mayor of London, and with the support of the Russian Embassy in London. A free family focused event featuring a spectacular line-up of traditional and contemporary Russian song and dance, Festival Maslenitsa is a celebration not only of Russia’s rich cultural heritage but also its emerging contemporary scene. The square will be brought to life by live demonstrations of traditional Russian crafts which visitors will also have the chance to buy many tasty Russian delicacies, including beef stroganoff, borscht (beetroot soup), Russian pastries such as bubliki and vatrushki and the definitive Maslenitsa treat of blini pancakes. The children’s marquee will feature a colourful programme of performances, traditional songs, competitions, games and a presentation of Maslenitsa traditions. Maslenitsa 2013 featured performances by stars of the Eurovision Contest the Buranovskie Babushki (Singing Grannies), celebrated folk diva Nadezhda Babkina, young folk group Rodnaya Storonka, legendary ensemble Berezka, operatic sensation Aida Gariffulina, the award-winning Bisquit Quartet, the much loved Petr Nalich, highly decorated singer Oleg Gazmanov and one of the most famous Russian rock bands
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Smyslovye Galuzinazii. 2014’s line-up promises to be just as star studded; for more information check out the festival’s facebook page and website. The celebrations on Trafalgar Square are part of a week long programme of events happening across London for Russian Week in London and will include literary, culinary, art, fashion, theatrical and music events.
5 Reasons to Celebrate Russian Maslenitsa in London
1. Family Maslenitsa is traditionally a family event, and its London cousin will be no different, with a children's marquee programme featuring exclusive performances by the award winning Theatre Chudaki, a presentation of Maslenitsa traditions, with audience interaction, performances of traditional songs by children's groups and plenty of competitions, games and fun. 2. Music No celebration would be complete without music and the richness and diversity of Russia's musical heritage will 78
be laid out in a buzzing programme, direct from Russia of dance, theatre with folk, pop and jazz music. 3. Food Sample your way around a marketplace of authentic Russian dishes, ranging from the staples of beef stroganoff and borscht (beetroot soup) to such regional delicacies as pelmeni (Russian-style pasta), traditional Russian pastries (bubliki and vatrushki) and, of course, the quintessential Maslenitsa delicacy, blini (pancakes).
4. Crafts Trafalgar Square will be transformed into a bustling bazaar exhibiting and selling original Russian Art, handicrafts and souvenirs, ranging from the traditional to the contemporary. 5. Spring Salutation Tell winter where to get off and say "Zdravstvui Maslenitsa!" to Spring as only the Russians can! Russian people love to party so grab a drink and a blini and join in the fun. You won't be disapointed. maslenitsa.co.uk www.RussianMind.com
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Events Westminster Russia Forum The Westminster Russia Forum (WRF) was created by a number of people based in the UK who were involved in politics and business, and had a personal interest in Russia. It has grown to gain significant popularity and the involvement of a wide range of people from a variety of backgrounds.
WRF is politically neutral in both UK and Russian politics with regard to parties and candidates, but does seek to encourage open debate on issues of interest such as international diplomacy, energy security and internal political systems. It is not aligned or affiliated to any political party in any country.
14th Jan 2014 'Old New Years Dinner' with Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, Former Foreign Secretary Baltic Restaurant, 74 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8AH This year’s special guest is one of the most respected politicians of his generation, former Foreign Secretary Rt Hon Jack Straw MP. Jack has been the Member of Parliament for Blackburn since 1979 and is one of only three politicians to serve in cabinet positions throughout the whole thirteen years of the Labour Government under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown (19972010). Most notably, Jack was UK Foreign Secretary between 2001-2006, during the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the subsequent military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, the latter of which he confessed had been the most difficult decision of his life and ‘haunted him’.
4th Feb 2014 'What Sochi can learn from London 2012' with Dame Tessa Jowell MP, former Olympics Minister, at West Ham Utd Football Stadium 66 Club'; West Ham United FC, London E13 9AZ Just days before the official opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, hear the UK’s former Olympics Minister speak about the lessons of London 2012 for businesses, politicians and individuals. Dame Tessa Jowell has been the Member of Parliament for Dulwich since 1992 and has served as a Cabinet Member under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, notably as Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport 2001-2007; Minister for London; Olympics Minister; and Deputy Mayor of the Olympic Village. In these roles she played a vital part in running London’s successful Olympics bid and ensuring its smooth organisation over a period of ten years. No politician is better qualified to inform us about the issues involved with organising and hosting a major international sporting event, which is relevant to RM Special issue 2014
Russia not only in Sochi but also as it prepares for the FIFA World Cup in 2018. For this special event we have also chosen a special sporting venue – at the home of West 80
Ham United Football Club, a historic team based near the Olympic Park in Newham and the soon-to-be ultimate occupants of the Olympic Stadium. www.RussianMind.com
Events 4 March 2014 'Energy, Trade & Investment in Russia' with Charles Hendry MP, Government Trade Envoy Venue TBC Join the Westminster Russia Forum for a discussion on energy links, trade and investment in Russia with Charles Hendry MP. Charles Hendry, Minister of State of the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Charles is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, and is President of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce. He served as Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change between May 2010 and September 2012. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1992 for High Peak, and as Member of Parliament for Wealden in 2001. He has held a number of PPS positions, has served on the Northern Ireland Select Committee and the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, and was Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party, and was Opposition Spokesman for Education and Skills and Trade and Industry, before becoming Shadow Energy Secretary in 2008.
27 Feb 2014 'Business & Economics in Russia' with Mark Littlewood, Director of Institute of Economic Affairs, at the Institute of Economic Affairs Institute of Economic Affairs, London SW1P Join us for this event focussing on the economic situation within Russia and whether the UK should seek to do business with it. We’ll investigate issues such as overcoming corruption, the concept of Russia’s flat tax rate versus the UK’s progressive model, and tax avoidance by big business and businesspeople on both countries. For this event we have an expert in the field, Mark Littlewood – a regular on political programmes such as Question Time and Newsnight, Mark is a classical Liberal thinker who has been Campaigns Director for Liberty and Head of Media for the Liberal Democrats prior to joining the IEA. wrforum.org.uk www.RussianMind.com
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Adam Smith Conferences Since 1992 the Adam Smith Conferences have been developing a range of high-calibre industry forums, which attract thousands of key decision makers from governments and industry each year. Many of these events are now the established annual gatherings for industry players, which offer unrivalled insights into market trends and developments, investment opportunities, and commercial strategies for success. Adam Smith Conferences have provided platforms for debate across many industry sectors including: energy, transport, banking & financial services, retail and FMCG, real estate, investments, pharmaceuticals, mining & metals, pulp & paper, automotive, agribusiness and IT.
19th Annual Russian & CIS Industrial Metals Summit 11 - 13 February 2014
The 4th Annual Conference HSE in OIL and GAS - Russia and the CIS 18 - 20 March 2014
InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya Hotel The only strategic conference in Russia & the CIS for industrial and precious metals executives.
Marriott Grand Hotel, Moscow, Russia The leading event for HSE managers in oil and gas industry in Russia and the CIS.
4th International Russian Insurance Forum 17 -18 February 2014
Transport Infrastructure in Russia 25 - 27 March 2014 Moscow
InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya Hotel
The most prestigious international conference for the Russian transport infrastructure sector!
The 2014 Forum will bring together top executives from major insurance companies. RM Special issue 2014
13th Annual Russian Retail Forum 24 - 27 March 2014
9th Annual Russian & CIS Coal Summit May 2014 Moscow
Moscow, Russia Strategic meeting place for high-profile retail companies.
Russian & CIS Coal Summit â€“ The Premier coal conference for Russia, Ukraine and the rest of CIS.
Adam Smith Conferences' 3rd Ceremony Russian CFO Awards & Dinner April 2014
3rd annual conference Healthcare and Medical Devices in Russia May 2014
Moscow, Russia The evening promises to be an invaluable opportunity for the CFO community in Russia to come together, socialise and discuss the latest professional developments.
St Petersburg, Russia, Venue TBC Healthcare and Medical Devices Russia.
3rd Annual Adam Smith Conference on Optimising IFRS in Russia 3 - 5 June 2014
Marriott Grand Hotel, Moscow, Russia The conference Optimising International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) has been established with the aim of addressing the issues for IFRS managers in Russia, to review the progress to date and establish milestones for future.
4th Annual Conference Russian Arctic Oil and Gas 14-16 April 2014
Marriott Grand Hotel, Moscow, Russia The leading event of the oil and gas industry in the Russian Arctic.
12th annual Adam Smith Conferences' - Russian Retail Banking Forum 27 - 29 May 2014
The 12th Annual Conference Russian Real Estate Summit June 2014 Moscow, Russia, Venue TBC The premier International gathering for the Russian Real Estate business!
Marriott Grand Hotel, Moscow, Russia Russian Retail Banking.
RM Special issue 2014
Ukrainian Centre in London UKRAINIAN Business BUSINESS CENTRE IN LONDON SERVICES:(UBCL) has been established to develop business, investment and cultural relations of Ukraine and CIS countries with the UK. • Meeting rooms in London • UK company formation UBCL is a central contact point for CIS companies and entrepreneurs, aiming to explore business opportunities of the UK market, find local business partners and attract investments. • Property • Company secretarial
• • • •
Business services • Virtual office Investments in CIS business projects Property purchase / sale / lease
UBCL Profile: • Education in the UK •
Education in the UK
Organisation of business trips
• • Immigration to the UK Immigration / Tourism
50 Broadway +44 (0)75 750 73 885 T: Т: St. James` Park +44 20 7152 4456 T: +44 (0) 20(0)7152 4650 50 Broadway E: London email@example.com Т: +44 (0) 20 7152 4456 St. James’s Park
firstname.lastname@example.org London www.ubcl.co.uk SWIH ORG SW1H 0RG
Dr Rowan Williams and Boris Akunin to judge the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize 2014 Russian in order to read the works of Dostoevsky in the original. He was awarded a top Russian honour - the Order of Friendship - in 2010, acknowledging his lifelong interest in, and affection for, Russian culture.
Pushkin House, London’s leading independent Russian cultural centre, is pleased to announce that Grigory Chkhartishvili (Boris Akunin), Russia's best-selling author, and Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, will be among the prestigious judges for the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize for 2014. Now in its second year, the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize, in association with Waterstones, rewards the very best non-fiction writing on Russia. Worth £5,000 to the winner, the Prize was created to encourage public understanding and intelligent debate about the Russianspeaking world. Dr Williams, chairman of the five-person judging panel, learnt
Dr Williams, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, will be joined on the 2014 judging panel by Boris Akunin, literary translator, essayist and one of Russia’s most successful novelists, who has penned a series of highly successful crime series published around the world, including the Erast Fandorin detective series. The other judges, all with a deep understanding of Russia, are: Viv Groskop, broadcaster, journalist, comedian and Artistic Director of the Independent Bath Literature Festival; Catriona Kelly, Professor of Russian at Oxford University, and the author of numerous books on Russian culture; and historian Douglas Smith, his book Former People won the inaugural Pushkin House Russian Book Prize in 2013. Dr Williams: “Russia has fascinated British observers for at least four hundred years, and the culture and history of Russia have had a powerful
impact here in all sorts of ways. We need to keep a critical and informed conversation going between our cultures, and the Pushkin Prize is designed to do just that. I am very grateful to have the chance of being involved”. Andrew Jack, chair of the Pushkin House Book Prize advisory board: “We are delighted to have such an impressive jury to select the best writing about Russia and help promote intelligent Anglo-Russian discussion”. James Daunt, Waterstones’ Managing Director: “The inaugural Pushkin Prize was a tremendous success, attracting a wide and one hopes new readership to a shortlist of great distinction. We eagerly anticipate this second year, all the more so for it being once again in the hands of a judging panel of exceptional calibre”. Submissions for the 2014 Prize are now open, and full details are available at: www.pushkinhouse.org.uk. The shortlist will be announced in March 2014, followed by the announcement of the winner in May.
RM Special issue 2014
Ensemble Productions is a London-based production company, specialising in organising and promoting classical, jazz, world, pop and rock concerts, as well as opera, ballet and contemporary dance productions in the UK and internationally. 21 January 2014 Royal Festival Hall Moscow Symphony Orchestra – Russian Philharmonic Conductor Dmitri Jurowski Soloist Alexander Gindin, piano www.southbankcentre.co.uk/venues/royal-festival-hall
1 February 2014 Barbican Moscow Soloists and Yuri Bashmet A special concert with instruments from the Russian State and Royal collections www.barbican.org.uk 2- 6 April 2014 London Coliseum
Novaya Opera “Tristan and Isolda” and “Prince Igor” www.eno.org 9 – 11 June 2014 Venues across London and UK Festival of Ortodox Culture to feature concerts of Russian orthodox music and icon exhibitions.
Russian Revels are two charming revolutionaries transforming the image of Eastern-Europe in London, bringing together chic dining, story-telling and immersive theatre. Irony and innocent debauchery are compulsory ingredients. From Soviet pop art and midnight readings of turn-of-the-century poetry, to screenings of black-and-white Russian spy films and kitsch cabaret performances. The Nutcracker: 11 Jan 2014, Pushkin House Sparkling dinner, magical tree and games. 'The spies came in from the cold...' Mar 2014, Venue TBC Immersive theatrical experience with food and games. 'Taste of Russia', June 2014, venue TBC The first of its kind festival of the best that Russian food and culture can offer in London! www.russianrevels.co.uk www.russianrevels.co.uk
RM Special issue 2014
Jack of Diamonds The Courtauld Gallery Sep-Dec 2014
ack of Diamonds will take a fresh look at this pivotal early twentieth-century art movement in Russia. Jack of Diamonds also called Knave of Diamonds, was the name adopted by a group of dynamic avant-garde artists founded in 1910 in Moscow. Still relatively unknown in the West, this group of artists was at the heart of Russian Avant-Garde. At that time various groups of artists from Moscow, Petersburg, Odessa and Kiev began to come together as a united movement. This was reflected in a number of increasingly ambitious exhibitions culminating in the Moscow ‘Jack of Diamonds’ exhibition in December 1910, when all these artists were united for the first time. These great exhibitions embraced Western trends from France and Germany in particular, from Cézanne to Picasso, Delaunay and Kandinsky, but they were also linked by vigorous interest in primitive art, including shop signs and popular forms print. Our exhibition aims to introduce the British public to this exciting page in the history of Russian Avant-Garde. It will showcase works from the private collection of Alex Lachmann and will include little known paintings by Mikhail Larionov, Natalia Goncharova, Aristarkh Lentulov, Olga Rozanova, Alexandra Exter and Boris Grigoriev. Curators: Professor John Milner and Dr Natalia Murray in collaboration with CCRAC (The Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre) www.courtauld.ac.uk www.RussianMind.com
RM Special issue 2014
Oxford University Russian Society
The Oxford University Russian Society (OURS, also known as RusSoc) was founded by Prince Felix Yussupov in 1909 in order to promote links between Russia and Oxford University. A hundred years on,
the Society continues to espouse the same values, supporting Russian students and promoting Russian culture within the University and the local community. Today, the Society numbers over 900 members from Russia, the post-Soviet States and also from Britain, Germany and the US.
The Defenders of the Fatherland Day 23 Feb 2014 Venue TBC Come and join us for the annual celebration of the Defenders of the Fatherland Day! Don’t miss a great opportunity to congratulate our men and spend an evening in warm company with lots of fun games, competitions and surprises. And cakes of course! Everyone is welcome. International Women Day 8 Mar 2014 Venue TBC What could be better than spending an evening surrounded by pure beauty? Intrigued? Then join us for the celebration of International Women Day in the evening on 8th March. Victory Day celebration 9 May 2014 Venue TBC Please come and join us for the Victory Day celebration. We will have a film screening with traditional Russian food, songs and guitar music in an amicable atmosphere. Traditional Russian Conversational Lunches Every Thursday 12.30 pm University and city dining rooms You are very welcome to join us for our traditional weekly conversational lunches. Take a break for a friendly conversation and pleasant company. Get together events Every Tuesday 8pm Oxford local pubs You are warmly welcome to come and meet your fellow-students from Oxford University Russian Society in a traditional pub, share your experience and find out more about our plans for the year. Do not miss this opportunity to socialize with exhilarating and fascinating people!
Anna Chaynikova, Tears of Happiness
International Art Exhibition 2014: Tears of Happiness 17-31 Jan 2014
Do you want to see what happiness looks like? Please come! The best artworks of the International Fine Art Competition “Tears of Happiness” will be presented. Admission is free. Organisers: Oxford Modern Experimental Laboratory of Wonders in partnership with Oxford University Russian Society and Rossotrudnichestvo. RM Special issue 2014
Where: Rossotrudnichestvo, First floor, 37 Kensington High Street, London, W8 5ED When: Opening - 16 Jan, Viewing - 17-31 Jan www.haptears.com/ 88
Moffat Book Events
Moffat Books (formerly Moffat Book Exchange), the bookshop in Scotland run by Katherine Clemmens with the stock of about 12,000 books presents its schedule of Russian related activities for the UKRussian Intergovernmental Year of Language and Culture 2014. Exhibition Anatomy of A Small Scottish Town: Moffat in Moscow May 2014 Following a visit by the State Library of Foreign Literature Moscow (VGBIL) to Scotland, for a collection of materials from Moffat to take back to Moscow for the exhibition. Richard Demarco EU Citizen of the Year exhibition and book 'The Road to Meikle Seggie' June 2014 Exhibition opening and book launch in Moscow – MBE to liaise with Demarco and Donald Smith re delegation to attend.
promote and organise in consultation with VGBIL and Szuzana Varga Glasgow University
Lermontov – new translation by six Scottish Poets to be published by Carcanet Originated by MBE in association with the Scottish Poetry Library, Institute of Translation Moscow and VGBIL. Book launches in London (Russian Embassy & LBF March 2014); Edinburgh Book Festival August 2014; Moscow Book Fair (early Sept 2014 including a possible visit to Lermontov Estate in Tarkhani) and Lermontov conference in Moffat (late Sept 2014) also in Dumfries and Galloway.
Glasgow student residency Under the auspices of MBE/VGBIL, offer to the three Glasgow students who attended our conference in Moffat, of a residency at the Library for Foreign Literature in Moscow. Young author/translator The opportunity for a young translator or author to stay in Russia for a month, covering accommodation, programme, work experience, visits and a small honorarium in exchange for writing something about Russia (scheme funded by
Lermontov essay competition for students of Russian (cash prize of £500 and visit to Russia for the winner): MBE to help to
Russki Mir &/or the Institute of Translation in Moscow). Alexander Men award for contribution to international understanding Sept 2014 MBE initiative and presentation of the award at the Lermontov conference. An English Master Draughtsman: The Drawings of George Frederic Watts (1817-1904) Museum Estate of Vasily Polenov, Russia, June 2014 www.vassilypolenov.com Additional info: www.moffatbooks.co.uk
RM Special issue 2014
2014 UK-Russia Year of Culture Calendar EVENTS IN THE UK JANUARY BOLSHOI BALLET SEASON 2013-14: JEWELS – TRANSMITTED LIVE Date: 19 January 3pm Tickets: Standard £18, Members £14.40 Company/Institution: Bolshoi Ballet Venue: Barbican Info: www.barbican.org.uk RUSSIAN TREASURES - TENEBRAE Date: 30 January 19:30 Tickets: £40, £25, £15 Company/Institution: Tenebrae Choir / Barbican Venue: St James Church, London Info: www.barbican.org.uk
FEBRUARY BOLSHOI BALLET SEASON 2013-14: LOST ILLUSIONS – TRANSMITTED LIVE Date: 2 February 3pm Tickets: Standard £18, Members £14.40 Company/Institution: Bolshoi Ballet Venue: Barbican Info: www.barbican.org.uk RUSSIAN STATE BALLET AND OPERA HOUSE – BIZET’S CARMEN Date: 28 February 7:30pm Tickets: £37, £32, £27 Company/Institution: Russian State Ballet and Opera House Venue: Cadogan Hall Info: www.cadoganhall.com
MARCH MASLENITSA FESTIVAL Date: Mid-March RM Special issue 2014
Company/Institution: Ensemble Productions/ Olga Balakeets/ Mayor of London Venue: Across London & Trafalgar Square Info: www.maslenitsa.co.uk BBC SINGERS AT SIX: SHOSTAKOVICH, STALIN AND SOVIET RUSSIA Date: 26 March 18:00 Tickets: £10 (£8 for ticket holders for the BBC SO evening concert) Company/Institution: BBC Symphony Orchestra/ Barbican Venue: St Giles, Cripplegate Info: www.barbican.org.uk BOLSHOI BALLET SEASON 2013-14: THE GOLDEN AGE – TRANSMITTED LIVE Date: 30 March 4pm Tickets: Standard £18, Members £14.40 Company/Institution: Bolshoi Ballet Venue: Barbican Info: www.barbican.org.uk BOOK LAUNCH: AFTER LERMONTOV: A BICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. NEW TRANSLATION BY SIX SCOTTISH POETS Date: March TBC Venue: Russian Embassy Company/Institution: Carcanet Press, Moffat Books Info: www.carcanet.co.uk APARTMENT NO 5: THE CREATIVE HIDEAWAY OF THE RUSSIAN AVANT-GARDE DURING WW1 Date: 20 March – 20 June Company/Institution: GRAD Gallery for Russian Arts and Design Venue: GRAD, 3-4a Little Portland Street London W1W 7JB Info: www.grad-london.com 90
APRIL A DASHING FELLOW - Adapted from the stories of Vladimir Nabokov Date: 22 April – 17 May Company/Institution: Belka Productions Venue: New Diorama Theatre Info: www.belkaproductions.co.uk THREE SISTERS & UNCLE VANYA - Andrei Konchalovsky & the Moscow State Theatre Date: 23 April – 3 May Company/Institution: Moscow State Theatre, Andrei Konchalovsky Venue: Wyndham’s Theatre Info: pc.konchalovsky.ru/theatre
MAY MOSCOW PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA WITH JULIAN LLOYD WEBBER (CELLO) Date: 8 May 19:30 Tickets: £40, £33, £27, £18. Encore Members: pay £30 for top two prices. Series discounts of up to 30% Company/Institution: Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra Venue: Cadogan Hall, London Info: www.concert-diary.com
JUNE RUSSIAN ART WEEK Date: Early June Company/Institution: Russian Art and Culture/ Russian Art Week Venue: Various Info: www.russianartweek.co.uk BONHAMS RUSSIAN SALE Date: 4 June Company/Institution: Bonhams Venue: Bonhams, New Bond Street Info: www.bonhams.com www.RussianMind.com
Events Venue: Central London Info: www.academia-rossica.org RUSSIAN ART WEEK Dates: Late November Company/Institution: Russian Art and Culture/ Russian Art Week Venue: Across London Info: www.russianartweek.co.uk BONHAMS RUSSIAN ART WEEK SALE Date: 26 November Company/Institution: Bonhams Venue: Bonhams, New Bond Street Info: www.bonhams.com
JULY KAZIMIR MALEVICH AND THE RUSSIAN AVANTGARDE Date: July 17 – October 26, 2014 Company/ Institution: Tate Modern/ Stedelijk Museum Venue: Tate Modern Info: www.tate.org.uk ANTON CHEKHOV FOUNDATION GARDEN PARTY Date: TBC Company/Institution: Anton Chekhov Foundation Venue: TBC Info: www.antonchekhovfoundation.org
AUGUST EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL Dates: 8 – 31 August Venue: Across Edinburgh Info: www.edinburghfestivals.co.uk
SEPTEMBER JACK OF DIAMONDS Date: September – December TBC Company/Institution: CCRAC (Courtauld Cambridge Russian Art Centre) Venue: The Courtauld Gallery Info: www.ccrac.hoart.cam.ac.uk EUROPEAN DAY OF LANGUAGES Date: 26 September Company/ Institution: Council of Europe Venue: Various and online Info: www.edl.ecml.at www.RussianMind.com
ANTON CHEKHOV FOUNDATION FUNDRAISING CONCERT Date: TBC Company/Institution: Anton Chekov Foundation Venue: TBC Info: www.antonchekhovfoundation.org
BOOK LAUNCH: RUSSIAN POETRY FROM PUSHKIN TO BRODSKY Edited by Robert Chandler, Boris Dralyuk and Irina Mashinski. Date: 27 November Time: 6.30pm Venue: Leighton House, 12 Holland Park Rd, London W14 8LZ
TCHAIKOVSKY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Dates: 3 – 19 October Company/ Institution: Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra Venue: Various, including: London, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Bristol and Cardiff Info: www.tchaikovsky.bso.ru COSMONAUTS/ RUSSIAN SPACE EXHIBITION Dates: October Company/Institution: Science Museum Venue: Science Museum, South Kensington Info: www.sciencemuseum.org.uk
RUSSIAN WINTER FESTIVAL Date: December TBC Company/Institution: Russian British Cultural Association Venue: Kensington Olympia Info: www.rbca.info
RUSSIAN AVANT-GARDE THEATRE: WAR, REVOLUTION AND DESIGN 1913 – 1933 Dates: October Company/Institution: Victoria and Albert Museum Venue: Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington Info: www.vam.ac.uk
NOVEMBER 8TH RUSSIAN FILM FESTIVAL Dates: Mid November Company/Institution: Academia Rossica 91
RM Special issue 2014
UK – Russian Year of Culture 2014 Calendar EVENTS IN RUSSIA
PETER GREENAWAY: ‘The Golden Age of Russian Art’ Manege Exhibition Hall www.moscowmanege.ru
FRANCIS BACON The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts www.arts-museum.ru/museum/future/?lang=en An English Master Draughtsman: The Drawings of George Frederic Watts (1817-1904) Museum Estate of Vasily Polenov, Russia, June 2014 www.vassilypolenov.com
RM Special issue 2014
George Frederic Watts Charcoal Bust-length Portrait of Georgina Treherne, previously erroneously identified as Portrait of Lady Emily Tennyson, date unknown, Watts Gallery Trust
Events LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Timothy Walker, Chief Executive and Artistic Director, 020 7840 4218 Kath Trout, Marketing Director, 020 7840 4204 Email: email@example.com www.lpo.org.uk
Disclaimer The contents of this magazine are believed to be correct at the time of printing. Nevertheless, the authors, Publishers and Directors of RussianMind shall not be liable for loss or harm of any kind which may arise or result from any errors, inaccuracies or omissions. Criteria for inclusion in the UK programme in Russia
PUSHKIN STATE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
• Russian partner and/or promoter and appropriate management arrangements already in place • A comprehensive costing and some funding already in
place and a viable plan for closing any gap • Endorsement by the British Council as an appropriate and
high-quality reflection of UK culture • Of sufficient interest to attract large Russian target audiences • Contributes to the Year’s overall geographical spread (Moscow, St Petersburg and other major Russian cities) and to the geographical
representation of the UK in Russia • Contributes to a comprehensive
CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH Kremlin Museums kreml.ru/en/museums/
representation of the diversity and richness of UK culture. • Contributes to the development of the longterm cultural relationship between the UK and Russia. For further information about UK programme in Russia please email UKinRussia2014@britishcouncil.org. All inquires in regards to the Russian Year of Culture
ALEXANDER JAMES Triumph Gallery Moscow April triumph-gallery.com/en/
in the UK should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need additional information please contact email@example.com
RM Special issue 2014
Выгодные тарифы на звонки в Россию из Европы, Австралии и США
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Reception room Dining room 4 bedrooms West-facing landscaped garden Underground parking 24 hour security
UK - Russia - year of culture 2014 preview