Sochi hosts music and ballet festivals
Ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi will host a spate of major cultural events.
These include the Aqua-Jazz music festival, which has already been announced an essential part of the Sochi Games’ cultural program. The festival kicked off in Sochi earlier this month and includes a whole array of styles, including jazz-rock, electric jazz, funk and fusion, says prominent Russian saxophone player Igor Butman, who was recently appointed Russia’s music envoy to the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Interestingly, sounds of saxophone can also be heard at the 2011 International Organ Music Festival, which opened in Sochi on July 8 and specifically saw the joint performance of Igor Goldenberg and Pavel Novikov of Russia. Taking part in the event are organ players from Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Italy, Japan, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands. The festival is due to wrap up on July 31, when audience will see a unique performance of organ, piano and domra players.
In an interview with the Voice of Russia aired on Sunday, Festival art director Valeriya Anfinogenova lauded what she called close collaboration between Sochi and its sister cities:
"They include Pyarnu in Estonia, Rimini in Italy, Long Beach in the United States, and Espoo in Finland, Anfinogenova says. In 2011, representatives of Espoo and Rimini were appointed their cities’ music envoys who will present their national music at our festival, she goes on to say."
She touted the Sochi festival as a unique event that adds up to the popularization of organ music:
"In Russia, organs are not uncommon in secular institutions, which is not the case with European countries, where organs can only be found in Catholic churches, Anfonogenova says. This enables our guests to use organ in order to play secular music, she adds, citing Natalia Dancheva of Italy and the Novikov-Goldenberg duo, whose impromptu performances elicited applause from the Sochi audience. As such, organ music is improvisational by nature, she contends, citing Johann Bach’s impromptu-leaning masterpieces."
A gala with the participation of ballet stars from St.Petersburg will be held in Sochi on July 21.