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The Council meeting with the President and a concert with Valery Gergiev. Dinamic and eventful day.
But the most important result of this day, and I am very, very glad to say so, is that I managed to convey to the President the problem of special music schools. I hope that in the near future it will be eliminated. As you probably know, starting next year, it was decided, though I do not know who the author of this madness, that children in special music schools will be studying according the standards for general education schools, that is, professional music training will start only at fifth grade and before that they will have to attend a mainstream secondary school. It means literally “to kill our outstanding performing and teaching Russian music school”. Yesterday, during a meeting with the President, we talked about the fact that these schools MUST be given a special status, they should not be treated as general education schools, they should not be forced to follow educational standards for general education schools, because outstanding children, who need to start learning from early childhood, are studying in these music schools. And I am very glad that this conversation yesterday with the President took place, and, thank God, it was decided that it should be immediately corrected. Fortunately, aftertaste of yesterday's very nice!
The evening's splashy soloist was Denis Matsuev in Prokofiev's splashy First Piano Concerto. Winner of the 1998 Tchaikovsky competition, Matsuev has been nicknamed "the Siberian bear." Slightly bear-like he may be, but one with the fastest paws in the Arctic and maybe anywhere else.
He's a Russian banger, perhaps, but with glittering cascades of sound that impart terrific sparkle. And that meant nonstop fireworks in an early score Prokofiev had written to show himself off. Urbanski found an excellent balance for the orchestra, allowing Matsuev his prominence, but offering exquisite accompanimental phrasing.
In an unusual, but smart, move, Matsuev then followed the relatively short concerto with a piano solo — two selections from Stravinsky's "Petrushka," setting off a whole new round of amazing percussive fireworks. Nor was there any stopping him. Matsuev returned for an encore, his own outrageously and irresistibly flashy arrangement of "Largo al Factotum" from Rossini's "Barber of Seville."
Right now I'm on the plane, after a while we fly to Irkutsk, my home town for the festival. I always have a special feeling, when I fly to this city. And twenty years passed but nothing has changed - there is a nostalgic feeling in my heart every time I go there. But what more important right now is the opening of the festival "Stars on Baikal", during which this year Irkutsk will welcome an unprecedented number of well-known musicians, including our legendary masters such as Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Spivakov, Alexander Rudin, Harry Grodberg and many others, as well as a pleiad of young musicians. During the festival there will be a lot of interesting events. I am going to tell you about them in my reportages from Irkutsk.
And the most recent news. Just 10 minutes ago I got a call from Valery Gergiev, and we decided to play in Moscow on September 25, the birthday of Dmitry Shostakovich, Concerto No. 1 for Piano and orchestra and Symphony No. 8 of Dmitry Shostakovich.
See you at our website.
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I am so happy because of my Volga tour! Yesterday in Nizhny Novgorod I played one of the most incredible concertos, Brahms piano concerto no.1, together with maestro Alexander Skulsky for the first time. Follow this link to watch the video from Nizhny Novgorod. Now we are sailing on the Volga, the sun is shining, we are looking forward to Kazan, Samara and Astrakhan. See you in the concert halls!Tags: