Guildhall School celebrates UK-Russia Year of Music11:07, 13th February 2020
Guildhall School of Music & Drama, together with the St Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Music, the Mariinsky Opera and the St Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire, is celebrating the UK-Russia Year of Music with a series of concerts, events and masterclasses.
Taking place in both countries, the project is part of the Year of Music Russia-UK grant from the British Council curated by Dr Lidia Ader (Russia) and Dr Maria Razumovskaya (UK). The theme centres on the Romances written by the group of Russian composers known as the ‘Mighty Handful’: César Cui, Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Borodin.
Five Guildhall School musicians – singers Alexandria Wregglesworth, Jonathan de Garis and Liam Bonthrone, and pianists Emelia Noack-Wilkinson and Ugne Vazgileviciute – began working on songs embodying the fusion of Russian and British words and music in autumn 2019. Much-loved classics such as Benjamin Britten’s The Poet’s Echo song-cycle were explored alongside rare and neglected parts of the repertoire. Led by Guildhall School professor Razumovskaya, the sessions explored how the nuances of the Russian language and the two nations’ cultural histories come together to form the distinct sound-world of the Russian romance.
From 12 – 16 February, the project has moved to St Petersburg and will join the culmination of the city’s celebration of Rimsky-Korsakov’s 175th anniversary. The project will return to London on 10 March for an afternoon masterclass led by Iain Burnside and an evening Songs at Six concert featuring the Guildhall School musicians.