75th Anniversary of the Faculty of Folk Instruments: Gnessin Russian Academy of Music - Russia

75th Anniversary of the Faculty of Folk Instruments: Gnessin Russian Academy of Music - Russia

Click picture to see full size

Video Schedule

0:18:25 - I part
0:19:44 - A.I. KHACHATURIAN "Welcome Overture"
0:25:22 - G.V. CHERNOV Concerto for accordion and percussion orchestra
0:35:14 - A.I. KHACHATURIAN "Sabre Dance" from the ballet "Gayane"
Performed by
ORCHESTRA OF ACCORDIONISTS AND ACCORDIONISTS OF THE Gnessin Russian Academy of Music, artistic director and conductor Ruslan KANEEV

0:42:15 - A. SURKOV Variations on the theme of the Russian folk song “It’s not the wind that bends the branch”
0:46:45 - A. BAZZINI Calabrese
Performed by
UNISON DOMRISTOV, artistic director - Natalya LIPS

0:53:14 - A. SHALAEV Moldavian dance
performed by a duet of accordion players Alexander KOMELKOV and Denis KOPTELOV

0:58:33 - E. PODGAITS Scherzo
performed by Nikita GOVOROV (balalaika), piano part – Natalya SHATOKHINA

1:07:20 - B. BARTOK Six Romanian dances
UNISON BALALAYACHNIKOV named after P. Necheporenko, artistic director - Valery ZAZHIGIN

1:15:20 - V. ZOLOTAREV Rondo-capriccioso
UNISON BAYANISTS under the direction of Semyon Shmelkov, artistic director - Friedrich LIPS

1:43:10 - II part

1:44:10 - A. NEKRASOV Fugato furioso
performed by: Maria VLASOVA (accordion)

1:53:35 - J. Bizet - W. KANENHEISER Aragonese and Gypsy dance from "Carmen Suite"
performed by the quartet of guitarists GNESINS GUITAR GIRLS
artistic director - Dmitry MURIN

2:01:05 - M. THEODORAKIS Overture to the folk opera "Quarter of Angels"
performed by the Moscow Mandolin Ensemble under the direction of Maria Kotova
artistic director - Vyacheslav KRUGLOV

2:08:50 - M. MUSORGSKY Song of Varlaam from the opera "Boris Godunov"
2:11:45 - R. SCHUMANN - K. TAUSIG "Smuggler"
performed by Olzhas NURLANOV (accordion)

2:17:10 - V. BELLINI Overture to the opera "Norma"
2:24:10 - K. BODROV Capriccio
soloist - Ekaterina MOCHALOVA (domra)
2:36:10 - A. SCHNITTKE "Polyphonic Tango"
performed by the Russian Folk Orchestra "SOUL OF RUSSIA"
artistic director and conductor - Vladimir SHKUROVSKY

Speech by Friedrich Robertovitch Lips at the conference for the 75th Anniversary of the Faculty of Folk Instruments on November 5, 2023

Throughout its history, man has created material and spiritual values, but, despite the importance of material values, painting, music, literature remain in the grateful memory of humanity - works of art remain. What remains is what creates the image of the people and the state, what its leaders are later proud of at summit meetings, but for which there is always not enough money.

Today is our anniversary, we can sum up the results, rejoice at the achievements, but I think that along with this we need to raise questions, since these are difficult times, and propose ways to solve today's problems.

I would like to remind, especially the younger generation of musicians, about the origins of the creation of the Faculty of Folk Instruments. In 1973, at the Gnessin Museum, a meeting was held with the head of the department of folk instruments, Y.N. Shishakov, dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the faculty. Among other information, he mentioned the Resolution of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks of 1948 “On V. Muradeli’s opera "The Great Friendship". As we know, in this document the Bolshevik Party condemned formalism in the works of leading Soviet composers as an anti-people trend and not only V. Muradeli, but A. Khachaturian, D. Shostakovich, S. Prokofiev and others were sharply criticized.

In response to my rather bold question for that time: "Did this Decree influence the opening of the Faculty of Folk Instruments in our country?", Shishakov looked at me carefully, paused, then slowly said: "Well, since you ask me so directly, I will tell you directly. I will answer: it did. The party decided to pay more attention to folk art." 50 years have passed since that meeting. How are we celebrating our 75th anniversary?

Problems in education. The Russian music school, whose origins include such great names as Anton and Nikolay Rubinstein, the Gnessin family, whose three-level system covers talented children from childhood, is rated very highly in the world and arouses the envy of our foreign colleagues and the desire to study with us in Russia or from our teachers abroad. We are actively invited to teach at the academy, conservatory, at various summer courses and seminars to learn from us, and a two-level level of higher education was forcibly imposed on us, where a widely ramified network of children's music schools could disappear.

In my opinion, ideally, we should, on the contrary, strive to fully cover children during extracurricular hours. These could be children's art schools, children's music schools, children's and youth sports schools, computer classes, chemists, physicists, theater clubs, etc. to identify abilities in children from early childhood.

And even if later there is a different profession, it has never harmed anyone to practice music or sports. These will be our future concert listeners. By the way, it is known that our President studied accordion at a music school. He did not become an accordionist. So what? After all, not everyone can become a musician. We also need ordinary listeners, and someone needs to work as President!.. We can, to a reasonable extent, accept some provisions of the Bologna process (maybe for foreigners receiving education from us), but destroy the existing system of music education in Russia, which is nurtured generations of legendary teachers and performers, which is the subject of respect and admiration of foreign musicians, is unacceptable.

As Saltykov-Shedrin said: "The authorities in Russia keep their people in a state of constant amazement." So in the 90s we were amazed that we needed to adopt the Bologna education system, and recently, almost 30 years later, we were amazed again: it turns out that this was done in vain. I would suggest that our high-ranking leaders join those global processes where we are inferior: in the production sector, in agriculture, in the favorable investment climate in our country, but where we are strong, let them join us. Here it would be appropriate to recall that musical art has at all times been one of the most convertible in our country.

Click picture to see full size

The problem of touring activities. The system that existed until 1991, uniting the State concert, Soyusconcert, Rosconcert, Mosconcert and republican and regional philharmonic societies, made it possible to cover all corners of the country with concerts of philharmonic performers. Today this system is completely destroyed, and nothing new, by and large, has been created. Our stage quickly found its bearings in the new conditions and, with the help of clever managers, quickly turned into show business with a large number of concerts around the country and on TV, moreover, at prime time.

Of course, the bright leaders in academic music, who made a name for themselves back in the 70-80s, are still in demand today. But what should young laureates whom no one knows yet do? Performers of the level of A. Gainullin, M. Vlasova, E. Mochalova, A. Salakhov or Yu. Medyanik will certainly not disappear, but the stars, of which there are only a few, do not save the situation. We are losing generations of gifted musicians, but what is even more terrible is that we have already lost generations of listeners of serious music. If even in regional centers there are few concerts, then what can we say about the provinces?

Performers on Russian folk instruments - the bayan, balalaika, domra - have completely fallen out of the touring orbit. At the origins of the genre of solo concert on folk instruments were outstanding masters who later received the high title of People's Artists of the USSR, bayanist Yuri Kazakov and balalaika player Pavel Necheporenko. And the brightest representatives of the next generations of folk performers filled the halls. Russia is a huge country that has always been rich in talent, and, of course, you can find a huge number of concert venues for them and organize an audience.

By the way, we still have not yet experienced the results of the work of management departments that have opened in many universities. It is necessary to promote young, energetic people from among us to the role of managers and impresarios.

And concert agencies, which would understand that with the involvement of government and sponsorship funds, this business could also be profitable, have not yet filled this niche. Philharmonic art can also become a profitable business. It is necessary that in every city there are managers who have their own pool of performers in their agencies: pianists, violinists, bayanists, etc. and would sell them throughout the country. By the way, skillful management also means skillful inclusion of modern music in programs. And there is no need to convince anyone that great composers have degenerated. We have wonderful composers, but their music must be played and promoted!

Our ears have already atrophied, we are ready to listen only to well-known things. I will quote the words spoken at one time by the former Minister of Culture M.E. Shvydkiy: "It depends on us whether the degradation of the Russian people will occur. Today the problem of simplifying everything has become unbearable. People stopped hearing, stopped understanding complex text, stopped grasping the multicoloredness of the world."

Today the public, having become unaccustomed to classical music concerts, thinks that a concert is something that happens every night on TV channels 1 and 2, and modern music is not A. Schnittke and S. Gubaidulin, but "pop". So, with the volumes of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, with the music of Bach, Mozart and Tchaikovsky, with the entire world culture accumulated over centuries, no one will need us in a certain number of years. What will remain in 50 - 100 years? In 500 - 1000?

We can't predict.

What to do? I would like to remind you of a children's fairy tale about two frogs who fell into a jar of cream. The first one gave up and drowned. The second floundered until it churned the butter, pushed off and jumped out. The second frog is closer to me.

We need to find new forms of organizing concerts. Numerous competitions should develop into a festival movement.

Among the new forms is the All-Russian Bayan Day. All of Russia was stirred up! The string players immediately supported us. Balalaika is the soul of Russia.

But... Other times mean different priorities. In the foreground are gadgets, downloads, and the Internet. Everything is downloaded without payment. The consumer society has grown. College graduates do not know basic information (Pushkin, Kholminov, Necheporenko...).

But today is still our time. Fathers and grandfathers had their time, the young will have their time, their own tasks. And, by the way, we must solve today’s problems together with the young people. I liked the formulation of one philosopher: A people is a union of generations in time. We need to make every effort to maintain the connection between times, to preserve traditions in our history, pedagogy, and performance. While we are able to influence processes, while we are at the helm, we must pass on true values to the next generations.

How did the bayan and bayan department approach its anniversary? We will not sin against the truth if we say that our department is leading not only in the country, but also in the world. The department has a balance of experience and youth, the average age level is about 55 years. It cannot be 30-40 years, since one becomes a teacher at best from the age of 25 (80 years ago it was the case in the vocal department!).

And if the authority of the department has always rested on veterans who have earned recognition throughout the world, today the young and middle generation are actively lending their creative support. I am pleased to name the names of M. Vlasova, S. Shmelkov, A. Selivanov, M. Burlakov, A. Gataullin, I. Purits, who fully joined the creative orbit of not only the department, but the whole country and represent the Gnessin Academy as performers, organizers, jury members, conduct master classes in all corners of Russia and abroad. There are 7 professors, 6 associate professors, 2 teachers and M.I. Imkhanitsky, Doctor of Art History, working at the faculty.

PhD theses were defended by V. Vasiliev, M. Vlasova, A. Gataullin, the dissertations of M. Burlakov and I. Puritsa are in progress. Collections of scientific works and music collections are being published, and work with composers continues actively. In addition, many significant events are held, including the international festival "Bayan and Bayanists" (for the 35th time!), All-Russian Accordion Day, a lot of competitions, master classes, etc. In a word, in the anniversary year we are on the rise.

We never tire of looking for a national idea and cannot grasp it. It seems to me that preserving all the best that has been accumulated by previous generations in the field of national culture, treating it with care and increasing spiritual wealth is what we live for. This should become a national idea. And there is no need to artificially invent anything.

A. de Saint-Exupery said: "We are responsible for those we have tamed." I believe that since you and I stood at the origins of the First Faculty of Folk Instruments, we are responsible for everything that happens not only in our department, but must have the maximum influence on the future of folk instrumental art.

At one of the Moscow Autumn festivals, during the intermission, we talked with the Chief Editor of the Soviet Music magazine, Yu.S. Korev. "Everyone's music is uninteresting, the language is monotonous, it seems like the same composer is writing," I turned to him. "That's because they don't set big goals," Korev answered.

I want to end with a parable. A traveler is walking and sees: three men working on a hillock. He asks one:
- What are you doing? - I cut stones.
The second: - What are you doing? - I earn money.
And the third answered: I am building a Temple!
Let's set big goals, figuratively speaking, build a temple, and then, perhaps, the 21st century will become the "Golden Age" for our instruments!

© 2024 Accordions Worldwide • All rights reserved. To comment on these pages, e-mail the webmaster.