Three Major Accordion Events in Rostov-on-Don, Russia

Written by:
Alexander Poeluev and translator Galina Shishkina
Date written:
August 2006

Three events, influencing the music life of Russia, occurred during the last months at the big hall of the Philharmonic Society in Rostov-on-Don.

First - it's the arrival in our country of the legend of world jazz, Art Van Damme. For the whole time of his remarkably creative career, this was the first visit of the master to Russia, and therefore, it became in truth, a sensational moment for all jazz fans. Art Van Damme gave only two concerts, one in Moscow and one in Rostov-on-Don.

Art Van-Damme surrounded by welcoming fans at the Rostov Airport

Irene Pilipenko, Alexander Poeluev and Art Van-Damme enjoying some sightseeing.

The performance in Moscow was organized by one of the greatest Russian musicians, Professor of The Gnessins' Russian Academy of Music, Friedrich Lips, and took place on December 17, 2005 within the format of the festival "Bayan and Bayan Players". The concert was a huge success.

The performance in the city of Rostov-on-Don, occurred two days later, and was organized by the laureate of International Competitions and two time Coupe Mondiale winner Alexander Poeluev who won both the Senior Coupe Mondiale and Coupe Mondiale Piano Accordion categories.

The concert in Rostov-on-Don has collected a record number of audience, the greatest amount in recent years. The applause was so tremendous, that it made the designers of the philharmonic hall think about strengthening the building!!!. Only one performance, but what a performance!!!

Art Van-Damme in concert quartet under the leadership of Aram Rustamiants

The first several minutes of music sincerely delighted the Rostov residents, when Art Van Damme appeared on the stage and began. That said nearly everything about the music of this great musician - more than all the words of congratulation later.

Not a single person in the hall was left without tears, smiles, great joy in their heart. Art Van Damme played gorgeously! After the concert he highly valued the splendid playing of the quartet under the leadership of Aram Rustamiants with whom he performed that evening.

Art Van Damme performed the best of his arrangements and compositions. He spent more than one hour on the stage, and for more than one hour, the people knew and were assured, that untill the present time, Art Van Damme is the best, the only and the greatest…

The last melodies, words, steps on the pavement, where Art Van Damme was walking, ceased resounding, his incredibly light and joyful "OK!", uplifted hand and smile fixed on the cameras, applause sounded in his honour even in Rostov International Airport, but like nothing vanishing in the universe, his playing remains a hope from the very depth of the heart…

The second event which became an unforgettable musical feast - was the Jubilee Concert of the composer, whose name for already 40 years, has been on the posters of the biggest concert halls, master of bayan music of the XXI century Anatoli Kusiakov. His music exerted great influence on the musical thinking of whole generation of performers worldwide. Today he is, perhaps, the greatest composer alongside S. Gubaidulina and E. Denisov, who wrote the most serious compositions for bayan. His contribution to the modern music is lyricism and depth. It penetrates to the secret parts of the soul making the listeners experience the most wonderful feelings.

In bayan music Anatoli Kusiakov (picture left with Friedrich Lips) firstly declared himself a giant of composition more than 30 years ago when he wrote Sonata No. 1. At once, it became a bestseller, like all his following pieces. The demand for his music today is still extraordinary! Kusiakov cooperates with the most prominent performers, the first among them - Viatcheslav Semionov.

The 60 Year Jubilee concert in honor of Anatoli Kusiakov on April 8, 2006 was opened by a performance of his suite "Spring Pictures" performed by the trio of Yuri Shishkin, Artem Priveden and Andrei Sochilkin. This piece was written originally for bayan solo, and it has acquired a true orchestral sound with striking effects in this new version.

(Picture left is Kusiakov and Semionov.) Then the Symphony No. 2 "Autumn Nocturne" with its greatness, rich palette of mood and long musical lines sounded, performed by the Rostov Academic Symphonic Orchestra under the leadership of Peter Gribanov.

Photo above of some famous performers: Semionov, Dranga, Kusiakov and Vostrelov.

Yuri Shishkin then performed Sonata No. 6 for bayan and the Concert for bayan, stringed, keyboard and percussion instruments - Shishkin is clearly one of the top creative performers of bayan and Kusiakov's works - and his performance became a culmination of the whole concert. The evening ended with "Festive Overture" of the Maestro Kusiakov in honour of his 60 Years Jubilee.

Only 5 days later - on April 13 - in the same hall was a triumphant concert by one of the greatest bayan players of all time, the Professor of the Gnessins' Academy of Music in Moscow, Viatcheslav Semionov, who celebrates his 60 Year Jubilee in 2006.

This event had been anticipated with great impatience and the hall of Rostov Philharmonic Society was overcrowded. The name of Viatcheslav Semionov is so closely linked with Rostov-on-Don, that one cannot simply imagine musical culture of the Don without it! For almost 20 years, Semionov administered the chair in Rostov Conservatory, having composed here, some of the most famous accordion compositions in the whole world: "Kalina Krasnaya", "Bulgarian Suite", "Sonata No. 1", as well as having brought-up a whole galaxy of prominent pupils.

And here on the stage - were many stars of the musical world. Musicians whose names are added with gold letters into the world history of accordion: Yuri Shishkin, Anatoliy Zaikin, Gennadiy Galitskiy, Mikhail Zatcepin, Alexander Poeluev, Alexander Selivanov, Danil Stadnyuk and the master, Viatcheslav Semionov himself.

And here on the stage - were many stars of musical world, musicians, whose names are added with gold letters to the world history of accordion: Yuri Shishkin, Anatoliy Zaikin, Gennadiy Galitskiy, Mikhail Zatcepin, Alexander Poeluev, Alexander Selivanov, Danil Stadnyuk and the master, Viatcheslav Semionov himself. The wonderful evening featuring only the compositions of Semionov sounded forth and Rostov listeners expressed their love and affection with never-ending applause and greetings.

The celebrator Semionov, who played the Concert for Bayan and Stringed Orchestra titled "Freski", opened the celebrity starred concert. Then a true musical feast began - his pupils came out to the stage! Each played not only a solo, but the piece with orchestra exploding the hall with the fireworks of emotions, and then all eight performed twice on encore the well-known "Don-Rhapsody Final" with the orchestra of folk instruments under the leadership of Krikor Khurdayan. A wonderful evening.

For the whole year a series of jubilee concerts of Viatcheslav Semionov is being planed in big cities of Russia.

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