‘Moscow Meets Friends’ is an International Festival, organised by The Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation, which is celebrating its 25th Anniversary. The Foundation is under the patronage of the UNESCO Committee of the Russian Federation and is supported by the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Department of Culture of Moscow. One of the aims of the Foundation is to support talented children and provide them with the opportunities to further develop their talent through a variety of social, educational and cultural projects, such as the Festival ‘Moscow Meets Friends’.
Every year over a thousand children from all over the world take part in the Festival, which lasts a week and comprises of a number of concerts and exhibitions, including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. They take place in some of the best concert halls in the country, such as the Svetlanov Hall of Moscow International House of Music, Bolshoi Theatre, Pushkin State Museum, Myaskovsky Concert Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and many others.
The concert that our students Lily Payne and Eva Serksnaite were invited to participate in took place on the penultimate day of the Festival at the Museum of Russian Impressionism, where the students performed in one of the Galleries, surrounded by beautiful paintings.
The Master of the Ceremony said a few words about each of the performers and welcomed our first ever delegation from the Purcell School of Music, saying how special it had been for them to have the students representing our school.
The standard of the performers was exceptionally high. There were students representing Switzerland and France, Latvia and, of course, a number of students from Russia, including from the Central Music School in Moscow – the feeder to Moscow Conservatory. Our students were the only ones from the UK. Lily played Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo by Igor Stravinsky, which involved playing clarinets in A and in B flat. Eva, ably accompanied on the piano by a Laureate of International Competitions, Sofya Menshikova, a student from the Central Music School, performed the third movement from Concert Sonata For Bassoon by Camille Saint-Saens. Both of the girls played beautifully, they were technically strong and musically expressive. They have made the The Purcell School proud!
After the concert we had a chance to explore Moscow with its Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedral, the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Alexandrovsky Garden, Bolshoi Theatre, fascinating metro stations, ‘Gum’ Department store and a place very dear to all students who graduate from it – the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory with the monument to Tchaikovsky in front of it. We were very lucky to have had a chance to see one of its concert halls, the Rachmaninov Hall, famous for its acoustics.
Eva and Lily were the first students to represent The Purcell School at this prestigious Festival. They were real ambassadors for the school!
We are very grateful to the Spivakov Foundation, particularly to Mrs Shirman and Mr Gulko, and to The Purcell School, especially to Paul Hoskins and Bethany Wickens, for providing us with such an opportunity. We hope that the ties will only strengthen in future.
Irina Walters,
Choir Director and Aural Teacher