You have no excuse for missing this unique festival
FAR FROM MOSCOW
Arthur Benjamin: “We are always for things not only pleasing to the eye, but to the ears, as well. Try not to miss these outstanding musicians of our time.”
From the 9th to the 11th of December, UCLA will host a concert with participants from the great world of classical music – cello player Boris Andrianov, pianist Philipp Kopachevsky, violinist Andrey Baranov, and cello player Evgeny Tonkha. There’s also new Russian cinema (including the sensational “Collector” with Konstantin Khabensky and the “Queen of Spades” with the divine Kseniya Rappoport), as well as a culinary show with enchanting dishes from famous Moscow chefs, an exhibition of graphic novels, a free concert of electronic music and much more. We’re waiting on you!
All screenings will be held at the UCLA Dept of Film, Television, and Digital Media on the first floor.
EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
The festival organizer, Professor David McFadyen, answered questions from our special correspondent.
How did the idea come about, and what’s the goal of a festival of this kind, although festivals like this don’t exist?
The classical music is especially important to us during the festival: it’s really the center of everything we’ve done. The whole world knows the importance of classical Russian training, either in music or ballet, for example. But we never get to see the fruits of that incredible labor! So, thanks to Foundation A, we have an extremely rare––if not unique––chance to see Moscow’s elite working together, right here in Westwood. Even if we traveled all the way to Russia, we wouldn’t enjoy all these names on the same stage. The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music has recently merged its three core elements (Music, Ethnomusicology, and Musicology) into one world-class organization, so it’s only fitting that we mark the occasion with the brightest lights on Russia’s musical horizon. These young men are the spirit of excellence and teamwork. Moscow is now Europe’s biggest city: it’s a place of incredible competition, not only in business, but also in the arts. Only the very best survive years of endless practice, self-improvement, self-doubt, and dedication to a cause. We’re humbled by the fact our sponsor was able to bring all these names together for us: Andrianov, Baranov, Kopachevsky, and Tonkha. A real dream team!
What distinguishes this festival from others?
Is there a political undertone to the festival? Are you being subsidized by the Russian government?
It was important for us to avoid politics. We have no connection to any government organization or state support. We will, of course, be very happy to see Russia’s official representatives at the festival––and in fact the Cultural Attache in San Francisco has been very kind with his help. We did not, however, ask for any official backing––nor do we want our event to become a political podium. There are more important things in life: like music, friendship, food, and creativity!
Why did you decide to bring in electronic music, which isn’t well understood here?
Maybe seven years ago, I created a website called Far from Moscow, designed to follow all the new musical trends around Russia, Ukraine, Belarus: http://www.farfrommos
The chefs’ involvement in the festival is intriguing. How did such an appetizing idea come to mind?
If you look at a lot of Russian festivals around the United States, they tend to be very nostalgic and stuck in an émigré “bubble.” I myself am from London, and I know precisely what it means to walk around the émigré English pubs of Santa Monica: pure kitsch and childhood memories. The same is true of nostalgic festival cooking––too many stereotypes. We wanted an alternative: to show LA what’s really happening in the most elegant, intelligent, and creative corners of Russian cuisine. And so the founder of Moscow’s Gastronomic Festival is bringing the very best craftsmen of Russia’s kitchens. They are showing us contemporary cuisine in a global context. To be Russian today means being a citizen of the world. These gorgeous variations on ancient recipes embody precisely the balance we were looking for at the FFM Festival: a mix of yesterday and tomorrow, of tradition and innovation. So please come and join us. As we say, FFM is the Best Festival of Russian Culture in America!!
WHO ARE THEY?
Boris Andrianov – one of the leading Russian musicians, winner of the Tchaikovsky competition, the Rostropovich in Paris, and the Antonio Janigro in Zagreb, Croatia, winner of the Triumph award, artistic director of the “Star Generation” project, and the unique international project “Vivacello”, honored artist of Russia.
Philipp Kopachevsky – soloist from the Moscow State Academic Philharmonic. Participant in the program of the Moscow State Philharmonic’s “Stars of the 21st century”, winner of 8 prestigious international competitions, including the Schubert in Germany, and competitions in Italy (first place), the Netherlands (first place), Spain (Yamaha prize), and Russia (first place).
Andrey Baranov – first violinist in the David Oistrakh string quartet, winner of the international violin competition Henri Marteau in Germany, grand prize winner at the Queen Elisabeth competition, winner of a number of other international competitions in Sendai, 2010.
Tickets can be purchased at http://www.ffmfestival.com/ru/