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Russian Composers Showcase New Works As Part Of The RUSSIAN MUSIC 2.0 Programme

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Aksenov Family Foundation will present its new academic music project at the opening of  15th international contemporary art festival "Territory" 2020.

Aksenov Family Foundation will present its new academic music project at the opening of 15th international contemporary art festival "Territory" 2020.

During lockdown eight Russian composers were awarded grants to create new music as part of "Russian Music 2.0", an independent programme initiated by a private fund to commission contemporary academic music. The composed works lie at the crossover of music, performance and visual art and will premier in Moscow on 16 October 2020.

Russian academic musicians are well-known in Europe and globally, however, little is known about contemporary Russian composers. At the same time "in the last ten years or so in Russia a lot is happening in composition. There are a lot of young people who really think outside the box, who create music, which is vital, unique, and has a lot of content, which is different from what can be found in the Americas or Western Europe right now", notes Chaya Czernowin, composer, Professor at Harvard University. Czernowin was a member of the expert jury panel for "Russian Music 2.0", the only programme in Russia to support contemporary music composers.

"Russian Music 2.0is a new initiative by Aksenov Family Foundation, who are already known for setting up the Russian Society of Salzburg Festival Friends, supporting cutting-edge projects by Teodor Currentzis, as well as many other outstanding contemporary art programmes in Russia. "Russian Music 2.0" is a vivid example of how private donations contribute to the formation of the Russian contemporary music landscape, with its diverse genres and aesthetics. "Today, we have dozens of talented composers in Russia, who belong to different generations, vary in stylistic preferences and aesthetic visions. However, what we do lack in this country is a practice of commissioning new work that is the driving force behind all developments in music composition worldwide. With "Russian Music 2.0" we want to lay the ground for an ecosystem of new academic music in Russia, at the same time offering composers opportunities to develop and nurture their talent", explains Dmitry Aksenov, founder of Aksenov Family Foundation.

The jury panel for the programme was made up of leading international experts in contemporary academic music: Yannis Kyriakides - composer, Professor at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague; Sergei Nevsky - German/Russian composer; Victoria Korshunova - Head of Moscow Ensemble of Contemporary Music; Philipp Chizhevsky - conductor and founder of Questa Musica; Yulia Bederova and Dmitry Renansky - music critics; and the above mentioned Chaya Czernowin. Through careful consideration, the experts selected award winners from a vast number of contemporary Russian composers of academic music.

During the lockdown, when art institutions around the world were closing down, and many artists found themselves struggling financially, eight Russian composers were awarded grants enabling them to bring their music ideas to life. The only requirements for the composed pieces were the length (15 minutes) and the number of musicians needed to perform the piece (from 5 to 9). By mid-autumn, the compositions were ready. Authors of the new pieces are: Mark Buloshnikov, Dmitry Burtsev, Oleg Gudachev, Daria Zvezdina, Daniil Pilchen, Alexey Sysoev, Boris Filanovsky, and Alexander Khubeev. These composers are very distinct; they belong to different generations and vary in aesthetic visions.

Their works lie at the crossover of music, performance and visual art, which is in line with major tendencies in contemporary academic music and art.

The newly composed works will premier at "Territory", an international festival-school, one of the leading Russian platforms for contemporary art. The first "Territory" festival in 2006 played a significant part in the development of new Russian music by showcasing works of emerging contemporary Russian composers Dmitry Kurlyandsky and Sergey Nevsky, who later became so well-known across Europe. This year will see 15th edition of the festival, and music by contemporary Russian composers is part of its programme again. The concert will be held at the Meyerhold Centre on 16 October 2020.

Live streaming of the performance will be available online on Friday, 16 October at 7pm (UTC+3) at

Aksenov Family Foundation plans to showcase new works by emerging Russian composers across Europe, and aspires to turn "Russian Music 2.0" into an annual programme.

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