04 November, 21

"Bringing Contemporary Russian Music out of the inner-workshop ghetto": Meloman magazine about the Russian Music 2.0 Project

The Meloman, a key magazine on Russian classical music published under the auspices of the Moscow Philharmonic Society, has devoted a new issue to Aksenov Family Foundation's Russian Music 2.0 project. The text by Sofia Dymova was perhaps the most precise and profound dissection of the Foundation's initiative aimed at popularizing the contemporary national composing school. We publish it in its entirety on our website with the permission of the editors.

Polyphony of voices of the new Russian music

Aksenov Family Foundation founder Dmitry Aksenov likes to talk about the fact that the Russian Music 2.0 program was born out of a conversation with music critic and curator Dmitry Renansky in August 2018 in Salzburg. The end of the 2010s at the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious music forum in the world was marked by a change of elites: Intendant Markus Hinterhäuser was bringing a new generation of artists onto the big international stage, and natives from Russia, from Vladimir Jurowski to Theodor Currentzis and Kirill Petrenko, were assigned an essential role in this ambitious project. Dmitri Aksenov knew this firsthand - Currentzis' Salzburg debut (Mozart's Mercy of Titus, 2017) and the much-talked-about performance of all Beethoven's symphonies with the MusicAeterna orchestra (2018) were supported by the Aksenov Family Foundation. The circumstances of the time and place of the Salzburg talk proved key in shaping the future face of "Russian Music": if the Russian performing school is a freely convertible cultural brand that needs no introduction, then how can we enable new Russian music to become an international phenomenon?

The structure of the program immediately made the Aksenov Family Foundation project radically different from all the platforms that have supported and promoted contemporary Russian music so far. Throughout the 2000s and 2010s, its recent history has been written largely by curators - Boris Filanovsky, head of the music department of the Pro Arte Foundation in St Petersburg; Sergei Nevsky, Alexander Manotskov and Vladimir Rannev, who curated the Platform project in various years; and Dmitri Kurlyandsky, musical director of the Stanislavsky Electric Theatre. "Russian Music 2.0" was initially conceived as a non-curatorial, non-author’s initiative - relying on pluralism of opinions and the democratic situation of professional dialogue, in which local expertise meets with a view "from the outside" from practitioners with a global renown, deeply immersed in the artistic context of contemporary Russia. The declaration that Russian Music 2.0 is not a conceptual project, but a tool that allows you to record the movement of atmospheric fronts on the domestic composing scene, was the pilot poster of the program, the heroes of which were eight composers from different generations, different stylistic trends and aesthetic platforms.

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