The Aksenov Family Foundation, initiator and producer of the Russian Music 2.0 grant programme established to support Russian composers, is continuing its strategic development and promotion of a national school of composers.
Launched in 2020, the Russian Music 2.0 programme was implemented as a platform focused on ensuring a systemic approach, guaranteeing the pluralism of opinions and democratising professional dialogue, where the local expertise of Russian experts comes face to face with the views of internationally recognised practitioners deeply immersed in the artistic context of contemporary Russia. Russian Music 2.0 was not structured as a conceptual project to establish the ideas of the national school, but rather as an instrument that would make it possible to document creative movements in Russian musical composition. The concerts of the laureates in 2020 (Vsevolod Meyerhold Centre) and in 2021 (Moscow Philharmonic) displayed the clear international potential and interest of the audience.
In December 2021 the Aksenov Family Foundation announced the launch of the project Russia Sounds Now which will be implemented in partnership with Klangforum Wien of Austria, one of the world’s best contemporary music ensembles.
The goal of the project is to implement a programme integrated in the existing structure based on the western context, and thereby showcase contemporary Russian academic music to the international community. Soon AFF and Klangforum Wien will jointly found an expert council, with the objective of establishing a programme that will showcase as extensively as possible the panorama of contemporary Russian music in line with the project’s opportunities. The project’s expert council will include specialists who are immersed in the context of contemporary Russian music and are simultaneously important figures in Europe who wield authoritative professional opinions, with high-profile knowledge and who are capable of navigating Russian and European contexts.
Within the framework of Russia Sounds Now there are plans to implement a series of concerts in Russia and Austria, record the discs of contemporary Russian composers and showcase the project to the international community. The project will be implemented in 2021-2023.
Open-minded, virtuosic in performance and aurally perceptive, Klangforum Wien – one of the internationally most renowned ensembles for contemporary music – devotes itself to the artistic interpretation and expansion of experiential space. A performance of Klangforum Wien is an event in the best sense of the word; it offers a sensual experience, immediate and inescapable; and the novelty in its music speaks, acts and beguiles. Ever since it was founded by Beat Furrer in 1985, the ensemble – which, over the years, has received a great number of awards and distinctions – has written music history: It has presented around 600 world premières of works by composers from four continents; it boasts an extensive discography of more than 90 releases, appearing at the most important concert and opera venues, but also in the context of young, committed initiatives, and at the major music festivals in Europe, America and Asia. In a mutually rewarding collaboration with many of the world’s leading composers, the ensemble has formed a great number of formative artistic friendships. Since 2009, the musicians of Klangforum Wien have devoted themselves to sharing their comprehensive mastery of playing techniques and forms of expression with a new generation of artists in the context of their collective professorship at the University of Music, Graz.
Klangforum Wien is made up of 23 musicians from Australia, Bulgaria, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. At the start of the 2018/19 season, Bas Wiegers was appointed First Guest Conductor, taking over from Sylvain Cambreling who, however, has maintained a close relationship with the ensemble as its First Guest Conductor Emeritus. Peter Paul Kainrath has been the ensemble's new director since January 1, 2020.