The spirit of Russia

A festival dedicated to Rachmaninoff will take place in Jerusalem this week.

The spirit of Russia (photo credit: Courtesy)
The spirit of Russia
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A festival dedicated to the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff will take place in Jerusalem from November 17 to 21. The programs feature piano, chamber, vocal and liturgical pieces by the outstanding Russian composer, who was born 140 years ago. The festival is artistically directed by Prof. Alexander Tamir, together with conductor Ilya Plotkin of the Musica Aeterna chamber choir and music journalist Vladimir Mak. The festival is also generously assisted by TENA, an organization that supports immigrant artists.
“The concerts will take place in several Jerusalem venues,” says Elinor Plotkin, the festival producer and manager of Musica Aeterna. “The piano pieces will be performed at the Eden-Tamir Music Center in Ein Kerem at the opening of the festival.
The program, which features pieces for piano solo, piano in four and six hands, as well as music for two pianos, will be played by Israeli pianists Michael Zartsekel, Raimonda Sheinfeld, Yaron Rosental and Ron Regev.”
For three consecutive days, the festival will move to the Jerusalem Harmony Hall. On November 18, two piano trios will be performed by pianist Yulia Gurvich, violinist Evgenia Pikovsky and cellist Alexander Sinelnikov. The following night, pianist Natasha Tadson will present a recital that includes Rachmaninoff's music and that of his contemporaries Scriabin and Metner. On November 20, Aeterna soprano Olga Sendersky, mezzosoprano Svetlana Sandler of the Israeli Opera, baritone Igor Tavrovsky and bass-baritone Yakov Strizhak will perform arias and romances by Rachmaninoff.
“But the true celebration will come at the closing concert,” says Plotkin. “Musica Aeterna will perform liturgical pieces composed by Rachmaninoff for a choir, as well as excerpts from his famous Vespers and Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. The pieces will be performed in the venue for which they were written – i.e., in a church. It will be the Russian Church of the Holy Trinity in Jerusalem. For this concert, we have obtained special permission from the church authorities, who welcome the event. Musica Aeterna first performed the pieces in the early 2000s, and we thought it would be appropriate to perform them in the framework of the current festival,” she says.
For more information and ticket reservations for the festival, call 054- 627-6690. For the closing concert at the church, there will be no tickets sold at the door.