Artistic Director of the International Platonov Arts Festival Mikhail Bychkov announced the music programme of the 8th forum at the press conference on Tuesday, February 13. Musicians from 10 countries will perform 12 concerts in Voronezh four of which will be open-airs. Traditionally, the music programme of the forum will consist of two sections: academic music and world music.

Academic music

Israel Chamber Orchestra


Artistic director and chief conductor – Ariel Zuckermann

Lead musician – Benjamin Schmid (violin), Austria


The music programme of the 8th PlatonovFest will start with a concert at the Green Theatre. One of the leader academic ensembles of Israel – the Israel Chamber Orchestra under the supervision of its artistic director, one of the most in-demand conductors of the new generation Ariel Zuckermann – will perform in the open air in Central Park. The concert will involve an Austrian violinist, constant participant of the Salzburg Festival Benjamin Schmid who plays a 1731 Stradivari violin. The musicians will perform the music of Maurice Ravel, Henri Vieuxtemps and Darius Milhaud.

The concert will be held under the support of the Israel Embassy in Moscow which has repeatedly contributed to performances of Israeli artists in Voronezh. The concert will also be timed to coincide with the anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel – this year is the state’s 70th anniversary.

Julian Steckel (cello)

Photo – Giorgia-Bertazzi


The Voronezh Academic Symphony Orchestra
Art director and chief conductor – Vladimir Verbitsky

June 8. The Philharmonic Hall


An outstanding German cellist, winner of many prestigious awards Julian Steckel will perform at the Philharmonic Hall accompanied by the Voronezh Academic Symphony Orchestra under the supervision of Vladimir Verbitsky. The programme will include works of French composers Henri Dutilleux, Gabriel Fauré and Maurice Ravel.

Julian Steckel is widely praised a one of the leading cellists of our time for masterful performance and authentic interpretations. For example, the recording of the works by Felix Mendelssohn performed by Steckel and pianist Paul Rivinius (2009) was acknowledged by critics as a gold standard. As opposed to the majority of famous musicians who prefer to play ancient instruments, Julian Steckel plays a cello made by German craftsman Urs W. Mächler in 2005.

World opera stars

Christina Poulitsi (soprano), Greece, Marc Heller (tenor), USA

The Voronezh Festival Symphony Orchestra. Conductors – Yury Androsov, Andrei Ogievsky

June 9. The Opera and Ballet Theatre


The Directorate of the Platonov Festival has considered joint concerts of world opera stars a successful format, and the eighth festival will not do without such a performance. This time Voronezh residents will witness a performance of Greek soprano Christina Poulitsi and American tenor Marc Heller – the singers whose carriers include performances on the lead opera stages in the world such as the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera, the Royal Opera House, the Bolshoi Theatre and others.

This year’s innovation is that musicians of various Voronezh orchestras will unite to form the Voronezh Festival Orchestra specifically for several concerts of the PlatonovFest. According to Michail Bychkov, this will be the first attempt to create such an ensemble in Voronezh. It will include musicians of the orchesra of the Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Voronezh Academic Symphony Orchestra and the symphony orchestra of the Voronezh Concert Hall.

– The creation of a festival orchestra should become an additional attractive element of the festival for the listeners. Musicians of different Voronezh ensembles will unite for a common cause. At the singers’ concert the orchestra will be on the stage and play a full-fledged part in the act. For example, musicians of the Opera and Ballet Theatre orchestra quite rarely come out of the orchestra pit and face the audience, so this will be new to them. It’s a new step. Joint orchestras have long existed, but we also found it interesting to try out such a format, - Mikhail Bychkov told.

The opera singers’ programme will include arias and duets from the world opera classics. The orchestra will be led by two conductors – Artistic Director of the Opera and Ballet Theatre Andrei Ogievsky and supervisor of the symphony orchestra of the Voronezh Concert Hall Yury Androsov.

Kronos Quartet (USA)

June 11. The Voronezh Concert Hall


The main hit of the music programme of the 8th PlatonovFest will be a concert of the legendary American Kronos Quartet – one of the most famous and influential chamber ensembles in the world which has performed and recorded together with Tom Waits, David Bowie, Patty Smith and Paul McCartney, and has collaborated with Philip Glass and Stephen Reich. The Directorate of the Platonov Festival has tried to make an arrangement with the famous quartet for a performance in Voronezh for four years, and finally the concert schedules have matched.

For the performance of Kronos Quartet, the Directorate has allocated the big hall of the Voronezh Concert Hall as it expects the concert to spark the interest of not only residents of Voronezh but of other cities of the country as well. The programme includes the music of Islam Chipsy, Alexandra Vrebalov, Nicole Lizée, Yevgeny Sharlat, N. Rajam, Cafe Tacuba, Dan Becker, Pete Townshend of The Who, George Gershwin, Laurie Anderson and Terry Riley. In each section the musicians will perform sex to seven works of different genres.

Henning Kraggerud (violin)


The Voronezh Festival Symphony Orchestra. Chief conductor – Yury Androsov.

June 12. Philharmonic Hall


Famous Norwegian violinist Henning Kraggerud accompanied by the Voronezh Festival Symphony Orchestra will perform the music of composers Carl Nielsen and Arnold Schoenberg. The second section will consist of symphonic poem “Pelleas und Melisande” which has never been performed in Voronezh before.

Henning Kraggerud is also the Artistic Director of the Arctic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, a music teacher and composer, and at the concert in Voronezh he will also perform his own works. The musician plays on a 1744 Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù violin.

Leonid Desyatnikov. Favorites

An evening with Leonid Desyatnikov

Leonid Desyatnikov (composer, Russia), Alexey Goribol (piano, Russia), Alexander Trostyansky (violin, Russia), lead musicians of the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra and of the Voronezh Opera and Ballet Theatre

June 13. Philharmonic Hall


The format of inviting a composer already tested at the sixth festival with Benjamin Yusupov, will be continued by the Directorate of the PlatonovFest at the eighth forum. This time the music programme of the festival includes an evening with famous Russian composer Leonid Desyatnikov primarily well-known for his works for conema and theatre.

Desyatnikov is the author of music to such films as “Sunset” (1990), “Lost in Siberia” (1991), “Moscow Nights” (1994), “Hammer and Sickle” (1994), “Giselle’s Mania” (1995), “Whoever Softer” (1996), “Moscow” (2000; for this film score Desyatnikov received A Golden Ram prize), “His Wife’s Diary” (2000) which received a Nika Award for Best Film, “Tycoon” (2002) and “Dreaming of Space” (2005). He is the author of several operas and ballets, and he also collaborates with Godon Kremer as a composer and arranger of the works of Ástor Piazzolla.

The programme of the Voronezh concert includes 12 preludes from the piano cycle “Bukovina Songs” (this will be the first time this work is performed in Russia), the music to films “Sunset” and “Moscow” as well as Hommage à Astor Piazzolla – two instrumental transcriptions of tango. Apart from the composer himself, the concert will involve singers of the Bolshoi Theatre and the Voronezh Opera and Ballet Theatre as well as famous Russian violinist Alexander Trostyansky and pianist Alexey Goribol.

Itamar Golan (pianoforte, Israel / France), Ilya Gringolz (violin, Switzerland)

Itamar Golan

June 14. Philharmonic Hall


Itamar Golan and Ilya Gringolz are young and popular musicians who have already had an experience of joint performances.

Itamar Golan gave his first concert at the age of 7 in Tel Aviv. He was accompanied by the Israeli Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic orchestras, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (London), the La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, participated in festivals in Salzburg and Lucerne, teaches at the Manhattan School of Music and the Paris Conservatory. Ilya Gringolz is a violinist of Russian origin. In 1998, he won the Paganini Violin Competition in Genoa, becoming the youngest winner in the history of the competition. He played with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the German Symphony Orchestra (Berlin), and participated in many festivals. He is a Professor at the Zurich Higher School of Arts and visiting professor at the Royal Scottish Conservatory (Glasgow).

At the concert in Voronezh, the musicians will perform the music of Robert Schumann, Leos Janacek and George Enescu.

- We are trying to make a program that differs from the traditional philharmonic one. At Platonovsky’s concerts the audience is given the opportunity to listen to extremely rare compositions or the ones that are not performed at all, Mikhail Bychkov noted.

David Fry (pianoforte)

Photo – Paulo Roversi


Symphony Orchestra of the Voronezh Concert Hall. Artistic Director and chief conductor - Yuri Androsov

June 15. Philharmonic Hall


The star of the world pianoforte David Fry is known for his execution of the works of Bach. He performed with leading European and American orchestras and conductors. According to Mikhail Bychkov, connoisseurs of piano music will be able to compare the skill of David Fry with last year’s performance of French pianist Lucas Debargue.

The program will include Concert No. 1 of Bach and Maurice Ravel’s concert. Mikhail Bychkov noted that usually the Directorate of Platonovfest tries to focus on less ancient, more modern music, but it could not miss the opportunity to listen to David Fry’s reference performance of Bach.

Camerata of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Netherlands. Conductor – Alexei Ogrinchuk

June 16. Philharmonic Hall


In 2016, Camerata of the famous Dutch Concertgebouw Orchestra performed for the first time in Russia at the Platonov Festival. This year the musicians will return to Voronezh with a new program. The concert will feature music by Jorg Widmann, Maurice Ravel and Gustav Mahler.

- Since this will be our eighth season, we can already afford not only to bring more and more new musicians, but also to look for the opportunity to invite the best of what we already had. This is the return of what we would like to listen to again. Moreover, after the Camerata concert in 2016, everyone remained impressed by the quality and the way the well-known works were performed, Mikhail Bychkov said.

According to the Artistic Director of the festival, thanks to the high performing level of the team, new names of the composers in the program, the variety of formats of academic music, many listeners will find something interesting and important for themselves in the performance of the Concertgebouw Camerata.

As in 2016, Alexei Ogrinchuk will be the conductor, the first oboe of the Concertgebouw Orchestra (since 2005), the only oboist in the world, giving solo concerts, a professor of oboe at the Higher School of Music in Geneva, the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Higher School of Music of the Basque Country, Musikene and the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.

World’s Music

World’s Music in Bely Kolodets

Photo – Roman Demyanenko (from the archive)

June 10. Chalk pit “Bely Kolodets” (“White Well”) in Semiluksky District

The Artistic Director of the Platonov Festival could not announce the names of the musicians who would perform at the traditional open-air in Bely Kolodets. Mikhail Bychkov explained that the Directorate had already agreed with some of them, but they were still negotiating with other participants. Therefore, a full list of four or five bands that will perform at the one-day festival will be announced later. At the same time, the Artistic Director stressed that “World’s Music in Bely Kolodets” concert will definitely take place.

- We invite everyone to Bely Kolodets, we recommend buying tickets in advance and we promise that it will be an unforgettable one-day festival inside the festival, Mikhail Bychkov said.

A concert in the Ramon Castle Park

Photo – from the archive

June 16

Platonovfest Directorate has not also announced the participants of the concert in the Park of the Oldenburg Palace, because final agreements with the musicians have not yet been concluded. However, Mikhail Bychkov assured that the open-air in Ramon will take place in any case.

- Tickets for this event are always bought out first. We hope that by the start of the sales, all the information will already be known, Mikhail Bychkov noted.

Tall Heights (USA)

June 13. Chernavsky Bridge Dam


A new concert site, which will be opened by the Eighth Platonov Festival, will be the dam of Chernavsky Bridge. A concert of American indie-folk band Tall Heights will be held on the beach by the water on a festival night. The Forum Directorate plans to give the concert for 500-600 people.

- I’d like it to be a romantic party, under the starry summer sky, on the sand, where lovers, romantic young people could come. Believe me, it will be very lyrical, Mikhail Bychkov announced.

Folk duo Tall Heights was founded in 2010 by Tim Harrington (acoustic guitar, vocals) and Paul Wright (cello, vocals). Since the creation of the band, it has released 5 albums, the premieres of their songs were held on the portals of The Wall Street Journal and Stereogum. In Voronezh, the musicians will perform in an extended composition – Tall Heights will take a percussionist with them for the concert at Platonovfest. The concert at the Platonov Festival will be the first performance of Tall Heights in Russia.

The context

The Eighth International Platonov Arts Festival will be held in Voronezh from the 6th to the 17th of June 2018. The Directorate has already announced the events of the theater program of the forum. Ticket sales for the performances and concerts of Platonovfest start on February 22. Festival box offices in the city and online sales will open at 10:00.