ROME, January 15. /TASS/. The Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev has opened the second festival of Russian culture dubbed "Russian Seasons" in Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1 and Symphony No. 6 were performed, TASS reported from the academy.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets and Italian Secretary of the Council of Ministers Maria Elena Boschi attended the festival’s opening ceremony.
Golodets stressed that Russia and Italy are linked by longstanding relations in all spheres. "Our cultural ties are several ages old. Many outstanding pieces of architecture on our soil were created by Italian masters, such as Fioravanti and Rastrelli. Works by Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy and Russian composers Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff became popular among the Italian audience."
"The Italian audience is in for the tour of the Bolshoi Theater, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and an exhibition of the Hermitage collections," Golodets said. She thanked the Italian counterparts for their "great support" and wished the Russian Seasons to "push the boundaries to new joint projects and help our peoples know and understand each other better."
Russian Deputy Culture Minister Alexander Zhuravsky earlier told TASS that the festival’s program would be performed in at least 40 Italian cities, and the Russian Seasons are expected to gather more than 3 mln people.
The festival that will run until the end of 2018 includes more than 250 events, in particular around 60 symphony concerts, more than 50 stage performances, more than 40 ballet shows and an extensive exhibition program. The themes and format of the Russian Seasons events varies from classical music concerts and stage performances down to a young filmmakers’ festival, gastronomy festivals and educational projects.
The Russian Seasons festival was first held in Japan in 2017 and gathered more than 3.5 mln spectators in 42 Japanese cities. The festival officially kicked off in Japan in June 2017 during the tour of Russia’s Bolshoi Theater and featured about 250 events and more than 20 famous Russian cultural institutions, such as the Bolshoi Theater, Mariinsky Theater, Hermitage, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, Nikulin Circus and others.