2019 marked the 180th anniversary of the birth of the great Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky. To celebrate this significant event, the European Foundation for Support of Culture, in cooperation with the “Qazaqconcert” State Concert Organization, organised, in the maestro’s honour, a festive concert “Modest Mussorgsky Evening”, which was held on 12 December in Nur-Sultan, capital of Kazakhstan.
Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky is one of the most daring innovators of the 19th century, a brilliant composer who was far ahead of his time and had a huge impact on the development of Russian and European musical art. He lived in the era of the highest spiritual rise and deep social shifts; it was a time when Russian social life actively contributed to the awakening of a national consciousness in artists, when, one by one, works appeared that were markedly fresh, novel and, most important, imbued with the striking reality and poetry of Russian life.” (Ilya Repin)
Since the beginning of the 20th century, his operas Boris Godunov and Khovanshchina, the series of piano miniatures Pictures at an Exhibition, vocal cycles Songs and Dances of Death, Children’s and other works are recognised masterpieces of world music.
On 12 December, a concert in honour of the maestro was held at Nur-Sultan’s most prestigious hall – the Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall. The piano soloist was Yuri Rozum, People’s Artist of Russia, laureate of international competitions, president of the Yuri Rozum International Charitable Foundation, academician of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Vice-President of the International Union of Musicians, professor at the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music and the Schnittke Moscow State Institute of Music. Notably, in 2019, the pianist celebrated several anniversaries at once: he turned 65 years old, in the 45th year of his creative career and 25th year of charitable activity. The musician was accompanied by the Academy of Soloists State Orchestra of Kazakhstan under the baton of Mikhail Kirchhoff, chief guest conductor of the Academy of Soloists State Orchestra of Kazakhstan.
The concert programme included the most popular works by Mussorgsky, as well as works by other European composers.