THE RUSSIAN SEASONS HAVE SOLEMNLY OPENED IN SEOUL
A message for the media
On October 2, 2021, in Seoul, the unique international cultural project 'Russian Seasons' was solemnly opened.
The opening ceremony was attended by Hwang Hee, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, as well as Vladimir Osintsev, Deputy Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation. During the ceremony, according to the project's established tradition, the host receives the project's symbol, the Firebird, an old Russian character from fairy tales. It symbolizes light, warmth, good luck, and rebirth.
There was also a welcome speech by Olga Lyubimova, Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation. She said that in 30 years of Russian-Korean cooperation, there had been a lot of remarkable projects in the sphere of culture."Today, in a changing epidemiological situation, we have found an opportunity and are beginning the long-awaited year of full-time tours of the ‘Russian Seasons’. I am sure that such a large-scale project will become the basis for even greater cultural rapprochement between our people."
The Seoul Arts Center was the first point on the project map in the Republic of Korea. The Moscow Soloists Chamber Ensemble was conducted by Yuri Bashmet, People's Artist of the USSR, Honorary Artist, conductor, violist, Ambassador of the Russian Seasons, performed on stage. South Korean pianist and organist Jo Jae-hyuk was the opening night soloist. The performances will run until October 8, 2021, and will include five cities in the Republic of Korea.
"The long-awaited opening ceremony of the Russian Seasons in the Republic of Korea and the performance by the Moscow Soloists Chamber Ensemble conducted by the world-famous conductor Yuri Bashmet took place today. I hope that ʺRussian Seasonsʺ will allow us to forget all the bad things that the pandemic has brought, as well as strengthen the friendly relations between our countries,"said the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea Hwang Hee.
As part of the opening events, a press conference was held with the participation of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Korea A. B. Kulik, Deputy Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation V. G. Osintsev. G. Osintsev, director of the international cultural project "Russian Seasons" A. N.Lebedev, conductor, artistic director of the chamber ensemble "Soloists of Moscow" J. A. Bashmet, Rector of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts named after I. Repin.I.I. Mikhailovsky, ambassador of the Russian Seasons.
During the press conference, Semyon Mikhailovsky shared where the tradition of installing busts as part of the project's tour came from." From year to year, it is a very difficult and challenging task to decide to whom the monument will be installed. This time we decided to pay tribute to one of Russian literature classics and the world's most popular writer, Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy. The bust has been traditionally made by Ekaterina Pilnikova, Repin St. Petersburg Academy of Arts graduate", said Semyon Mikhailovsky. The donation for the bust of Leo Tolstoy is scheduled for November 2021 in Seoul.
During the press conference, Alexei Lebedev shared the project's tour plans, spoke about the performances which will take place on October 17-18 - Russian violinist Vadim Repin's concerts in Seoul, and then in Daejeon city. About the plans for joint performances by students of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet with Korean dancers in the city of Seoul.In the course of answering the questions, a separate vector of discussion was the issue of project digitalization.
Alexei Lebedev shared his opinion on why it was essential for cultural institutions to stay together with their viewers and help them survive the peak of the coronavirus infection:"Global values, like art, are above all things that bring people together.After all, you don't need a translator for emotions-it's something you can see just by looking at a person. It was essential for us to stay with the audience, to support them. That's why we had the idea of launching the Stay Home with Russian Seasons marathon. We asked participants of this year's ʺRussian Seasonsʺ and participants of previous years to provide video footage to broadcast on our website. Then came the Discovering Russia with Russian Seasons project, a series of documentaries about Russia's iconic cultural institutions, produced together with cultural institutions for foreign and Russian audiences."
At the end of the press conference, all participants expressed confidence that the Russian Seasons project's tour won't leave any viewer indifferent.
Recordings of the opening ceremony and subsequent broadcasts will be available on the Stay Home with Russian seasons platform in the coming week.
Photo: Kim Young Seon