At the reception of the "Russian Seasons" international cultural project given as part of the Culture Festival of the 13th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Vladimir Medinsky announced the names of the new Ambassadors of the "Russian Seasons". They are Zelfira Ismayilovna Tregulova, General Director of the State Tretyakov Gallery, and the President of the Ilya Repin St. Petersburg State Academic Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture at the Russian Academy of Arts Semyon Ilyich Mikhailovsky.
'This high title — the Ambassador of "Russian Seasons" — was conferred only upon four persons in two years. Each of them is a celebrity of the world stature. And today I take great pleasure in introducing two new Ambassadors of "Russian Seasons". You are empowered to get Russian culture across to the general foreign public,' remarked Medinsky.
The honorary status of the Ambassador of the “Russian Seasons” project is granted to prominent figures in the area of culture, widely acclaimed professionals of international level, positive role models whose work and public activity is followed, copied, and rightfully admired. To date, the project’s Ambassadors were pianist Boris Berezovsky, ballet dancer Nikolay Tsiskaridze, Art Director of the Alexandrinsky Theatre Valery Fokin, film director Andrei Konchalovsky.
'When we started this project, we did not anticipate such a successful development. Behind this success is the great work of a great team. And, certainly, everything is based on the highest professionalism of our workers of culture,' noted the Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets.
Zelfira Tregulova stressed that being an ambassador implied "special obligations, responsibility".
'What we all do is an incredibly important mission. Especially today, when there is so many misconceptions, so much misunderstanding in the world. What "Russian Seasons" do is introducing the world to Russia, to its amazing, unique, immense cultural civilization,' she noted.
Semyon Mikhailovsky emphasized that being an Ambassador of the project was a great honor for him.
'I really appreciate this initiative, because I've witnessed its tremendous success in Italy and Germany. If we could show the world how rich Russia is, and not only with its natural resources, but also with the talented people living around here, it would be great,' said Mikhailovsky.
The international cultural project "Russian Seasons" and the Russo-German Music Academy presented a concert for the guests of the reception. It featured the winners of international competitions, celebrated performers from Russia and Germany, such as Thomas Reif (violin), Aylen Pritchin (violin), Dinara Muratova (viola), Elizaveta Zolotova (viola), Jacob Schteppe (cello), Ivan Sendetsky (cello), Olga Pudova (soprano), Askar Abdrazakov (bass), Nikolaus Rexroth (piano).
Since "Russian Seasons" are hosted by Germany in 2019, the concert program focuses on the close musical ties of the countries. The composition by Pyotr Tchaikovsky "Souvenir de Florence" reminded the audience of Italy that had hosted “Russian Seasons” in 2018.
The opera pieces were performed by soloists of the Mariinsky Theatre, a permanent rehearsal premises of the Russo-German Music Academy under the artistic direction of maestro Valery Gergiev.