Arts Square Festival kicks off

Visitors to the city this month will get the chance to re-live the grand heyday of Russian Imperial society with all its masquerades, balls and exquisite theatre performances when the Arts Square Festival begins at the Shostakovich Philharmonic, this week.

During the summer St Petersburg's long evenings are celebrated with the White Nights Festival and the Arts Square Festival aims to bring the same kind of magic to the city during the dark, snowy, shivery season. The festival was founded by Yury Temirkanov, artistic director of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, and aims to recreate the lavish, romantic high society Tsarist balls and events that existed prior to the 1917 Revolution. This year the festival is celebrating its tenth birthday and first up on stage at this special anniversary is renowned U.S. pianist Garrick Ohlsso, who will give a performance of Rachmaninoffs Third Piano Concerto accompanied by the Philharmonic Orchestra.

Highlights for this year will be Vadim Repin and the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra conducted by Temirkanov on Christmas Eve as they perform Prokofievs Second Violin Concerto, with pieces from the ballet Cinderella and the opera War and Peace. The Square Arts Festival is one for all lovers of grand, classical art - sit back, enjoy and imagine waltzing across a moonlit frozen lake with Omar Sharif or Julie Christie under gently, settling Russian snowflakes, before gliding off in a Narina inspired horse drawn carriage.

The festival runs until 25th December.


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