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Culture news, 19.05.2005 13:41

Nordic Music Festival

Nordic Music Festival The Nordic Music 2nd international festival of classic Northern European music opened in the big hall of St. Petersburg's Philharmonic Society on Monday, reports the web site of the Kutlura TV channel (

The St. Petersburg festival orchestra gave a concert under the baton of Swedish conductor Kristofer Wahlander who had founded the festival a few years ago.

The program of the first day included the Second Symphony by Jean Sibelius and the First Piano Concert by Wilhelm Stenhammer, a popular Swedish composer of the late 19th - early 20th centuries. Pianist Per Tengstrand played the solo part.

An exhibition dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Russian-Norwegian diplomatic relations opened in the Russian National Library on Monday.

The festival will run for ten days. Music by classic and modern Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Finnish and Swedish composers will be performed in St. Petersburg.

The festival will mark the 200th anniversary since Hans Christian Andersen's birth and the 140th anniversary since Jean Sibelius' birth. A portrait of the Finnish classic will be presented to the big hall of St. Petersburg's Philharmonic Society. Compositions written after the fairytales of the Danish fairytale author will be performed during the festival. One of the Nordic Music concerts will coincide with the St. Petersburg Music Spring festival. Its program includes works by Russian composers based on a Scandinavian epic.

Paradzhanov was born to an Armenian family in Tbilisi. He graduated from the Cinematography Institute in Moscow. He was hailed as one of the world's best directors for his movies Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964) and Color of the Pomegranate (1969). He won over 30 awards at international film festivals, including Mar del Plata (1964), Tel Aviv, Munich, Constantinople, and Moscow.

Paradzhanov wrote a number of interesting scripts that were rejected by Communist Party leaders, while the filmmaker suffered under the cruelty of the Soviet system. He was not allowed to shoot movies for 15 years. In 1973 he was arrested on fabricated charges and spent five years in prison. Despite these circumstances, he continued to create works of art. For example, he made figurines from bread and sent them to his friends.

Famous cultural figures, including Lilya Brik, the wife of the great proletarian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, campaigned for his early release. Paradzhanov was set free a year earlier in 1977.

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