Venera Gimadieva sings Rachmaninoff in a celebration of Tatar Music - 1 April

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 ‘Pearls of Tatar Music’ at Royal Festival Hall

April 1, 2015


The UK’s first ever celebration of Tatar music featuring leading Tatar soprano Venera Gimadieva – who won critical acclaim in La traviata at Glyndebourne this summer – takes place in April 2015 at London’s Royal Festival Hall. She joins Russian conductor Guerassim Voronkov and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra for a celebration of the lost voices of Tatarstan, alongside vocal masterpieces by Sergey Rachmaninoff, himself of Tatar descent.

Tatarstan, a prospering region in the Russian Federation, was devastated by catastrophic effects of Soviet War Communism in the early 1920s, eliminating almost half of the Tatar population as a result of famine genocide on the Muslim population. Yet culture runs deep in the veins of the republic, often seen as a melting pot of different cultures and religions. The country lays claim to an array of renowned artists from various disciplines, including bass Feodor Chaliapin, dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev, composer Sofia Gubaidulina, actor Charles Bronson and soprano Albina Shagimuratova.  ‘Pearls of Tatar Music’ gives long overdue recognition to the 20th century composers of Tatarstan who were never given the opportunity to shine under Soviet Communism.

Rashid Kalimullin, leading Tatar composer and President of the Union of Composers in Tatarstan, spearheads the campaign to put the lost voices into the spotlight at last, giving European audiences the rare opportunity to experience these pieces. ‘Pearls of Tatar Music’, launched in 2009 by The Ministry of Culture and The Union of Composers, gives these artists worldwide recognition, as this London concert follows successful concerts in Berlin, Leipzig, Stockholm, Jerusalem, Rome and Florence.

“‘Pearls of Tatar Music’ now figures amongst the most important international cultural initiatives in existence,” says Rashid Kalimullin, “fulfilling its objective of acquainting the world with the creativity of Tatar composers and with our musical culture in general.  One of the unique features of the project is that leading foreign orchestras bring our music to life, with the outstanding Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra next honouring us with their interpretations.  I am very happy that ‘Pearls of Tatar Music’ will be presented in London, one of the musical capitals of the world.”

Highlights of the evening include the Ballade from Tatar’s first ballet Şüräle by Farid Yarullin, as well as Symphonic Frescos by Rashid Kalimullin himself. These traditional contemporary pieces are followed by an all-Rachmaninoff second half, in which Venera Gimadieva sings Vocalise and Francesca’s aria from Francesca da Rimini, among many more. Following her critically acclaimed Glyndebourne debut this summer, “one-to-watch” Russian soprano Venera Gimadieva returns to the UK to make her Royal Festival Hall debut.   Hailed widely as the “new voice of Russia”, Gimadieva has captured the attention of major UK press, making her UK debut at the BBC Proms in 2013 and more recently Glyndebourne in La traviata, 2014. Having studied at the Kazan Music College in Tartasan, Venera now brings her love of the music of Tatar to UK audiences as part of this international project.

 “Venera Gimadieva  … is a soprano of huge presence, compelling to watch, with a voice of thrilling security and range, and a special quality to her quieter singing that makes you hang on every note. It's a remarkable, touching Glyndebourne debut..." Guardian, July 2014

"She sings with ravishing lyricism, has a pianissimo that could melt glaciers, the boldness to deploy it at crucial moments, and the intelligence to make every phrase convey expression without seeming histrionic." Times, July 2014

Tickets prices from £12

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