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XXII Safonov Academic Music Festival is a tribute to the memory of the great countryman


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KISLOVODSK. The resort town met the first participants and guests of the XXII International Festival of Academic Music named after Safonov.

The history of the old Safonov family is inextricably linked with the south of Russia. In the village of Ishcherskaya, the lieutenant-general of the Cossack army Ilya Ivanovich Safonov was born. Here, on the bank of the Terek River, his son Vasily was born - one of the best conductors of his time, a brilliant pianist, the author of the textbook «Formula piano playing». A teacher from God, he brought up a lot of brilliant musicians, including Godike, Scriabin, Leonid Nikolaev (future mentor of Shostakovich), Medtner. Most of them graduated from the Moscow Conservatory, whose director and professor was Vasily Ilich for a long time, with a gold medal.

Among the students were Rosina Lhevinne - teacher of Van Cliburn (Harvey Lavan «Van» Cliburn), teacher of Juilliard School of Music (Juilliard School). The first winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition called himself the grandson of the Moscow Conservatory and its amazing leader, Vasily Il’ich Safonov. Shortly before his death (Cliburn died in 2012 from a sarcoma of a bone) the American pianist has transferred the means received from sale of a family relic - an ancient grand piano, in favor of Juilliard School and the Moscow conservatory.

In Kislovodsk, Safonov’s daughters, Anna Timiryova, the last love of Admiral Kolchak, and Olga, an actress, an artist, a pupil of Petrov-Vodkin, were born. Here the great musician passed away in a tragic year of 1918 and is buried in one of the local cemeteries.

The appearance in Kislovodsk of the Spa Hall (the project of Evgeni Descubes) - a real cultural center with spacious rooms for theatrical performances, concerts of classical music, dancing evenings, with a restaurant and a library - is the merit of Vasily Ilich. After his appeal to the shareholders of the Vladikavkaz railway, sufficient funds were allocated for the construction of a magnificent building in the resort city. Now here is the State Philharmonic Hall with two concert halls. Big bears the name of Safonov, Small, attached in 1972, is the name of Scriabin. These walls were visited by Rakhmaninov and Shalyapin, Glazunov and Sobinov, Oistrakh and Rostropovich, Kuprin and Richter.

The annual memorial festival of academic music in Kislovodsk is a tribute to the memory of the great countryman. On July 1, the opening of the XXII season was held under the title «Music is the time of genius». At its opening, accompanied by the Academic Symphony Orchestra. Safonova with great success made the finalist of the TV project «The Great Opera» Marika Machitidze and the winner of the III Prize Yuri Gorodetsky. In their performance arias from the best operas of the world repertoire were heard. Ahead - dozens of concerts and the main premiere of the season - Tosca Puccini directed by Italian director Diego Willy Korn and Swiss conductor Pyotr Nikiforov.


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