In its 13th year, the International Shostakovich Festival is dedicated not only to works by Shostakovich, but also to the music of Ukrainian composers. The festival organisers are thus reacting to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, against the background of which the music of Dmitri Shostakovich regains a frightening topicality. The programme includes numerous works by Valentin Silvestrov, probably the most important living composer from Ukraine, who is also expected in Gohrisch in person: The now 84-year-old, who fled from Kiev to Berlin a few weeks ago, is to receive this year's Shostakovich Prize on 2 July 2022. On this occasion, he will also perform his own works on the piano.
Premieres and first performances
In addition, Silvestrov's 3rd String Quartet and his 2 Elegies for String Orchestra will be performed in Germany for the first time at the Shostakovich Festival. The Documentary "V. Silvestrov", made in Ukraine in 2020, will also be shown in Germany for the first time at the festival. In the final concert, pianist Alexei Lubimov and soprano Viktoriia Vitrenko will perform works by Silvestrov and Franz Schubert from the concert programme that was prematurely interrupted by the Moscow police a few weeks ago. The programme will now be performed in its entirety in Gohrisch.
In addition to the music of Valentin Silvestrov, the opening concert on 30 June 2022 will also feature works by the Ukrainian composer Yuri Povolotsky, including two world premieres.
„New“ works by Dmitri Shostakovich
There will also be "new" works by Dmitri Shostakovich in Gohrisch: Dmitri Jurowski will premiere his own arrangement of the song cycle on poems by Marina Tsvetaeva op. 143a in a performance evening by the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. For the first time, he will also present to the public an extended concert suite of the incidental music to "The Human Comedy" op. 37, arranged by his father Mikhail Jurowski. Mikhail Jurovsky, who had a decisive influence on the Shostakovich Festival in its early years, died in Berlin in March 2022. He was originally to conduct this performance evening, which is now dedicated to his memory.
In addition to works by Shostakovich and Silvestrov, the programme also includes some compositions by Sofia Gubaidulina. The great Russian composer and Shostakovich Prize winner 2017 celebrated her 90th birthday last autumn.
Re-encounters and numerous first-time appearances
The concerts will once again feature renowned artists: The pianists Yulianna Avdeeva and Elisaveta Blumina as well as the soprano Evelina Dobračeva will return to Gohrisch. For the first time, violinist Vadim Gluzman, pianist Alexei Lubimov, soprano Viktoriia Vitrenko and conductor Dmitri Jurowski will perform in the Gohrisch Concert Barn. In addition, several soloists, members of the Sächsische Staatskapelle, are involved in the chamber concerts. Also this year, all of the artists will perform in Gohrisch without a fee.
This year's cooperation is particularly close with the Sächsische Staatskapelle and the Semperoper Dresden. In addition to the non-subscription concert on the eve of the festival (conductor: Omer Meir Wellber), the premiere of a new production of Shostakovich's opera "The Nose" at the Semperoper (conductor: Petr Popelka) will also take place during the festival period, accompanied by a scientific symposium at the Dresden Academy of Music. The programme is thus more diverse than ever before and will span an arc from Shostakovich's piano and chamber music to the great symphonies and opera.
Photo exhibition by Matthias Creutziger
A retrospective of the first 12 years of the International Shostakovich Festival Gohrisch is provided by a photo exhibition by Matthias Creutziger, who has accompanied the festival every year from the beginning.
"After two years in which, due to the pandemic, the Shostakovich Festival took place virtually or with an excursion to the Festspielhaus Dresden-Hellerau, we are extremely happy to return to Gohrisch. We felt a great need to focus the festival on the music by Ukrainian composers, especially by Valentin Silvestrov, in view of the terrible war in Ukraine. We are very much looking forward to this great composer who represents the contemporary musical culture of his country like no other." Tobias Niederschlag, Artistic Director of the International Shostakovich Festival Gohrisch
Individual tickets go on sale on 29 April 2022.