Dmitri Shostakovich, Alfred Schnittke, Krzysztof Meyer: this triumvirate is the focus of the International Shostakovich Festival Gohrisch for the first time. In addition to the eponym, who composed his eighth string quartet in Gohrisch in 1960, two composers are honoured who refer to Shostakovich in their work. With his polystylistic style of writing, Schnittke set the contradictions of the late Soviet era to music like no other. He died 25 years ago in Hamburg. Meyer has been closely associated with the Shostakovich Festival from the beginning. The former friend of Shostakovich and his later biographer celebrates his 80th birthday this year - a welcome occasion for the Shostakovich Festival to honour him with this year's International Shostakovich Prize Gohrisch.
Yulianna Avdeeva, the Quatuor Danel and the Sächsische Staatskapelle with Oscar Jockel
In the Festival's opening concert on 22 June, the Quatuor Danel, one of the world's leading Shostakovich quartets, will perform his String Quartets No. 4 and No. 13. The 13th Quartet will thus be heard for the first time at the Shostakovich Festival. The programme will be completed by the Piano Quintet by Alfred Schnittke, in which the Quatuor Danel will collaborate for the first time with the pianist Yulianna Avdeeva. The 1st prize winner of the Warsaw Chopin Competition 2010 is a guest at the Shostakovich Festival for the fourth time. On 23 June, she will also give a piano recital in the Gohrisch Concert Barn, where she will perform works by Meyer and Mieczysław Weinberg as well as the German premiere of the short piano piece "Murzilka" by Shostakovich and the monumental "Hammerklavier Sonata" by Beethoven. Avdeeva can be heard a third time in Gohrisch this year: as soloist in the performance evening of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden with members of the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, which will take place as a matinee on 25 June. In addition to Schnittke's Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra, Meyer's "Metamorphoses" for chamber orchestra and Shostakovich's Chamber Symphony op. 83a are also on the programme - the latter is an orchestral arrangement of the Fourth String Quartet by Rudolf Barshai, which will be heard for the first time at the Shostakovich Festival. The conductor of the performance evening is the young Oscar Jockel, who was recently awarded the Herbert von Karajan Prize at the Salzburg Easter Festival and is at the beginning of a promising career.
Two Duo Recitals: Isang Enders/Boris Giltburg, Vadim Gluzman/Angela Yoffe
On 24 June, two duo recitals are on the programme: in the afternoon, Isang Enders, former concertmaster violoncello of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden and once co-initiator of the Shostakovich Festival, and pianist Boris Giltburg will perform Alfred Schnittke's first cello sonata. Giltburg will also present his own piano arrangement of Shostakovich's Third String Quartet in this concert. On the occasion of the awarding of the Shostakovich Prize to Krzysztof Meyer, the latter's second sonata for solo violoncello from 2007 will be performed. In the evening, violinist Vadim Gluzman and pianist Angela Yoffe will perform, among others, the "Suite in the Old Style" and the "Prelude in memoriam Dmitri Shostakovich" by Schnittke as well as an arrangement of Shostakovich's Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 1, which Michael Gluzman, the violinist's father, arranged for violin and piano. The finale will be the large cycle of 24 Preludes for Violin and Piano op. 46 by Lera Auerbach, who took part in the Shostakovich Festival in 2011 as the "Capell-Compositrice" of the Sächsische Staatskapelle.
Hope for a more peaceful future
Last year, the Shostakovich Festival - in view of Russia's terrible war of aggression on Ukraine - already paid tribute to the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, who attended the entire festival as guest of honour. To conclude this year's Shostakovich Festival, the Ukrainian Mriya Quartet will perform works by other composers from their threatened homeland. The Ukrainian word "Mriya" means "dream" and in this context stands for music-making beyond war and the misery associated with it. The last work of the concert is the Piano Quintet by Robert Schumann with pianist Kateryna Titova - this work, which ends both dramatically and euphorically, can be understood as a hopeful signal for a more peaceful future.
Film screening and exhibition
The festival programme will be complemented by a screening of the Soviet documentary "Dmitri Shostakovich - Altovaya sonata" from 1981, in which the directors Semyon Aranovich and Alexander Sokurov look back on Shostakovich's eventful biography through the viola sonata, his last work. In addition, the exhibition "DSCH - Digital Collages" with graphics and Shostakovich portraits by the Dresden artist Anders Winter can be viewed in the foyer of the Gohrisch Concert barn during all four days of the festival.
"Every year, world-class artists respond to our call to the Gohrisch Concert barn, perform programmes that they rehearse exclusively for our festival - and do it without any fee. That always borders on a miracle! This idealism, this enthusiasm for the cause is ultimately due to the artist and person of Dmitri Shostakovich, to whom all the musicians participating in the Festival feel closely connected. We feel that as festival organisers, and that creates an atmosphere in Gohrisch that can only be described as unique." Tobias Niederschlag, Artistic Director of the International Shostakovich Days Gohrisch.
Special concert by the Staatskapelle Dresden
As in previous years, the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden will give a special concert on the eve of the International Shostakovich Festival (21 June) at the Dresden Palace of Culture. The orchestra, which has supported and helped to shape the Shostakovich Festival from the very beginning, will perform Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony under the direction of Andrés Orozco-Estrada. Also on the programme is the Trumpet Concerto by Shostakovich‘s close friend, Mieczysław Weinberg, with the exceptional trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger as soloist.
Advance ticket sales
Individual tickets for the International Shostakovich Festival Gohrisch go on sale on 19 April 2023. Tickets can be booked at www.schostakowitsch-tage.de. Tickets for the special concert of the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden on 21 June 2023 are available at www.staatskapelle-dresden.de.