IV International Mstislav Rostropovich Festival took place in Orenburg during November 30 – December 2nd. According to Pavel Samsonov, Vice-Governorof Orenburg Region, it has been the most important cultural event of the year. Verdi’s opera Rigolettoopened the Festival at Maxim Gorky Orenburg Drama Theatre. The main parts were performed by the soloists of the Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Centre: Alexander Aliev and Ekaterina Savinkova, as well as by Italian tenor Angelo Fiore. Marco Boemi (Italy) conducted the Opera Centre’s orchestra. The city does not have an opera theatre, but can boast with enough opera admirers – the hall was full. The audience has called for the young performers several times, thanking them for magnificent moments.

Orenburg Institute of Arts named after Leopold and Mstislav Rostropovich has received a bronze portrait sculpture of Maestro Mstislav Rostropovich by Mikhail Pereyaslavets from the Festival’s organizers. The gift has been accepted by the college with great appreciationon the eve of its 20th anniversary.

The next day Orenburg Philharmonic Hall hosted a concert dedicated to Sergei Prokofiev’s 125th birthday anniversary, featuring the Opera Centre’s Orchestra. There have been performedexcerpts from Romeo and Julietsuite, andAlexander Nevskycantata; soloist – a Centre’s graduate Lyubov Molina. The excited audienceentered a standing ovation, numerous ‘Bravi!’ shouts were heard.

Hoping to meet in the future again, the Festival’s musicians have parted with hospitable Orenburg.