Andrey Sakharov International Art Festivals "Russian Art and the World" have been held by Nizhny Novgorod Philharmonic Society since 1992. They present the principally new concept which is harmonious to the democratic changes in Russia within the last years. The authors and artistic directors of the Festival are Olga N. Tomina and Valentin A. Berlinsky. The moral guide of the concept are the ideas and moral position of one of the most distinguished humanist A. D. Sakharov who had warned that dissociation of the mankind could lead to the global catastrophe and that the world needs unity, mutual understanding and free information exchange. That is why the motto of the International Sakharov Art Festival is the idea of indissoluble integrity of domestic and the world culture.
The bright humanist conception of Andrey Sakharov International Art Festival attracts many famous musicians, artists and writers from Russia, Austria, France, Switzerland, Spain, the USA, Mexico, Israel, etc. The last seven festivals (held in 1992-2002) united such outstanding artists as Mstislav Rostropovich, Galina Vishnevskaya, Yuri Bashmet, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Jansug Kakhidze, Antonio de Almeida (France), Eliso Virsaladze, Natalia Gutman, Dmitry Bashkirov, Victor Tretiakov, Misha Maisky (Israel), Dora Schwarzberg (Austria), Daniel Pollack (USA), Elisabet Leonskaya (Austria), Vladimir Viardo (USA), Victoria Postnikova, Valery Afanasiev (France), Jean-Efflame Bavouse (France), Ilia Grubert (Holland), Vagram Saradjan (USA), James Curby (Great Britain), Walter Delahunt (Canada), Borodin Quartet, Fine Arts Quartet (USA), Danelle Quartet (France), Churlenis Quartet (Lithuania), Chamber Orchestra headed by Saulus Sondetskis (Lithuania), Chamber Chorus headed by Vladimir Minin (Moscow, Russia), Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale "Moscow trio", Serguei Yursky, Natalia Teniakova, Tatiana Lavrova, Aleksey Batalov, Mikhail Kozakov, Valentin Nikulin (Israel), Carina and Ruzanna Lisitsian, singers: Nani Bregvadze (Georgia) and Nikita Storozhev (Mexico), Silvia Schluter (The Netherlands), poets: Andrei Voznesensky, Evgeny Rein, Henry Sapgir and many others. Bright moments of the Festival history are also connected with the leading artists and groups from Nizhny Novgorod: Academic Symphony Orchestra, choirs headed by Lev Sivukhin, A.Poznansky, Chamber Orchestra "Sophia", etc.
In 1999 the Andrey D. Sakharov International Art Festival the first out of all Russian festivals was adopted to the European Association of the Festivals (UNESCO) and highly appreciated for its performing and organizational level.