The Andrey D.Sakharov International Art Festival is 10 years. It's very symbolic that this anniversary coincides with one more important and significant date for Russian musical culture - June 9, the day when 40 years ago the first Festival "Modern Music" bringing to life the festival movement in Russia took place in Nizhny Novgorod. The guest and the participant of the Festival 2002 - Mstislav Rostropovich, the initiator and the sponsor of that legendary Festival and one of the first supporters of the Andrey D.Sakharov International Art Festival in Nizhny Novgorod, also celebrates his jubilee these days. The final concert of our Festival is devoted to the 75th anniversary of Maestro.
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 six festivals (held in 1992-2000) 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.
Within the last years the Festival united the most distinguished musicians of the world. We can now speak about a great success of the international action called "Russian Art and the World". Among the Festivals participants of this year are: the Borodin State Quartet, Yuri Bashmet and the ensemble "Moscow Soloists", Dora Schwarzberg. Among new guests are: Nikolai Petrov, Alexei Lubimov, Francoise Pollet (France), Miranda van Kralingen (Netherlands), Z.Edmund Toliver (USA-Germany), Stefan Metz (Netherlands), Sergei Stadler, Julia Stadler, Sergei Nakariakov, Daniel Kramer, Early Music Ensemble "Hortus Musicus" (Estonia). The peculiarity of the previous festival was the participation of musicians from Philadelphia - the twin city of Nizhny Novgorod. Extending the festival tradition the wonderful Austrian chamber orchestra from Lintz is the guest and participant of the Festival 2002.
The Festival program includes one of the best theatrical production of the last seasons - the performance "The Iron Class" with Sergei Yursky, Olga Volkova, Nikolai Volkov (the International Theatrical Agency "Art-Partner XXI"); the brilliant premier performance "Signor Todero - the Owner" of "Satirikon" with Konstantin Raikin in the title role; the exhibition of graphic arts of Aleksandra Korsakova in the Nizhny Novgorod Fine Arts Museum. But the sovereign of the Muse still remains music - great and wonderful. Within the framework of the Festival the musical masterpieces of the past - from Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann to Poulenc, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and the variety of interesting new musical compositions (Part, Piazzolla, Janssens, modern Austrian composers) will be introduced to the audience. The final accord of the festival will be the performance of D.Shostakovich's "The Festive Overture" reminding of the remarkable festival history of Nizhny Novgorod and the only festival in the life of D.Shostakovich held in 1964 and dedicated to his creative activity, reminding of the only time in D.Shostakovich's life when he conducted the "The Festive Overture" and the concert for the viola performing by Mstislav Rostropovich and the Nizhny Novgorod orchestra. We also consider the final concert as the prologue for the future musical events in the Nizhny Novgorod region.