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, Germany, the UK, Belgium, Luxemburg, Italy, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, China, Israel, etc. The last eight festivals (held in 1992-2004) united such outstanding artists as Mstislav Rostropovich, Galina Vishnevskaya, Yuri Bashmet, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Jansug Kakhidze, Antonio de Almeida (France), Eliso Virsaladze, Natalia Gutman, Nikolai Petrov, Dmitry Bashkirov, Victor Tretiakov, Sergei Stadler, Misha Maisky (Israel), Dora Schwarzberg (Austria), Daniel Pollack (USA), Elisabet Leonskaya (Austria), Vladimir Viardo (USA), Victoria Postnikova, Alexei Lubimov, Ivan Sokolov, Sergei Nakariakov, Daniel Kramer, Valery Afanasiev (France), Jean-Efflame Bavouzet (France), Francoise Pollet (France), Ilia Grubert (Holland), Ralph van Raat (Holland), Vagram Saradjan (USA), James Curby (Great Britain), Walter Delahunt (Canada), Stefan Metz (The Netherlands), Borodin State 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", Early Music Ensemble "Hortus Musicus" (Estonia), Serguei Yursky, Natalia Teniakova, Tatiana Lavrova, Aleksey Batalov, Mikhail Kozakov, Valentin Nikulin (Israel), Carina and Ruzanna Lisitsian, singers: Nani Bregvadze (Georgia), Nikita Storozhev (Mexico), Francoise Pollet (France), Silvia Schluter (The Netherlands), Z.Edmund Toliver (USA-Germany), 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, Chamber and boys choirs, Alexander 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.
The 9th Andrey Sakharov Art Festival once again invites all music lovers to meet the greatest Russian and foreign performers from eight countries of the world. The programme includes 17 performances - concerts, a theatrical performance, a film and art exhibitions - that will take place in the Kremlin Concert Hall and the Philharmonic Small Concert Hall, the Theatre of Young Spectators, the Lenin Regional Library, the "Oktyabr" Cinema. The unique feature of the 9th Festival is that it actually unites two festivals in one. The first part that goes under the traditional motto "The Russian Art and the World" is colorful and diverse. It comprises the Days of the Netherlands, France, Austria and Hungary, and presents a variety of classical and modern art - ranging from the works of the old Dutch masters and the 19th century classical music to the latest trends of the modern European music including a number of Russian and world premieres. The second part of the Festival will be totally devoted to the music of Dmitry D. Shostakovich whose 100th anniversary is widely celebrated all over the world. Hence Nizhny Novgorod commemorates the greatest contemporary musician and compatriot. His name is concerned not only with the history of Russian musical culture but also with the creative search of the Festival participants - Mstislav Rostropovitch, Galina Vishnevskaya, Valentin Berlinsky and the Borodin State Quartette, the Academic Symphony Orchestra of Nizhny Novgorod Philharmonic Society.
The names of the Festival champions and founders adorn the programme: Yuri Bashmet and the "Moscow Soloists" Chamber Ensemble, Dora Schwartsberg, Viktor TretiakovЕ And alongside are the names of the musicians first performing in Nizhny Novgorod or taking part in Sakharov Festival (which is yet another Festival tradition): Martha Argerich, a world-known pianist; Kareen Durand and Jean Michel Caune, the french singers; Otto Tausk and Nadia Wijzenbeek, the Dutch performers; "Gesualdo Consort Amsterdam", an early music ensemble and a saxophone quartette from Amsterdam; "Accord", a Hungarian string quartette. The concerts of Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Centre soloists, the premier of a play staged by Sergey Obraztsov Cental Puppet Theatre and dedicated to the 250th Mozart anniversary, and the world premiere of "Bridges" - a musical dedication to Dmitry Shostakovich by J. A. Bosso will be the bright moments of the Festival. It's symbolic that an Argentina-born Italian inspired by the colossal Russian musical genius created an instrumental/vocal composition that comprises the original verses by Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lomonosov, Gavriil Derzhavin, Ivan Krilov, Alexander Blok, Anna Ahmatova specially for the Russian Sakharov Festival. In epigraph to the composition J.A. Bosso quoted Dmitry Shostakovich: "While building new bridges we should not burn the ones that bind the modern culture with its immortal past".