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.