It was a packed house at the Alliance Francaise auditorium where music afficionados from all over the city gathered to savour a rich musical treat recently.
Presented by the International Music and Arts Society (IMAS) in association with VioVoi Music Academy (with the support of the Thumboochetty Foundation in memory of Philomena Thumboochetty), ‘Music for Peace’, an international concert project, brought forth the talents of four award-winning musicians from Russia.
‘Music for Peace’ is a charitable project founded by Maria Nemtsova which includes concerts and masterclasses for young musicians who live in today’s conflict zones. The 90-minute concert featured Ilya Norshtein on the violin, Maria Nemtsova on the piano, Vitaly Vatulya on the saxophone and Evgeny Rumyantsev on the violoncello.
“Russian musicians have a very high standard and today’s concert is proof of that. They are outstanding and have a way of emotionally connecting with the audience,” said Urmila Devi from IMAS. The musicians presented mellifluous pieces from composers like G F Handel, R Schumann, P Tchaikovsky, F Schubert, J Brahms, S Rachmaninov, F Chopin, J Quick, T Yoshimatsu and W Rabl. The artistes spelled magic with their nimble fingers on their respective instruments. And the auditorium reverberated with thunderous applause after each piece.
Juanita Jayant, a part-time piano teacher and a member of the audience, said, “Russians are famous for classical music. The interesting thing here is having the saxophone with the other instruments, which is unique. I am sure they will exhibit a high level of skill with their performance.”
Suravi Banerjee, a literature teacher, expressed, “My knowledge of Western classical music is very limited. So, of late, I have been reading a lot about it and attending concerts such as this, to be able to understand and appreciate it. I am aware of the nuances of Indian classical music and I am sure the concert will complement what I know very well.”
For Nirvaan Biswas, a student of French at Alliance Francaise, it was a spectacular musical extravaganza. “It was mesmerising to hear some authentic Mozart classics. It was truly a treat for Western classical music lovers,” he gushed.
Dr Hartmut Fiechtner, a retired physician belonging to Germany and living in Bengaluru, was glad to be a part of the concert as he said, “For me, it’s about listening to the music I grew up with. I am happy to see that there is an interest for European music in Indian culture. People here are not only passionate about their own tradition but are also open-minded and accepting of other cultures. And that’s what makes the cultural exchange possible.”
The artistes also expressed their appreciation for the audience. “It was a very warm audience. Indeed, it was a great pleasure to perform at this wonderful programme and feel their spirited response,” said Ilya Norshtein.
“I am grateful for having got the opportunity to play for such a sensitive audience. I think we found connection and had a good conversation during the performance,” said Vitaly Vatulya.