The Bolshoi Festival at Mecavnik

The Bolshoi Festival at Mecavnik

The Bolshoi Festival is a classical music festival in Mokra Gora at Mećavnik, where the film director Emir Kusturica fulfilled the cultural menu following the film festival Kustendorf.

Last weekend Mr. Kusturica assembled the renowned Czech and Russian musicians and around 150 young talented performers from Serbia and the Republic of Srpska at this wooden town.

In the name of the festival sponsor, the Russian company Gazprom Neft, Kirill Kravchenko, NIS CEO, said he hoped the Bolshoi Festival would improve the cooperation between the two nations.

The director Emir Kusturica organized a classical music event, the Bolshoi Festival, as counterpart to the film festival Kustendorf at the ethno village Mećavnik.

Gazprom Neft, the majority shareholder of the Petroleum Industry of Serbia, sponsored the idea of the Festival organizer, film director Emir Kusturica to promote as many as possible young talented musicians from secondary music schools and academies from Serbia and the Republic of Srpska and to place this event among the European and world classical music festivals.

Mećavnik, the Wooden Town was the stage and scene of this festival from 13 to 15 September.
The tunes of Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Sviridov, Korsakov, Rasinski, Kusjakov, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Rubinstein, Binički, Čerepnin, Kabalevski, Glinka, Mokranjac, Stojanović, Konjović, Milošević, Milojević, Rajčić, Marinković and others spread throughout the mountains and valleys of Mokra Gora. Their music was played by the famous Russian pianist Yuri Rozum, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra with conductor Jan Kučera, Emir Kusturica and the No Smoking Orchestra (they performed together the opera The Hanging House) with around 150 young musicians studying at music schools in Belgrade and Ćuprija as well as music colleges and academies in Belgrade, Niš, Novi Sad and Eastern Sarajevo.

Speaking sincerely that it was his desire for the Bolshoi Festival to become a traditional event.Mr.Kusturica stated it was his idea for this festival to promote young talents from music schools and academies and to enhance the great friendship between Serbia and Russia as well as the cultural ties which were insufficiently fostered until now.

Kirill Kravchenko, NIS CEO and deputy CEO of Gazprom Neft, opened the Festival and speaking in Serbian, said he hoped the Bolshoi Festival would improve the cooperation between the two nations. Kravchenko emphasized that the Gazprom Neft motto was contained in the message that “Fantasy is Coming to Life”.

Along with other famous participants and music artists, the Italian actress Monica Bellucci, gave special meaning to the Festival under the open sky at Mećavnik and who has been filming there with Kusturica.

The Mećavnik audience could enjoy the film – music mix with the projection of the film The Battleship Potemkin enriched by the sounds of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.

The Czech National Symphony Orchestra exists over two decades and is positioned among the leading Czech and European symphony orchestras. This orchestra is versatile in classical concert music, contemporary genres, film music, jazz and musicals.

The Czech National Symphony Orchestra was founded by trumpet musician Ian Hasenohrl in 1993 and the spiritual father was the legendary conductor ZdenekKosler. He was later succeeded by Paul Freeman and Libor Pešek. At Mećavnik, the Orchestra was led by Jan Kučera, the Czech conductor of the younger generation, performing publicly from 2000. Besides conducting, he has been composing instrumentals. Along with his classical repertoire, he has performed and recorded over 50 symphony pieces and a few operas by contemporary composers. He composes not only classical but jazz as well.

The pianist Yuri Rozum was born to a family of musicians. He studied music at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. He won prestigious awards at the beginning of his career at music festivals in Southeastern Europe but became world known after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Currently, Rozum is a soloist and a successful lecturer at Russian and world universities and it is interesting to know that his lectures are not attended only by students, but by fellow colleagues and professors as well.
(J. Putniković /