Organ, saxophone, Christmas Gala and Jazz January: A guide to the holidays

Organ, saxophone, Christmas Gala and Jazz January: A guide to the holidays
The Jazz January Festival at Kolomenskoye, a musical trip to Spain, the storytelling-style theatrical performance The Snow Queen, concerts by popular musicians and a New Year celebration in the Stone Age – picked the most exciting New Year events in Moscow.

The finals of the fifth Karaoke Battle championships of Moscow will be held at the Salyut Cultural Centre at 37 Svobody Street on 25 December. Young music lovers between the ages of 14 and 30 from Moscow and its environs will take part in the competition. Their performances will be judged by popular musical actors and pop vocal coaches. Anyone who loves (or is just not embarrassed) to sing in public is invited to participate. Next time some members of the audience might just dare to become contestants. The event will begin at 5 pm. Admission is free. 

On 27 December, the Nikolai Gogol Museum based in the author’s childhood home at 7a Nikitsky Boulevard will host the New Year Trip to Spain, a performance by the students of the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music led by Svetlana Girsova.

By skilfully incorporating modern musical techniques, the musicians will add a dash of the modern to traditional Spanish folklore. The concert will also feature tunes by famous Spanish composers, including Isaaс Albeniz and Enrique Granados. Beginning at 6 pm. Admission is free. 

The Snow Queen will be staged by the modernist group Teatr.doc (Theatre.doc) on 30 December at noon. The unique storytelling format chosen for the performance means the action takes place right here and right now. The main characters played by the actors Konstantin Kozhevnikov and Irina Ishimnikova together with the audience will create a real-time story of their own. The show will be hosted by the Belyayevo Gallery at 100 Profsoyuznaya Street in the south-west of Moscow.

Chamber Hall at the Skryabin State Memorial Museum will host a performance by popular pianist Yekaterina Mechetina, winner of various international competitions, as well as the Triumph Youth Prize and the Presidential Prize for young cultural figures. The concert will be held at 11 Nikolopeskovsky Pereulok on 30 December, at 7 pm.  

The Jazz January Festival at Kolomenskoye is one of the most exciting musical events of the start of the new year. Teatralnaya Khoromina at Tsar Alexei Romanov’s reconstructed palace will serve as a venue for the event on 4, 5, 7 and 8 January; beginning at 7 pm. This time the programme will include performances by the trio led by Daniil Kramer, the Black Square Quartet, the Moscow Jazz Band and the Kikipickles project.

On 6 January, the Bulgakov Museum will treat its audience to a Christmas concert at Bulgakov’s famous Moscow flat. The concert will feature classical, pop and retro music and will be held at 10 Bolshaya Sadovaya Street, Apartment 50 on the third floor. Starts at 2 pm.

The concert Organ and Saxophone: Happy New Year will be held at the Tsaritsyno Museum, which is also an estate and a nature reserve, on 6-8 January. Visitors to the atrium at Khlebny Dom (Bakery) at 1 Dolskaya Street will be offered to embark on a New Year journey into the alluring realm of popular classical music performed by prize winners at international competitions Olesya Kravchenko (organ) and Sergei Govorov (saxophone). The concert will feature traditional Christmas tunes arranged for flute and organ, music by Johann Sebastian Bach, George Gershwin, Antonio Vivaldi, Denis Bedard and Louis-Claude Daquin, as well as a New Year mixture of hit tunes by Leonid Bekman, Mikhail Krasyov and James Pierpont and ABBA’s song Happy New Year adapted for the saxophone and the organ. Starts at 4 pm.

Songs from the first half of the 20th century by Izabella Yuryeva will be performed at Library No. 150 at 10 Borisovskiye Prudy Street, Building 5, on 8 January. Natalya Bogdanova will sing Romany and Russian love songs, songs by Soviet composers and arias from popular operettas. Starts at 3 pm.

An educational event full of fun, New Year Celebration in the Stone Age, will take place at the Darwin Museum at 57 Vavilova Street, Building 1, from 27 December until 7 January. The museum will turn into a time machine that will whisk fearless travellers back to the Stone Age. There was no calendar and, accordingly, no New Year holiday at that time, when our ancestors lived in a dangerous world they knew next to nothing about.

What were ancient people like, what did they know to do, what made them sad, what did they dream about and how did they survive in such harsh conditions? Participants in the interactive programme will be seeking answers to these questions as members of the Bear Tribe. First, they will have to go through the initiation ceremony and draw special tribal signs on their faces. The Guides, the Hunter and the Shaman will tell the children of the 21st century a story of an ancient man’s daily life to make it easier for them to overcome difficulties.

In their role as true hunters and gathers, they will have to distinguish between edible and inedible plants, as well as between different animals’ tracks and sounds, and know animals and birds’ habits, among plenty of other things. Time travellers will make charm bracelets that they will wear to protect themselves from evil spirits and wild animals. At an ancient man’s dwelling, travellers will have the opportunity to peek inside and learn to start a fire with primitive wooden tools.

Young travellers will undertake an exciting trip along a labyrinth and learn about the times when life on Earth was just beginning to appear and how it evolved. Everyone will be given a young time traveller’s kit as a gift. There are also some pleasant surprises in store for parents. Trips will begin at 11 am and 2 pm.

On 24 December, Catholic Christmas Eve, the Russian Philharmonic - Moscow Symphony Orchestra will give a Christmas gala concert at the Moscow International House of Music at 52 Kosmodamianskaya Embankment, Building 8 at 11 pm.   

Among the unforgettable performances are the grand organ that can take music to such lofty heights, the powerful Yurlov State Russian Academic Choir, the children’s choir of the Bolshoi Theatre, Irina Dolzhenko (mezzo-soprano), People’s Artist of Russia and a famous soloist with the Bolshoi, and Elvira Khokhlova (soprano), Merited Artist of Russia and a soloist with Moscow’s Novaya Opera. 

The concert will feature Ave Maria by Franz Schubert, the Albinoni Adagio by Remo Giazotto, Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi, Ave Maria by Johann Sebastian Bach and Charles Gounod, Alleluja by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Choral Prelude in F minor by Johann Sebastian Bach, Panis Angelicus by Cesar Franck, Silent Night by Franz Gruber, Ave Maria by Giulio Caccini, Alleluja by Georg Handel, the Christmas hymn Joy to the World and other famous compositions. Conductor: Fabio Masterangelo.