On Friday, 28 April, Moscow will bring together 168 singers and vocal collectives from Russia, Britain, Spain, Italy, the United States, Hungary, France, Poland, Singapore, Georgia, Lithuania and Ukraine for an international a cappella spring contest, Moscow Spring A Cappella.
The genres will include jazz, soul, rock, pop, blues, gospel, ethno-folk, modern adaptations of folk songs, 20th-century hits by Russian and foreign composers and classical pieces arranged a cappella. From 28 April through 7 May, the participants will perform a total of more than 1,200 hours of live concerts, followed by a gala on 8 May. Winners will be determined in each of three categories: small, medium and large vocal groups. A separate vote will be held, during which the audience and the jury will choose the Grand-Prix winner.
Taking part in Moscow Spring A Cappella are vocal collectives of all kinds, including choirs of up to 30 singers, among them the Moscow Teachers’ Choir, the Moscow Sretensky Monastery Choir, the Chamber Choir of the Belgorod Philharmonic and the Chamber Choir of the Astrakhan State Philharmonic.
The a cappella contest is part of the larger Moscow Spring A Cappella festival that will run from 28 April through 9 May at 57 venues, 38 of which will host a cappella performances. The most unusual concert stages will be roofs, balconies and stairs. Performances will also take place at the Belorussky and Rizhsky railway stations.
Music quest, a sky of flowers and composers’ favourite desserts
As many as 830 art workshops and 800 interactive events are on the festival’s programme.
The Moscow Stories excursion bureau will reopen on Novy Arbat Street. This time its tours will focus on the music history of the capital. There will be a grand music quest there too. A maze exhibition on Nikolskaya Street will offer snapshots from the everyday life of Muscovites in the past century. A sky made of fresh flowers on Tverskaya Square will spread over a venue that will house workshops in painting, music, floral design, needlework and décor. A nearby culinary workshop will offer visitors a chance to enjoy music and cook jazz souffle, a cappella profiteroles and other unusual dishes. For children, there will be a playground on Tverskaya Square with a mini-climbing wall, slides and ladders.
In Klimentovsky Pereulok, visitors can cook composers’ favourite dishes, and children can get inspiration from great musical masterpieces and learn the secrets of sweet desserts. A culinary workshop at Novopushkinsky Garden will specialise in a spring menu – healthy smoothies and seasonal salads.
An art workshop on Kuznetsky Most will teach children to make cute souvenirs and theatre items: brooches designed as a treble clef, boxes for face paints and ballet skirts. Stoleshnikov Pereulok will become a blossoming garden where visitors can master floral design for home interiors, buttonholes and bouquets. It will also be the starting point for themed musical excursions.
“The Girl without an Address,” a musical made precisely for the festival, will premiere on Pushkinskaya Square. A magic school of musicals will open its doors for children at the same venue.
Maze exhibition, art school and first-aid courses
The Historical Quarters of Moscow exhibition will resume its work at the festival’s venue sprawling from Manezhnaya Square to Revolutsii Square. Moscow’s history will come alive in copies of old photographs, playbills and other vintage exhibits. An outdoor dance studio on Revolutsii Square will teach children the basics of classical ballet, waltz and modern dance. At the same venue, children will see musical instruments from different countries and try to make them with their own hands.
Children will learn about the ethnic origin of musical instruments, make a “magic flute” and discover what a theremin is. At a music laboratory that will open in the garden near the monument to Karl Marx on Revolutsii Square, children will make musical instruments and souvenirs using modern knowhow. A 3D-printer and light-emitting diodes will help them create decorative items and replicas of musical instruments out of cardboard.
Singing lessons and DJ workshops for children will be available at a music studio in Kamergersky Pereulok.
A spring art school near the monument to Kliment Timiryazev on Tverskoy Boulevard will offer workshops in painting, pottery and paper flower-making. For sports enthusiasts, there will be a trampoline, a mini-basketball court and a skate-park nearby.
Vinyl records, ethnic music instruments, souvenirs, books and antiques will be sold at market chalets.
In addition, a special Victory Day programme has been prepared, which includes theatre and music events, art workshops, interactive mini-lectures and first-aid courses. Visitors will watch one-actor performances based on Vasily Tyorkin, The Victory Railway Station, Sashka, Letters from the Front and other literary works about World War II.
Children can construct little boxes, toy planes and decorative panels on Arbat and brooches and buttonhole bouquets from fresh flowers on Kuznetsky Most. Star-shaped desserts and biscuits in the shape of the St George Ribbon will be baked in Klimentovsky Pereulok on Victory Day. Visitors can get tips in first-aid at a “field hospital” on Revolutsii Square or make a soldiers’ mug in Kamergersky Pereulok.
Themed events will take place at the festival’s venues on 8 and 9 May.