UK-Russia Cultural Exchange

In autumn 2014, the Melos Sinfonia undertook its first international tour, visiting St. Petersburg twice where the orchestra performed as part of the XIV International Conservatory Festival in October, and opened the XXVI Sound Ways New Music Festival in the St. Petersburg Philharmonia. Across eight performances in St. Petersburg and London, the orchestra commissioned two new works and gave the Russian premieres of five important British works, including Walton’s Façade, Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King and Holst’s Savitri

Across this series the orchestra aimed to:

1. Promote cross-cultural relations between the UK and Russia, particularly relevant given that 2014 has been officially designated the UK-Russia Year of Culture and in light of the current political situation.

2. Introduce Russian audiences to important British composers and their works, and vice-versa with important Russian composers to British audiences, including a number of significant UK/Russian premieres.

3. Promote new music by both British and Russian composers and present these works in concerts in both countries.

4. Provide opportunities for talented young British and Russian musicians to meet, exchange ideas and collaborate artistically.



5, 6, 7, 10 September – Grimeborn Opera Festival/Rose Theatre Kingston

Walton Façade
Maxwell Davies Eight Songs for a Mad King

Guest speaker – Sir Peter Maxwell Davies

Tickets available from the Arcola Theatre (020 7503 1646) and Rose Theatre Kingston (020 8174 0090) box offices

Production information


25, 26 October – International Conservatory Festival, St. Petersburg

Holst Savitri.(Russian premiere)
Matthews Divertimento (Russian premiere)
Ashworth Prāthanā.(world premiere)


16 November – St. Petersburg Philharmonia

Rezetdinov Time Lapse (world premiere)
 Dream Journey (Russian premiere)
Walton Façade (Russian premiere)
Maxwell Davies Eight Songs for a Mad King (Russian premiere)


19 November – Kings Place

Rezetdinov Time Lapse (UK premiere)
Smirnov Dream Journey
Ashworth Prāthanā
 (UK premiere)
Matthews Divertimento 
Holst Savitri 

Guest speaker – Colin Matthews


Reciter 1         Charmian Bedford (also soloist in Dream Journey)
Reciter 2         Danny Standing

Mad King ////  Samuel Pantcheff

Savitri     /       Sara-Lian Owen
Satyavan …    Gerard Schneider
Death ./          Ross Ramgobin

Chorus           Choir of the St. Petersburg State Conservatory/Melos Chorus
Conductor/… Oliver Zeffman