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
Guest speaker – Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
25, 26 October – International Conservatory Festival, St. Petersburg
16 November – St. Petersburg Philharmonia
19 November – Kings Place
Rezetdinov Time Lapse (UK premiere)
Smirnov Dream Journey
Ashworth Prāthanā (UK premiere)
Guest speaker – Colin Matthews
Mad King //// Samuel Pantcheff
Chorus Choir of the St. Petersburg State Conservatory/Melos Chorus
Conductor/… Oliver Zeffman