Building connection one heart at a time
Building connection one heart at a time

Yuri Bashmet’s Art Festival

Pick Keobandith interviewed the virtuoso musician
Yuri Bashmet’s Art Festival

Participants of the Peace 50 community cooperate with the Global Women Media actively. They regularly send expert materials on the topics related to their fields of activity. 

Recently, the Winter International Art Festival took place in the city of Sochi. Pick Keobandith took part in the event with great interest and interviewed Yuri Bashmet, the festival’s founder, conductor, and virtuoso musician. They discussed the role of art in every person’s life.

Пик-КеобандитT.jpg Pick Keobandith
Ph.D. in Art History, Expert in Art and Cultural Diplomacy, Founder and Director of Inspiring Culture
Башмет Yuri Bashmet
Virtuoso Musician, Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the New Russia State Symphony Orchestra, Ambassador of Russian Seasons

“Sochi is not only the host of the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games of 2014, or the ‘Summer Capital’ of Russia or the Black Sea Pearl. It is also Yuri Bashmet’s Sochi Winter International Art Festival, an event that I was agreeably surprised to discover”, says Pick Keobandith. 

The festival was founded thirteen years ago. It encompassed a number of different genres including ballet, ethnic music, jazz, and other art forms. Gifted performers of different ages including young talents from the All-Russian Youth Symphony Orchestra managed by Yuri Bashmet visit the festival annually.


In the daytime, the visitors enjoy a rich business programme, which includes poetic contests, lectures, discussions about artistic education, and workshops for young critics, composers, and performers. 

The evening programme sends the guests to performances and concerts at the Winter Theatre. This is a Neoclassical building erected in 1934-1937. It is surrounded by 88 Corinthian columns. The building’s pediment is decorated with sculptures of Terpsichore, Melpomene and Thalia created by Vera Mukhina. 

According to Pick Keobandith, she was very much interested in the festival thanks to Russian Seasons. That is why she decided to make the long journey from Brussels to Sochi. In addition to enjoying the event, she learned a lot of useful facts and communicated with Yuri Bashmet, talented conductor and virtuoso musician. That meeting impressed Ms. Keobandith. Yuri Bashmet is a very generous, friendly, and helpful person who can be called a real star. 


The following is the interview with Yuri Bashmet by Pick Keobandith. 

Much like the organization Inspiring Culture that I have founded and now direct in Brussels, the Sochi Winter Festival is very ambitious in its aim to bring together and promote dialogue between different and sometimes very distant cultures and far away countries, with both younger and more experienced, highly accomplished artists like yourself, and art and music of the past and present. Would you agree that art, and music in particular, is inevitably political in nature, as it revolves around human creativity and constant, deeply creative dialogue? 

I am absolutely sure that the art, creation if it is sincere, will be close to people in any country of the world. 

Art is the unique phenomenon that creates a response in an emotional space of human. 

Music as a more special space where no words, no visual pictures exist, where sounds make you empathize. But I am not sure if art or music has a political nature. For me it is more about universal human questions. I think that art makes human better, develops him emotionally, makes him more diverse. 


If it can be named political, than yes, that is one of my goals in life as a musician. To make this world better. 

Thank you for bringing the viola to the musical centre-stage: most of the time, the violist is like a soccer midfielder, the essential player who travels the greatest distance during a match and doing the most running and having the most possession of the ball during a game. He is rarely a star. Personally I adore the viola’s beautifully elegant voice, but also because of its very generous, friendly and supportive nature. Would you agree? 


– I was very pleased that I could make a viola a star, as violin or piano. I have had a happy chance to perform in all the most famous concert halls in the world. I have done it not only as a soloist with orchestra, but I played solo concerts, or just with pianist. I did it in La Scala, Carnegie Hall, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, Great Hall of Conservatory in Moscow. Almost everywhere I was the first violist who did such concerts in these halls. 

But I was especially pleased that due to this we have young viola players in different countries of the world, who are starting to perform concerts in the same halls. 

I am very pleased that during last 40-50 years so many works for viola are written and so many of them became chef masterpieces for instrumental repertory.  So, if we continue to use soccer terms, viola turns from midfielder who makes a huge amount of legwork into midfielder who determines the team game on the field. 

The article by Viktoria Yezhova
based on the material provided by Pick Keobandith 

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov

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