Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 16:00

On 8 February, Saratov’s Conservatory building will host the Chords & Words festival, a one-day Russian-British music seminar, attended by Alexey Munipov, Kirill Moshkov, Sergey Letov and local musicians.

Chords & Words is one of a series of joint UK-Russia Year of Music projects – ten one-day seminars dedicated to the symbiosis of music and literature, and the mutual influence of Russian and English cultures. Events have already been held in Rostov-on-Don, Perm, Novosibirsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Petrozavodsk, Kazan, Saint Petersburg and Ekaterinburg.

The project is organised by the ANO “Literary and Historical Club” with the support of the British Embassy in Moscow, and curated by book critic Konstantin Milchin and cultural curator Mikhail Faustov.

The programme includes:

  • Alexey Munipov “Fermata: how does a modern composer work?”

Famous music critic Alexey Munipov, the former editor-in-chief of Bolshoi Gorod and Afisha-Vozdukh magazines, will give a lecture on contemporary composers. Last year, he released the book “Fermata” – a collection of interviews with key figures of Russian music. Munipov will discuss the existence of progress in music, how new and traditional music differ, how to talk to composers correctly and the sources of their inspiration.

  • Kirill Moshkov. "Duke Ellington: the musical genius of the twentieth century": Lecture and concert

Last year marked the 120th anniversary of the birth of American composer, pianist, and jazz bandleader Edward Kennedy Ellington, known to the world by the nickname Duke. Initially, Ellington was known only in the United States, but it was in the United Kingdom where Duke achieved international fame. In 1933, the Ellington Orchestra went on its first European tour, which began in England. London-based composer and musicologist Constant Lambert was the first serious critic to write about Ellington as a world musician whose influence extends beyond the world of jazz. Kirill Moshkov, a music journalist and editor-in-chief of Russian jazz publication, will discuss the history of a great musician who left a colossal creative legacy and influenced the development of almost all music of the twentieth century. Contemporary Saratov jazz musicians will perform live versions of Ellington's famous compositions, proving that his music continues to live after more than a century.

  • Sergey Letov “History of British jazz”

Sergey Letov, a legendary jazz player, multi-instrumentalist and music theorist, will give a lecture on the history of British jazz. Despite the fact that in the mass consciousness British jazz sits in the shadow of its American counterpart, the UK has much to be proud of. Letov will discuss the origin of jazz traditions in the United Kingdom and follow its history to the modern day. The lecture will end with a jazz performance.

Staff from the British Embassy will also give a presentation on the Chevening scholarship program, a scheme to provide Russian scholars with an all-expenses paid master’s degree in any field in any UK university.