The UK - Russia Year of Music was celebrated at the 5th Eurasia International Music Festival with a performance of Edward Elgar’s infamous Cello Concerto. It was be performed by cellist Laura van der Heijden and the Ural Youth Symphony Orchestra led by the conductor Oliver Zeffman.
The Telegraph has called Zeffman "phenomenally promising": as one of the brightest names on the British classical music scene, the young conductor founded his orchestra Melos Sinfonia at the age of sixteen, and last year he was nominated for The Times Breakthrough Artist Award, one of the most prestigious British art awards. Maestro Zeffman will conduct for the Ural Youth Symphony Orchestra, a youth collective, actively touring and well-known in Europe, China and Japan. Laura van der Heijden (cello), winner of the BBC Young Musician Competition, will perform as soloist.
The biannual Eurasia festival held since 2011 promotes a dialogue of cultures and is famous for its conceptual programmes, world premieres, outstanding performers, and a diverse palette of musical genres. The British composer Gabriel Prokofiev has called the festival “very progressive, consonant with the new trends in classical music art”.
The collaboration of a new generation of Russian and British musicians proposes a special energy and inspiring and insightful experience for both the performers and the audience. As the Italian composer Ivan Fedele put it: "The idea of the Festival is amazing, because Yekaterinburg is located in a symbolically significant place - on the border between Europe and Asia. …This Festival fosters the newly opened and re-discovered connection between the artists and composers from the East and the West".
Concert is part of UK-Russia Year of Music 2019 and is supported through the Grant scheme for Russian organisations.