Between 10-20 November 2019, the 11th International Cello Festival VIVACELLO will gather some of the best British cellists of different generations as part of the UK - Russia Year of Music.
On 12 November, the festival will feature Guy Johnston, one of the most prominent British cellists, who tours around the world and teaches at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 2000, when he was 19, he won the BBC Young Musician competition, and two years later he was awarded the Classic Brit Award as Young Classical Performer of the Year.
A crossover concert will be held on 17 November with cellists Shirley Smart and Ayanna Witter-Johnson, extraordinary artists who break stereotypes about this instrument. Shirley Smart is a performer and composer with a brilliant academic background who uses jazz improvisation and Middle Eastern music elements, turning the cello into a stunningly versatile instrument. Ayanna Witter-Johnson is also a performer and composer, whose music organically interweaves the academic and the contemporary; she also uses vocals while performing, to great effect.
The festival closing on 20 November will feature Rafael Wallfish, student of the great Gregor Piatigorsky and winner of the Gaspar Cassado International Violoncello Competition, whose career includes collaborations with outstanding contemporary composers and many iconic audio recordings. Along with Rafael Wallfish, young Laura van der Heijden will perform in the festival’s closing concert. She won BBC Young musician of the Year 2012 at the age of 15, which overnight made her a favourite of the nation and paved the way to an international career. Today, Laura van der Heijden performs with the world's best orchestras and has released a solo album of Russian cello music.
Tickets will be available soon.
VIVACELLO is the only Russian festival of cello music, which was first held in Moscow in 2008. The concept author and the all-time artistic director is Boris Andrianov: laureate of international competitions and Honoured Artist of Russia, who invites the best cellists from around the world to the festival.