8th INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL
31 May – 4 June
9 – 13 June
5, 12, 19, 25 July
2, 9, 23 August
14 October 2022
The Odessa Classics Festival will be hosted this year in Thessaloniki, in Tallinn, in Beethoven-Haus Bonn and in Vilnius.
The Odessa Classics Festival, a leading cultural event in the field of classical music, will be hosted in Thessaloniki, from 9 to 13 June 2022, organized by the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki.
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine made it impossible for the festival to take place in Odessa this year, the Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni immediately responded to the proposal of the artistic director of the Festival Alexey Botvinov, to take over the main body of events in Thessaloniki.
The decision of the Minister of Culture and Sports to finance the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki, in order to organize the Odessa Classics Festival, is a proof of the cultural solidarity of Greece towards the Ukrainian people and especially towards the city of Odessa, which is connected with deep historical ties with Greece.
In his letter to Lina Mendoni, the Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko writes: "Let me express my deepest respect for you and thank you for the kind support and solidarity shown by your country to all the Ukrainians, during these difficult hours of the unprovoked war of the Russian Federation against peaceful Ukraine. Today, Ukraine is facing a difficult battle for democratic values and its right to freedom. The Odessa Classics Festival, one of the pivotal platforms for classical music in Ukraine, is fighting its own battle for survival. I am sure that the Odessa Classics Festival in Thessaloniki, as a high quality music event, will be another step towards the mutual understanding of our peoples and will help the Ukrainian musicians to be heard in the concert halls of Europe".
In her response to her Ukrainian counterpart Lina Mendoni notes: "The Russian invasion not only targeted the Ukrainian state, but also severely curtailed citizens' access to artistic creation, which is a pillar of freedom and prosperity. Since the organization of the Festival in Odessa this year became impossible, the Greek Government through the Ministry of Culture and Sports decided to offer temporary housing to your important artistic institution, hosting it in Thessaloniki. Odessa hosted the Greek intelligentsia and was the matrix of the rebirth of the Greek Nation. Two centuries later, as Ukraine fights for its freedom, Greece returns the hospitality in order to keep alive one of its most important cultural assets. The Odessa Festival of Classical Music, "a European Festival for a European City", reinforces Odessa's ties with Europe and the Ukrainians' expectation for a European future. Violence has never succeeded in overpowering Art in human history. We will not allow it today either. I hope this is the first and last time that the Odessa Classical Music Festival is looking for a home elsewhere. We look forward to the return of peace so as to watch the 2023 Festival in Odessa."
Alexey Botvinov, Artistic Director of the Odessa Classics Festival, emphasizes: "The historical correlation of Odessa support to the Greek liberation struggle two centuries ago with today's offer to return this hospitality to our suffering nation, is one of the most moving and substantial cultural acts of solidarity of any government friendly to Ukraine, from the beginning of the invasion".
The violinist and composer Simos Papanas, concertmaster of the Thessaloniki State Orchestra, artistic consultant of the "Odessa Classics" Festival and responsible for its organization in Greece invites the people of Thessaloniki "who have the hospitality deeply rooted in us - to make our distinguished guests feel it. We musicians are by nature against every war. It's time to prove it in practice!"
The first part of the festival events will be hosted in Estonia from 31 May to 4 June, followed by Thessaloniki concerts. Details of the program of the Festival will be announced in the near future.
The 8th ODESSA CLASSICS in EUROPE Festival will begin in Tallinn.
Due to the Russian aggression, it will not be possible to hold the classical music festival Odessa Classics this year in Odessa, at least not in June. Therefore, the festival will take place this year in Europe, starting on a smaller scale from 31 May to 4 June in Estonia – in Tallinn, the capital, in Tartu, and at the Arvo Pärt Centre in Laulasmaa.
Against the backdrop of the new situation in Ukraine, the VIII International Music Festival Odessa Classics is expanding its geography this year. The start of the festival will take place in Estonia, and the main part of Odessa Classics 2022 will take place on June 9 - 13, in another friendly European country, the exact place will be announced very soon.
According to Alexey Botvinov, President of Odessa Classics, the festival in Odessa has been postponed for as short a time as possible and as long as necessary until this blatant aggressor is finally repelled from Ukrainian territory.
“We made this inevitable decision with heavy hearts, but on the other hand with great gratitude to our European partners. Festival will start this year in Estonia. On initiative of our Estonian friends the various concert venues of this country will become the temporary home of the festival in the last days of May and the first days of June. Our partners in Tallinn are the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra which was to open this year's festival in Odessa, and our long-time friend Meelis Kubits, Head of Kultuuripartnerlus SA (Cultural Partnership Foundation). It is very important for us that the tradition of the festival is not interrupted, and we take every opportunity on the European stages to talk about the injustice that the aggressor is doing against the state and people of Ukraine. We are working with our partners on continuation of Odessa Classics this summer in other European location, we hope to announce this great news very soon. Now we express our gratitude to our Estonian friends. Our very first festival in 2015 was possible and became very successful with big help of our Estonian friends. And its very symbolic that now again Estonia gives us friendly support, its priceless ”, Botvinov said.
The festival will be officially opened on 31 May at the Estonia Concert Hall in Tallinn, featuring the Odessa Classics Artist-in-Residence Daniel Hope, Alexey Botvinov, and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Olari Elts. On 1 June, the International Children's Day, brothers Roman and Oleksandr Fediurko will perform at Tallinn Song Festival Grounds as part of a charity concert. On 2 June, Michael Guttman and Jing Zhao, and Alexey Botvinov will perform at Arvo Pärt Centre dedicated to the world-famous composer. On 3 June, the festival will move to Tartu with Alexey Botvinov and Hans Christian Aavik, Estonian violin talent and winner of the recent Carl Nielsen Competition, performing at the Heino Eller Tartu Music College.
The Odessa Classics Tallinn program is available in Ukrainian, English and Estonian on the website www.odessatallinn.com Tickets for all concerts are sold there. If you are interested, you can attend the concerts also via ERSO TV.
For Ukrainian viewers all concerts will be available via video streaming, free of charge.
Zeichen der Solidarität: Musiksommer "Hope for Peace"
Music festival Odessa Classics presents itself with seven benefit concerts from 5 July to 23 August 2022 at the Beethoven-Haus Bonn.
On the occasion of the war in Ukraine, the Beethoven House launched the emergency aid programme "Hope for Peace" in March in order to collect donations and proceeds from benefit concerts and to support musicians and musicologists who are in need due to the war in Ukraine. In addition, the Beethoven House provides housing for refugees and enables them to continue their artistic or academic work at the Beethoven House and to realise projects that build cultural bridges.
One of the artists moving into flats at the Beethoven-Haus is Alexey Botvinov, one of the most renowned Ukrainian pianists and artistic director of the music festival "Odessa Classics". Botvinov has curated a series of seven benefit concerts that will take place under the title "Music Summer 2022: Hope for Peace - Odessa Classics@Beethoven-Haus Bonn" from 5 July to 23 August on Tuesdays at 7 pm in the Chamber Music Hall. The proceeds from the concerts and the donations they raise will go to the "Hope for Peace" relief fund, which will be used to support further projects. The patron of the concert series is Claudia Roth, Minister of State for Culture.
For the summer concerts in Bonn, Alexey Botvinov has invited musicians who are personally connected to him or who wanted to make music with him in Odessa this year. These include the violinist and president of the Beethoven House, Daniel Hope, other internationally renowned musical personalities such as Pinchas Zukerman and Thomas Hampson, as well as well-known and as yet unknown young Ukrainian artists.
"Like many Ukrainian musicians, I was forced to leave my homeland due to the terrible Russian aggression against my country, and I try to do as much as I can as an artist and use every concert opportunity to raise public awareness about the injustice that is currently happening to Ukraine. I believe that this concert series is not only a great symbol of solidarity with Ukraine, but also a highly exciting and multi-faceted cultural project," says Alexey Botvinov.
"For several years I have played at the wonderful music festival Odessa Classics, a place that symbolises the connection between Europe and Asia," Daniel Hope explains. "It is an important sign of hope that Odessa Classics will find a temporary home in the Beethoven Haus this year."
The concerts are kindly supported by Bechtle GmbH & Co. KG, Bonn, and the Beisheim Foundation, Munich.
Waldemar Zgrzebski, Managing Director of Bechtle GmbH: "I am pleased to be able to contribute to the fact that artists who have no performance opportunities in their home countries due to the war can give concerts in Bonn and thus continue to live not only their profession, but also their vocation."
"Due to the war in Ukraine, many cultural workers have not only lost their homes, but also their livelihoods. With the support of "Hope for Peace", the Beisheim Foundation wants to help open up new professional perspectives for musicians who have fled and make it easier for them to arrive in Germany," says Annette Heuser, Managing Director of the Beisheim Foundation.
New Ideas Chamber Orchestra NICO (artistic director Gediminas Gelgotas) started their friendship and artistic cooperation with the "Odessa Classics" festival back in 2020. After the ensemble's successful debut at the festival that summer, this cooperation culminated following year in an event that became one of the most significant in the musical life of both Lithuania and Ukraine in 2021 - over sixty musicians from Lithuania performed in the Odessa Philharmonic hall on 19th September, 2021. Together with NICO, the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra (artistic director Modestas Pitrėnas), violinist Augusta Jusionytė, British cellist Peter Gregson, Ukrainian pianist Alexey Botvinov, all conducted by Gediminas Gelgotas, performed at the Philharmonic hall that night. It was the first time that a national symphony orchestra from the European Union performed in Ukraine after 1991.
Unfortunately, the plans for the Odessa Classics festival in 2022 were stopped by the military invasion of Ukraine launched by Russia. As Lithuania strongly supports Ukraine in the ongoing Ukrainian struggle for freedom and independence, the New Ideas Chamber Orchestra NICO has joined forces with the Lithuanian National Philharmonic for an initiative, the aim of which is to symbolically provide another temporary run-up to the well-known festival "Odessa Classics", by implementing the festival's solemn concert in Vilnius, so that the continuity and history of this significant international event, which is also a flag bearer of democratic, liberal European values in Ukraine, would not be interrupted.
On October 14, 2022, the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Gediminas Gelgotas, is going to perform the concert "Odessa Classics in Vilnius". Here, together with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra and NICO ensemble, soloists from Ukraine will perform, including pianist, president of the Odessa Classics festival Alexey Botvinov, violinist Oleksandra Fedosova. The music played in the program is a fresh and modern look at the timeless literature of the classics. Modern recompositions of famous classics - Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven - will be performed, alongside the music by Gediminas Gelgotas.
Danel Hope: "Thrilled to announce a closer artistic relationship with the splendid Odessa Classics Festival from 2019. Alexey Botvinov and his team have done a wonderful job of building up this festival in a beautiful and historic city. And it is both extremely humbling and inspiring to think of many of my musical heroes and their role in Odessa‘s musical life: Pyotr Stolyarsky, David Oistrakh, Nathan Milstein, Boris Goldstein, Emil Gilels, Sviatoslav Richter, Zakhar Bron and many more. Looking forward to more music in Odessa!"
Odesa Opera House
1 Tchaikovsky Lane
15 Bunina Street
1e Marazliivska Street
of Western and Eastern Art
9 Pushkinska Street
Odesa Fine Arts Museum
5а Sofiivska Street
Cathedral of the Assumption
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
33 Katerynynska Street
Odesa Stolyarsky Special Music School
1 Sabaneev mist Street