A bridge between hearts and continents

13:21 27.03.2023 • Irina Chepaykina

There are more than 7000 languages in the world, but only music is known as the "universal language of mankind". And this is not surprising: after all, it speaks not to the mind, but to the heart and soul, helps representatives of different cultures and nations to understand each other without words. This miracle also happened in Mexico City where laureates of the international classical music competition "Russian Music Empire" performed. The young musicians played piano works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Sergey Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff, Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt as well as Mexican composers Jose Pablo Moncayo and Jose Sobrino. The laureates paid special attention to the music of P. I. Tchaikovsky which was included in the mandatory program of the competition. The concert took place in a year special for Russian and world musical culture: 2022 marks a 130th anniversary of the memory of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and a 150th anniversary of the birth of Sergey Vasilievich Rachmaninoff.

On the 9th of February the winners of the competition received diplomas and memorable awards - original handmade violin keys - on the stage of the Higher School of Music (Conservatory) at the National Institute of Fine Arts of Mexico City. Irina Vladimirovna Shishkina, a member of the jury and a professor at the Higher School of Music, addressed herself to the young talents with warm words of greeting and support. Each winner was personally congratulated and awarded by Natalia Aleksandrovna Zhuravleva – the founder of the competition who arrived at the ceremony directly from Moscow despite all the difficulties. Brilliant words of Russian poet Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin sounded from the stage: “Among all the joys of life music is inferior to love alone, but love is a melody as well”. Perhaps it was the love to beauty and harmony that helped Mexican musicians to hear and understand Russian classical composers well and truly. Professor Irina Shishkina who tells her students about the beauty and richness of musical culture of Russia for many years should be thanked for this in all fairness.


Victor Romero-Paredes (first prize in the nomination "Piano solo" 2021):

- I consider Sergei Rachmaninoff a symbol of musicality and expression. Russian classical music plays a very big role in my life.


Isis Gonzalez (second prize in the nomination "Piano solo" 2019):

- Alexander Scriabin's compositions are especially close to me. This composer was able to express literally all human feelings and emotions!


Maximiliano Rosas Rafael (third prize and the best performance of an Italian composer’s work in the nomination "Piano solo" 2021):

- It is difficult for me to name one composer as the musical art of your country is really great. I sincerely admire Russian piano school which differs in many ways from the Mexican one.


Anthony Giovanni Tamayo Illescas (first prize and a special award for the performance of an Italian composer’s work in the nomination "Piano solo" 2021):

- I will just say: the music of Russian composers is the dearest and closest for me. I am happy that I studied with Professor Irina Shishkina.

The celebration of music and friendship continued on February 11th in the concert hall of the National Museum of Art of Mexico City. Remembering this day, it is easy to agree with Russian writer Maxim Gorky who claimed that "only the greatest art — music — is able to touch the depths of the soul." And it can create bridges between hearts and continents as well. Each Mexican laureate succeeded in this brilliantly thanks to outstanding talent and bright creative individuality. The eternal music of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff acquired new sunny colors and the flavor of distant Mexico, but remained Russian to the core.

Concerts of the Russian laureates of the international competition "Russian Music Empire", where they received diplomas and memorable prizes, took place in May 2022 at the cultural center "Pokrovskie Vorota” in Moscow and the Tchaikovsky State House-Museum in Klin. The history and mission of the competition are presented in an interview with Polina Viktorovna Fedotova - chairman of the jury, Professor of the Moscow State Conservatory named after P. I. Tchaikovsky and the founder of the competition Natalia Aleksandrovna Zhuravleva: https://www.muzklondike.ru/announc/501. In 2022 the competition was supported by the Nadezhda von Meck International Charitable Foundation (https://von-meck.org).

The article was prepared by Irina Chepaykina.


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