This evening I attended a concert of the International Festival of Organ Music here in Yaroslavl. Some friends of mine are very kindly looking for cultural activities for me that don’t require knowledge of the Russian language and this was perfect!
The festival is called after Russian organ “legend” L.I. Roizman, who, as it happens, was born exactly 100 years ago this year. The concert took place in the Yaroslavl Philharmonic concert hall, a beautiful historic building in the city centre whose stage is dominated by a huge organ.
The programme was very diverse. The concert began – ironically enough – with a piece by Bach for choir alone, without organ. Then the choir was joined by a German organist (Martin Stefan) for a cantata by Rheinberger. In the second part, the German organist Stefan Engels (who is now a professor in Dallas) treated us to a very energetic and powerful performance of organ music by Mendelssohn, Bach, Schumann and Karg-Elert. Very impressive!