A unique event was held in the University Hall on September 2nd – musicians of the Voronezh Youth Symphony Orchestra congratulated VSU students and staff on the beginning of the new academic year by an excellent and extremely emotional concert.
The evening began with the overture of the outstanding Italian composer Gioachino Rossini "Cinderella" which immediately carried the audience away into the amazing world of symphonic music. A welcoming speech of the Voronezh State University Rector Dmitry Endovitsky became "the second overture" of the evening:
– “Today is a very important day for all of us. I have some inner feeling that we are establishing a new landmark in the cultural history of the University. It would be great if such meetings became traditional for us. I hope that the University Hall will be of great importance not only for us but also for the city. In order to make it possible to conduct such concerts in this hall we put a lot of effort into its complete renovation. I can say that today's event is a real examination for us. Experts will appreciate the acoustic properties of the hall and together with the audience – its amenities as well. We all hope that people will feel the urge for new meetings of such kind if this experiment proves to be a success.”
The youth orchestra conducted by maestro Yury Androsov carried out a wonderful programme. The conductor together with the members of the orchestra offered the audience a chance to listen not only to the masterpieces of the world’s classical music but also to contemporary musical compositions. The orchestra includes remarkable musicians whose creative potential and musical skills made a deep impression on the audience.
– “The concert left a very nice impression. It was great that the orchestra showed incredible love for the audience along with its desire to be intimate, understandable and friendly to us. They prepared a programme tailored to the first encounter, and it was a perfect match for everybody in the hall. They managed to create an atmosphere of a friendly conversation. The orchestra seemed to sound and look even better in our hall than in the Philharmonic Hall. It would be great to conduct such concerts on a regular basis,” – Tamara Dyakova, the Head of the VSU Cultural and Educational Centre, shared her impressions with us.
– “The whole idea to invite an orchestra to the University is wonderful. I'm convinced that music is an absolutely safe choice to make people relax and enjoy themselves to the full. Musicians work very well, they are artistic, and what is more important, they have a great sense of humour,”– noted Elena Bebchuk, the First Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Journalism.
– “It was a truly superb event! I enjoyed all the pieces at that wonderful evening. There was something intimate in them, it seemed as if all of them accompanied some particular period in my life. I found special pleasure in the music from the film "At home among strangers, a stranger among his own" and in Libertango by Astor Piazzolla. Invading emotions made it almost impossible to sit still,” – said Sergey Chekhov, a postgraduate student of the Faculty of Mathematics, VSU.
Professional vocalists who appeared on the University Hall stage that evening touched everybody's feelings. We are proud to mention that they are VSU alumni: Galina Leonova, an alumnus of the Faculty of Geography, Geoecology and Tourism, who sang the song of Laura from the opera "The stone guest" by Alexander Dargomyzhsky, Roman Kozyrev, an alumnus of the Faculty of Physics, who together with the orchestra managed to create a real Italian atmosphere in the hall singing the song "Torna a Surriento" by Ernesto De Curtis, and Igor Khodyakov, an alumnus of the Faculty of Physics, who sang the renowned aria of Sou-Chong from the operetta "Das Land des Lächelns" by the Austro-Hungarian composer Franz Lehár.
The concert of the Youth Symphony Orchestra which started the new academic year at the University was a bright artistic and emotional event. It would be really great if it became another University tradition. A programme which, to my mind, was composed wonderfully, a talented performance, an attentive and appreciative audience – all this created the atmosphere which, I hope, will set the tone for our everyday life. The host Professor Bronislav Tabachnikov who managed to show a close connection between music, talented performers and the University definitely contributed to the success of the concert, – noted Vladimir Listengarten, VSU Academic Secretary.
The work done by the VSU Trade Union Committee which has long been organising visits to symphonic music concerts for the staff deserves special attention. Ludmila Vladimirova, the Head of the Staff Trade Union Committee, notes that "we have developed a close long-standing friendship with this young fervent symphony orchestra: lovers and connoisseurs of symphonic music among our staff members and students form the part of the regular orchestra audience that any music band can be proud of.
– “The concert of the Voronezh Youth Symphony Orchestra held in the University Hall was a great festive occasion which, I'm sure, will become a good University tradition. Indeed, the event on such a scale required a lot of preparations, but I didn't consider them as work – they were more like pleasant household chores we usually do before we have welcome and long-awaited guests. Our staff members and students vividly expressed their attitude towards the orchestra, splendid music, a thoughtfully composed concert programme, and the soloists who were of great importance to the University. The participants of this meeting will keep the uplift for a long time. We have never started a new academic year like this before, but now we seem to have participated in forming another wonderful tradition, and we will put all our effort in supporting it,” – added Ludmila Vladimirova.
The members of the Voronezh Youth Symphony Orchestra were also satisfied with the meeting.
Vera Guseva, the Director of the Youth Symphony Orchestra shared her impressions:
“The audience was quite diverse: there were lecturers, students, guests, representatives of other universities, businesspeople and even politicians. We were deeply pleased with such a hearty and sincere welcome. We tried to play different music including classical music and soundtracks to film classics. We wanted to make the concert interesting for everybody. The organisation and attention (even to minor organisational moments) were amazing. The hall at the University is very good, the sound engineer is a real expert, the rear-fill of the symphony orchestra is hard work, believe me. In Russia only a few professionals can cope with this task to the full. We are really grateful to VSU for such a concert and a great uplift.”
– “Major efforts are being put into making Voronezh a cultural capital. This tendency is developing faster and faster in our city. We are really happy with that since culture is both our work and our whole life. If we get support we will be able to do more. It is high time we raised culture to a higher level because culture is everywhere in our life. I think that in this regard conducting concerts such as today's one is a very important task. We have already given concerts at Voronezh State Academy of Forestry and Technologies and Voronezh State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering, and we are really glad that Voronezh State University gave us such a warm welcome. We have a lot of non-classical programmes. I often say that the youth orchestra might be the only symphony orchestra which occupies its special niche and plays music from almost all genres on a highly professional level, of course, having good soloists and music bands. The University Hall is on the same level with many halls including foreign ones. Our performance here was really enjoyable and comfortable. We will be glad to support any VSU initiative in the future, the most important point for us is to know about it in advance as the orchestra schedule is planned for a year ahead,” – Yury Androsov, the Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation and the Conductor of the Voronezh Youth Symphony Orchestra told us.
– “Attracting students and members of university staff to serious art is the most significant goal today. That is why I personally can highly appreciate the initiative taken by the VSU Rector. The concert turned out to be rich in content not least, as I think, because the conditions for the concert were excellent and the hall was magnificent. Besides, it was almost completely full. The orchestra and maestro Yury Androsov presented a balanced programme which included classical music, jazz, and film soundtracks. The vocalists showed themselves off very well. What is more, all of them in one way or another are connected with the University. Such a connection between university education and art excited the audience and made the spectators even more sympathetic. I suppose that the concert was conducted on a professional level, it was well coordinated, very harmonious, and successful,”– noted Professor Bronislav Tabachnikov, an art critic.