News of Note
The world is going through major transformation, we hear about the financial calamities aside the “occupy” movement, demonstrations in Russia and the Middle East… No matter what happens in the big picture, IARMAC is committed to its primary goal, to promote the Russian culture in general, and the Russian seven-string guitar in particular. Nor do we let our temporary relocations to interfere with this formidable task. For example, Oleg Timofeyev spent the whole 2009/2010 academic year in Kyiv, Ukraine, and returned there for additional five months starting March 1, 2011. Yet, we kept our annual festival going, and did our best to keep our high artistic standards.
The big news for the 2012/2012 is that Sabine Gölz, the co-founder and the Executive Director of IARMAC, is appointed as a Student Exchange Supervisor in Freiburg, Germany. This is part of her University of Iowa position, and a great honor. She will start this job in August 2012 and return to Iowa in August 2013. Still, we are not giving up our annual festivals: IARGUS 2012 is happening, June 21-24, 2012. This year’s festival will be dedicated to the international connections of the instrument, its predecessor – the English guitar, and its distant relative, Guitarra Portuguesa.
With this new album, The Timofeyev Ensemble presents a concert of original Jewish chamber music, created by the four main participants (Natalia Timofeyeva, cello; Oleg Timofeyev, guitar; Anat Pick, speaking voice; Psoy Korolenko, keyboard and singing) in tight collaboration. Designed as a musical response to one of the most well-known classics of cello composition, the early-20th-century magnificent Schelomo by Ernst Bloch, Timofeyev Ensemble's Shloyme is a complex composition uniting post-Romantic aesthetics with Yiddish folklore. The main focus of the project is the inner world of an imaginary hero Shloyme, a Jew who was born in a Ukrainian shteytl and who survived all the major calamities of the 20th century: Pogroms, October Revolution, Civil War, Stalin's Gulag, and Wold War II. The resulting program is about 60 min long and design for all audiences interested in chamber music and/or Jewish history and culture.
The 6th edition of IARGUS was, predictably, a major success. Those familiar with our strategies can notice that we always combine the “usual suspects” with new faces, to create both continuity and surprise. This year’s big surprise was the Muscovite virtuoso Vladimir Sumin, who spent many years of his life developing a program out of Orekhov’s repertoire. Sergei Orekhov (1935-1998) has been a featured theme for several IARGUS events, and this time we saw a mostly-Orekhov program beautifully performed by Sumin. In addition, Vladimir joined IARGUS’ regular, the celebrated Vadim Kolpakov for the fireworks of Russian-Gypsy guitar music, and together with Oleg Timofeyev, the three musicians accompanied another guest star from New York, the excellent Russian singer Alexander Menshikov. Those friends and supporters who could enjoy our famous post-performance gatherings, will remember them for a long time –– just enough to mention Alexander’s virtuosity on a… well, a common comb.
Check out our concert schedule for IARGUS 2011, October 6-9, featuring performances in both Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, Iowa!
was briefly back in the States, taking a break from studies and teaching in Kiev, Ukraine on the Fulbright Scholarship. He performed alongside his good friend Vadim Kolpakov, who just finished touring around the world with Madonna. Oleg and Vadim, who make up the Russian guitar duo, Zingaresca, performed at Zins Restaurant in Cedar Rapids on April 11th. On April 17 Oleg Timofeyev and John Schneiderman performed at the University of CA, Irvine. The Czar's Guitars did a Russian tribute to the Spanish composer Fernando Sor (1778-1839), or even more specifically, to his famous guitar duet Souvenir veRussie. I hope you got to join us in welcoming Oleg and Vadim back to the States!
IARMAC is preparing for IARGUS 2010 to be held in Iowa City, Iowa in September with concerts in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. Stay tuned for more information. For booking information or tickets, contact Ciuin Ferrin at Ciuin@IARMAC.org or call the office at 319-389-9455.
The IARMAC-sponsored movie, Frautschi, was unveiled to the public during 2009's Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival, with much success. Since its release, it has been shown around the world. The movie trailer has been uploaded to IMDB, and an official website is underway at arbatfilm.com. You can read a review of the film in Italian here, or also available inPDF format here.
Co-founder and artistic director Oleg Timofeyev, along with his closest colleagues John Schneiderman, Anne Harley, Etienne Abelin, Dan Caraway, and the guest fortepianist, the famous Kenneth Slowik, is back in the recording studio. Completely unprecedented in its ambition and scope, the seven-CD box set titled "The Russian Guitar" will include the best of solo and ensemble music from the Russian Golden Age (1799-ca. 1860). All of the CDs will be recorded by the Dorian Label, the same one that released Timofeyev's pioneering "Golden Age of the Russian Guitar" Cds in 1999. For more info on this project and more from Oleg, click here: http://www.semistrunka.com
A cornerstone at most IARGUS Festivals and a talented musician who can play almost any instrument with strings, John has kept a busy calendar. He recently performed a Russian and Spanish guitar recital at the Yale University Collection of Musical Instruments. He also performed on the baroque guitar and five-string banjo with the Hutchins Consort, an ensemble that performs on an octet of new violin family instruments.
On April 1st, John will be performing on the archlute and theorbo with Monica Huggett and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and on April 17th, the Czar's Guitars will be performing at the University of California, Irvine.
He’s also been busy in the studio, recording for Dorian Sono Luminus who recently released his latest recording with his ensemble Galanterie, (lute, violin & 'cello) "Bernhard Joachim Hagen:Sonatas for Lute & Strings".
Later this month Dorian Sono Luminus will release "Love Leaves the World", a zarsuela performed by El Mundo, an ensemble in which he plays baroque guitar and archlute.
Dorian Sono Luminus will also be releasing the Czar's Guitars second CD "Souvenirs of Russia" later this year.
Troy Cummings, a guitarist from Kansas City, Missouri wrote an article on the transformation of four average six-string instruments into exotic Russian seven-string guitars. Click to read "Seven-String Conversions" to see the specifics of these four amazing instruments.