From the 9th until the 14th of November Zakhar Bron School of Music held its first music festival – Children Playing for Children, with the support of the Hibou Foundation. Our students and guests from Moscow gave five concerts for the young audiences in several concert halls of Zurich.
Every year we are trying to do something new, something that will allow our school to advance to the next level. For example, during the last academic year we held in Monaco our first master-class with Maxim Vengerov, organized the series of violin master-classes in Zurich and gave around 20 concerts in various corners of Eurasia. Our students won 19 prizes at the Swiss National and various international competitions, twelve of which were 1st prizes!
A special place in the development of professional musicians is given to participation in festivals. It can be a very demanding experience, because during a festival sometimes one has to perform several days or even weeks in a row. We have already participated in several festivals. For example in the 2017-2018 academic year two ZBSM students took part in the 5th Trans-Siberian Art Festival, organized by the famous soloist Vadim Repin. In the course of one week our young violinists performed in three concerts. One of these concerts, which was later reviewed in The Strad magazine, took place at the sold out Novosibirsk Philharmonic Hall, where our students performed together with Vadim Repin in front of 1200 people. It was a very important, enriching and interesting experience.
One of the missions of the Zakhar Bron School of Music is to introduce our local children to classical music and musical instruments. Children easily find contact with other children. That’s why we decided to delegate this mission to our students. And this is how the title Children Playing for Children was born.
Five concerts of the festival took place in the beautiful old halls of Zurich: Cultural Center Helferei, the Enge Church Community Hall and Kluskapelle. They brought together around a thousand primary school students. Not only the children had an opportunity to get acquainted with many masterpieces of classical music written by Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Vivaldi, Schuman, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and many other composers, but also after each performance young listeners could interact with young soloists and ask them questions. We found out why our aspiring violinists, pianists and cellists decided to become musicians, why they chose a particular instrument, at which age started to learn to play, how many hours a day they need to practice, what else do they like to do in the free time, etc.
Young musicians presented their instruments – violin, cello and piano, talked about the instruments’ history and the way they are build. Our performers shared details of their lives, concerts and regular practicing, to which several hours per day are dedicated.
Thirty students of our school took part in the festival. To make it even more interesting, we invited two special guests from Moscow: pianists Valentin Malinin (18 years old) and Sofia Menshikova (19 years old). Both of them study with one of the most distinguished piano pedagogues in the world, Mira Marchenko, and both are winners of numerous international competitions. At all five concerts of the festival they performed solo pieces and also joined our young violinists in chamber music repertoire.
The Zakhar Bron School of Music is expressing deep gratitude to the Hibou Foundation (Switzerland) for the financial support, which allowed this project to come to life.