Moscow International Performing Arts Center | Svetlanov Hall | 26 November 2015 Tickets The VIII Moscow Music Festival “Vladimir Spivakov Invites …” Alexander Ramm, cello Clara-Jumi Kang, violin (Germany) George Li, piano (USA) The National Philharmonic of Russia Vladimir Spivakov, conductor Saint-Saëns. Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, op. 33 Bruch. Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, op. 26 Tchaikovsky. Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, op. 23 Vladimir Spivakov and the NPR have always paid much attention to the main musical contest in Russia, that is the International Tchaikovsky Competition. Maestro Spivakov not only has often supplied “valuable resources” to the Competition, but also supported future competitors, providing them with opportunities to “pre-play” their repertoire on the stage, and promoted further advancements of the prize-winners. The Vladimir Spivakov Festival is following this tradition: the audience of the Svetlanov Hall will see and hear three bright ingenious talents who won prizes at the XV Jubilee Competition. They are pianist George Li, violinist Clara-Jumi Kang and cellist Alexander Ramm. Cellist Alexander Ramm has performed with Vladimir Spivakov's orchestras many a time; a student of Natalia Shakhovskaya and Frans Helmerson he has matured into an experienced musician and earned love of the audiences. Earlier he won prizes at the competitions in South Africa (UNISA), Beijing, Helsinki, and became the Winner of the First All-Russian Music Competition in Moscow. The Jury of the Tchaikovsky Competition awarded him the II Prize. One of the Jurors, famous cellist Mischa Maisky called Alexander "a spectacular performer with a great future." Clara-Jumi Kang, a student of famous pedagogue Zakhar Bron, also drew attention from the first auditions, and during the Second Tour became an apparent favorite among the violinists. Although the Jury awarded Clara-Jumi only the IV Prize and the Prize for best performance of a Mozart Concerto with a chamber orchestra, many professionals recognized her absolute leadership, including Vadim Repin, a member of the Jury. "Young performers are trying to copy, imitate, or limit themselves by the desire to play as correctly and as clean as possible, – said Repin. – They are obviously lacking in their own ideas and emotions. Clara-Jumi Kang is an exception. One hears some crazy approaches in her interpretations, but it is her style, even her life position, and she convinced me. " A native of Boston, George Li is studying at Harvard and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston (his teachers are Wha Kyung Byun, and Russell Sherman). One of his early mentors was Chinese pianist Yin Chengzong, the Silver Medalist of the II Tchaikovsky Competition (1962). By his 19 years, George has won prizes at several musical competitions, and even played at the invitation of Barack Obama at the White House on the evening in honor of Angela Merkel. "He is a fantastic musician with a lot of charisma, inspiring a lot of positive emotions", – said of him the Jury member Martin Engström, the founder and artistic director of the famous music festival in Verbier (Switzerland). Denis Matsuev (member of the Jury of the Third Tour) called George "a phenomenal virtuoso." At the Competition Li was awarded the II Prize and became the leader of the Internet audience voting.