8th St. Petersburg International New Music Festival has much to celebrate this year. It is the largest festival of new music in Russia and has become one of the biggest festivals in the world. 2021 is the 8th St. Petersburg International New Music Festival which begins on May the 21st and ends on June the 2nd. 2021 is also the year of the 10th anniversary of and its Saint Petersburg Contemporary Music Center. This year’s festival will be held with an expanded program under the direction of the artistic director and composer, Mehdi Hosseini.

The Festival offers a detailed panorama of contemporary classical music which presents electro-acoustic, electronic music, multimedia projects, free improvisation and others. It includes a large educational block with the participation of more than sixty emerging composers, and most importantly – world premieres of works by composers who are at the forefront of new music. Most exciting though that this year the audience and the main participants of the festival – musicians and composers – will meet not online, but in person and experience the concert and the most iconic concert venues in St. Petersburg ‘live’ together.

Among the venues for the festival are the world famous Mariinsky Theater Concert Hall, the Grand Hall of the St.Petersburg State Academic Philharmonia, the New Stage of Alexandrinsky Theater, the St. Petersburg State Academic Capella, House of Radio, the Museum of Music (Sheremetev Palace), the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory, and others.

Among the highlighted events of this year’s festival on the opening day is one of the most in-demand string quartet in the world, ‘Quatuor Diotima’ from France, will perform at the wonderful Mariinsky Theater. The final concert of the festival will take place on June 2nd in the Grand Hall of the St. Petersburg State Philharmonia with the ensemble ‘recherche’ from Germany. In total, 70 different events are planned within the framework of the festival, including 19 concerts of leading ensembles and soloists, specializing in the new music performance. They are: Konus Quartett (Switzerland) and Klaus Lang (Austria), Ensemble C Barré (France), Studio for New Music Ensemble, Schallfeld Ensemble (Austria), , Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, Ensemble SEV (Israel), Gallery of Contemporary Music Ensemble, St. Petersburg Improvisation Orchestra, Vacuum Quartet, Christian Kobi, saxophone (Switzerland), and many others.

The festival will feature world and Russian premieres of works by composers such as Pierluigi Billone, Sarah Nemtsov, Vladimir Tarnopolsky, Katharina Rosenberger, Klaus Lang, Vladimir Gorlinsky, Carola Bauckholt, Emilio Guim, Vladimir Rannev, Bruno Mantovani, Boris Filanovsky, Dai Fujikura and many other composers. In total, the festival will feature 88 premiere compositions by contemporary composers from 36 countries.

As part of the festival, offers for the third time a composition course to young and emerging composers from around the world, who will work with world renowned composers and internationally-acclaimed ensembles invited to this year’s festival. The course will be lead Alexander Khubeev, a young creative Russian composer. Selected composers will participate in the festival’s events, master classes, music reading sessions and workshops, as well as receive a professional live recording of their work at one of the festival concerts. Participants will spend the day learning techniques, gaining ideas, and trying new things out with a focus on composing under direction esteemed faculty: Oscar Bianchi (Switzerland), Pierluigi Billone (Italy), Raphaël Cendo (France), Klaus Lang (Austria), Sarah Nemtsov (Germany), Sergej Newski (Russia), Stefan Prins (Belgium) and Alexander Radvilovich (Russia).

The festival is supported by the Government of St. Petersburg, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, the Institut Français, the Goethe Institute, the Austrian Cultural Forum Moscow, the Embassy of Switzerland in Russia, the Consulate General of Switzerland in St. Petersburg, the Austrian Cultural Forum, the Consulate General of Germany in St. Petersburg , the Consulate General of the Kingdom of Belgium in St. Petersburg, the Polish Institute in St. Petersburg.