11th St. Petersburg International New Music Festival

From May 23 to June 8, 2024, the annual major forum of new music under the direction of the artistic director and composer, Mehdi Hosseini will take place in Russia, – this being the 11th St. Petersburg International New Music Festival. The two-week festival will present to the public more than 60 events that will take place at the best music venues in St. Petersburg, such as the Mariinsky Theater Concert Hall, the New Stage of the Alexandrinsky Theater, the Grand Hall of the Philharmonia, the construction of New Holland, and other venues in the city.

The festival will present various musical directions, embodying a variety of concepts and unique musical discourses created by composers of the late 20th – early 21st centuries. The St. Petersburg International New Music Festival is a unique event in the musical culture of Russia, which has no analogues. It covers various areas of modern academic music: experimental, electroacoustic, electronic music, multimedia projects, free improvisation, and others. The format of music presentation is not limited to traditional academic concerts, but involves performances and experimental shows.

The festival will traditionally feature World and Russian premieres of works created by composers of the 21st century. This year the premieres are timed to coincide with the 225th anniversary of the birth of the famous Russian poet, playwright, and novelist – Alexander Pushkin.

The opening of the festival at the Mariinsky Theater is dedicated to Russian-Chinese relations, due to the fact that in 2024-2025 ‘The Years of Culture of Russia and China’ are held. The Russian premiere of the Chinese chamber opera by Chinese-Swiss composer Deqing Wen “Rising From the Dead” is based on the work of writer Lu Xun’s work ‘Resurrection of the Skeleton’. It will be performed on Mariinsky Theater’s Concert Hall stage.

The festival will feature concerts with the participation of musicians and ensembles specializing in the performance of new music, such as the ‘Répons Ensemble’, ‘Studio for New Music Ensemble’, ‘Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble’, ‘Vacuum Quartet’, ‘St. Petersburg Improvisation Orchestra’, ‘Saxophone Quartet SeVeR’, ‘Just ensemble’, the Piano duet ‘Mikhail Dubov and Mona Khaba’, ‘Ensemble Reheard’, ‘Mikhail Krutik’ (violin), ‘Venedikt Peunov’ (accordion), ‘Dmitry Shubin’ (electronics), and many other participants of the festival.

The educational part of the reMusik.org festival of new music includes lectures, presentations, roundtable discussions, workshops, reading sessions, and meet-the-artist events. Within the framework of the festival, an educational project – reMusik.org Composition Courses (supervised by composer Aleksandr Khubeev) will be presented. This year, they will be held for the sixth time and, due to global events, will be carried out partly online. Within the framework of the creative laboratory, young authors from all over the world, selected by the jury, will have the opportunity to work with well-known invited performers and composers with a worldwide reputation. Lectures and individual classes with students will be conducted by recognized masters of composing art: Olga Bochikhina (Russia), Jérôme Combier (France), Natacha Diels (USA), Fernando Garnero (Argentina), Emilio Guim (Ecuador/Switzerland), Jean-Luc Hervé (France), Dmitri Kourliandski (Russia), Hèctor Parra (Spain), and Deqing Wen (China). During the festival, invited groups of musicians will perform course participants’ compositions.

An addition to the educational activities is the ‘Laboratory of Experimental Music and Free Improvisation’, which is presented for the third year in a row and will be curated by the pianist and conductor Dmitry Shubin. This year’s laboratory program focuses on electronic and electroacoustic music and includes lectures, practical exercises and master classes. The results of the work will be presented at the final concert of the laboratory participants on the New Stage of the Alexandrinsky Theater.

By tradition, various discussions will be held at the festival, where the following topics will be covered: New Music as a Form of Communication, New music and artificial intelligence: composer vs machine and and New music and literary language. Cultural figures, composers, music critics, and all interested listeners will be invited to participate.