The VI International Organ Assemblies ended in the Kaliningrad Cathedral on July 9, 2021. The Summer Academy Assemblies, which have been held in the Kaliningrad Cathedral since 2017, this time were attended by 11 active participants and 9 listeners from Moscow and the Moscow Region, St. Petersburg, Kislovodsk, Kaliningrad and Minsk. The teachers of the Assemblies were the stars of organ performance: titular organist of the Cathedral of Nancy, organist of Notre Dame de Paris, professor of the Strasbourg Conservatory Yoann Vexo (France) and Honored Artist of Russia, professor of the St. Petersburg Conservatory named after N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov, laureate of the Organist Prize of the year 2020 "Daniel Zaretsky (Russia). Master classes of professors lasted from 4 to 9 July. Joann Vexo came to Kaliningrad for the first time specifically to participate in the Assemblies.
“For several years, I dreamed of getting to know the Kaliningrad organ, discovering it for myself,” says the organist of Notre Dame de Paris. - It is very famous in Europe: quite new, the largest in Russia. It is incredible fun to play and the sound is amazing. It fits perfectly with the acoustics of the cathedral. I have performed quite a lot in classical concert halls. And I can admit: they are very "dry", the sound stops almost immediately. Here he flies for a very long time. Delightful.
“In all of Russia, organ training in this format takes place only here,” says Professor Daniel Zaretsky. - Of course, there are classes within the educational space of the conservatories, when students communicate with their teachers, on their territory, study on their own organs, mainly educational ones. Here, the participants have a unique chance not only to get acquainted with the organ, the cathedral, but also to study at this organ under the guidance of famous teachers, to communicate with each other, and also to fulfill their program. When else would they have such an opportunity? I think it will be very soon. Russian students are rarely able to study and perform in cathedral acoustics: 90 percent of our organs are in concert halls. There are special conditions here. And this is a huge incentive for the participants.
The assemblies allowed students to immerse themselves deeply in the history of the French and German organ schools. All active participants had the opportunity to apply their knowledge at a reporting concert before the closing of the Assemblies.
- I rethought Eskesh's play, which Ioann and I chose for the concert, taking into account the advice of Professor Vexo, - says Vitalia Kotova from St. Petersburg (27 years old). - He is wonderful! A talented musician and a great professional. With him, we learned a lot about the registration of ancient French music, performance, and phrase management.
“It was amazing to learn from the luminaries of organ art,” notes Timur Kardanov, soloist of the Kislovodsk Philharmonic (28 years old). - Daniel Feliksovich told us interesting historical facts about the works. He helped me to correctly approach the interpretation of the music of J. S. Bach and Franz Liszt. I did not know that it was necessary to follow so closely the musical fabric of Bach - somewhere to condense, somewhere, on the contrary, to lighten the strokes.
“The assemblies were useful for both sides,” says Daniel Zaretsky.- It was very interesting for me to meet students from other cities in this environment, with such a tool for which people open up in a new way. Low bow to the Cathedral for this project.