musicAeterna history


On January 31 and February 2, in St. Petersburg and Moscow, the musicAeterna Orchestra and Choir conducted by Dmitry Sinkovsky performed the Magnificat in D Major by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1749), and the Coronation Mass in C Major (1779) and the motet Exsultate, jubilate (1773) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The orchestra played this programme in a 430Hz tuning using Baroque string and wind instruments. The soloists were the artists of the musicAeterna Choir, as well as the mezzo-soprano, soloist of the Nizhny Novgorod Opera and Ballet Theatre Yana Dyakova.

On February 19, at the Zaryadye Hall in Moscow, the musicAeterna Orchestra and Choir conducted by Teodor Currentzis presented the world premiere of Alexey Retinsky’s new composition, the mystery “Ty — likami tsvetov” [You Are in the Faces of the Flowers] based on a poem by Gennadiy Aygi and the texts of Orthodox prayers — homage to Sergei Rachmaninoff and his Vespers (1915), which was also performed in the concert to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the composer. Rachmaninoff’s Vespers for a cappella choir was also performed in St. Petersburg’s Smolny Cathedral on February 17 as part of a charity concert.

In March 2023 , the musicAeterna Orchestra gave a series of concerts across Russia — in Sochi, Krasnoyarsk, Norilsk, Syktyvkar, Ryazan, Ufa, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, and Yekaterinburg, having performed several symphonic and chamber programmes, including Wagner’s overtures, Tchaikovsky’s symphonic poems and overtures “Francesca da Rimini”, “Romeo and Juliet” and Capriccio Italien, his sextet “Souvenir de Florence”, the Chamber Symphony and quartets by Shostakovich, chamber works by Pärt and Kancheli. In Krasnoyarsk, the three-day musicAeterna residence was supplemented with a series of lectures, master classes, and plastic workshops.

On March 18 and 19, the premiere of the interdisciplinary project Immortal Bach took place at Dom Radio. The musicAeterna Dance troupe under the direction of its participant, choreographer Alexandr Chelidze, together with the video-artist team Noir Films created a mystery concert based on motets by Johann Sebastian Bach for the double choir Komm, Jesu, komm, Ich lasse dich nicht, and Jesu, meine Freude involving video installations, light objects, performative practices, and virtual travel between different locations at Dom Radio.

On April 4 and 6 in St. Petersburg and Moscow, the musicAeterna Orchestra and Choir performed two neoclassical masterpieces by Igor Stravinsky — the rather popular Symphony of Psalms (1930) and the rarely performed melodrama Perséphone (1933) with a libretto by André Gide. The narrator’s role of Persephone was performed by Kseniya Rappoport, the part of Eumolpus was performed by the artist of the musicAeterna Choir, tenor Egor Semenkov.

The last major concerts of the 2022/2023 season were the orchestra’s performances in St. Petersburg (May 5) and Moscow (May 6 and 7) with Mahler’s Symphony No. 9. These were followed by a concert tour to Spain, where not only Mahler’s Ninth, but also Metamorphosen by Richard Strauss along with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 were performed in Zaragoza, Barcelona, and Madrid.

On May 26, 27 and 28, the premiere of the YOUKALI dance performance-concert took place at Dom Radio. As part of the project, Teodor Currentzis, Vangelino Currentzis, Andreas Moustoukis, Alexey Retinsky, Alexey Sioumak, and FM Einheit wrote compositions as their homage to Kurt Weil’s songs, while director Anna Guseva, choreographer Anastasia Peshkova, and production designer Yulia Orlova turned a cycle of “variety acts” into a full-length performance in the genre of surreal cabaret. The Dom Radio dance troupe — the musicAeterna Dance — took part in the project, and the soloists of the musicAeterna Orchestra and Choir were conducted by Ilya Gaisin.

In June, the musicAeterna Orchestra and Choir took part in the Diaghilev Festival, where they presented two symphonic programmes. Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini, Romeo and Juliet, and Capriccio Italien were performed at the opening of the Festival, whereas Richard Wagner’s overtures along with the Russian premiere of Alexey Retinsky’s composition Water Has No Hair were performed on June 26. The main event of the Festival on July 1 and 2 was the premiere of the stage diptych Perséphone. The Symphony of Psalms to the music of Igor Stravinsky. All musicAeterna’s creative assets were allocated to the performance – the Orchestra, the Choir, and the musicAeterna Dance troupe. Teodor Currentzis was the artistic director and conductor of the production, while Anna Guseva acted as the stage director.

The musicAeterna Orchestra under the direction of Teodor Currentzis opened the new 2023/2024 season with the performance of Dmitry Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 set to the poems by Yevgeny Yevtushenko. The concerts in St. Petersburg (September 3) and Moscow (September 6 and 7) were featured by the musicAeterna choir of basses, the Yurlov Russian State Academic Choir and the Sveshnikov State Academic Russian Choir. The soloist was Alexey Tikhomirov.

In October, musicAeterna performed in China for the first time. With great success, the orchestra conducted by Teodor Currentzis presented two symphonic programmes in Beijing, Shanghai, and Macau between the 21st and the 28th of October. The orchestra performed Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s symphonic suite Scheherazade, Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 (soloist – concertmaster of the orchestra Olga Volkova) and Symphony No. 5. Earlier, on the16th and the 17th of October the orchestra presented works by Rachmaninoff and Rimsky-Korsakov at the St. Petersburg State Academic Capella and on the 18th of October at the Great Hall of the Moscow State Conservatory.

Meanwhile, the musicAeterna choir conducted by Vitaly Polonsky gave two concerts with the programme All Motets by J. S. Bach at Dom Radio. On the 28th and 29th of October, spiritual motets BWV 225–230, as well as motet BWV 1164 (BWV Anh. 159) were performed.

On the 12th of November at the St. Petersburg State Academic Capella, on the 14th of November in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, and on the 15th of November in Nizhny Novgorod, the musicAeterna soloists, choir and orchestra performed Joseph Haydn’s oratorio The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross. Dmitry Sinkovsky was standing on the conductor’s podium.

On the 4th of December, in the atrium of the Hermitage General Staff Building, the musicAeterna Choir conducted by Vitaly Polonsky and the musicAeterna Vox vocal ensemble performed two major works by the Dom Radio composer-in-residence Andreas Moustoukis Im Äther and Lullabies (The Songs I Never Sung You) for five a cappella voices (2023, world premiere).

©Alexandra Perova

From the 24th to the 26th of December, Diaghilev +, a special project of the Diaghilev Festival, took place in Perm. The Festival opened with a performance of Youkali directed by Anna Guseva with the participation of the musicAeterna Dance troupe, the musicAeterna soloists, choir and orchestra for the first time conducted by Teodor Currentzis. On the 25th of December, the soloists of the musicAeterna orchestra performed the quartets of Debussy and Ravel in Perm.

On the 28th and 30th of December, the musicAeterna orchestra conducted by Teodor Currentzis performed Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and the Symphony No. 5 in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and the Great Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic.

On the 29th of December 2023, the new special project Marina Tsvetaeva’s Evening Assembly was premiered at Dom Radio. The solo performance of actress Yanina Lakoba framed the world premieres of songs set to Tsvetaeva’s poems, created specifically for the project by Andreas Moustoukis, Alexey Sioumak, Egor Ananko, Victoria Kharkevich, Kirill Arkhipov, as well as Vangelino Currentzis and Teodor Currentzis. The project was directed by Liza Moroz and conducted by Evgeny Vorobyov.