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International Alfred Schnittke Festival in Moscow

On the occasion of Schnittke's seventieth birthday, an international Alfred Schnittke Festival from 2 to 20 October 2004 with first-rank performers was organised. Yuri Bashmet played the Viola Concerto, accompanied by the Russian State Symphonic Capella under Valery Polyansky. Alfred Schnittke's widow, the pianist Irina Schnittke, performed her husband's Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra. The Moscow Virtuosi under Vladimir Spivakov were the performers; this ensemble has long enjoyed an international reputation for the interpretation of Schnittke's music. A high point of the Festival was, in common with the Bonn Beethoven Festival, the performance of the complete cycle of six Concerti Grossi in which the performers included the new Sikorski composer Lera Auerbach as pianist. The previously unknown Violin Sonata from the year 1955 received its Russian premiere with Tatiana Grindenko (violin) and Irina Schnittke (piano).