Teodor Currentzis: "What is the Diaghilev Festival?"

The Diaghilev Festival is not just a programme of premieres, concerts and performances. It is a close connection between artists and spectators; it is a space where elusive ideas gain clear form and where our very dreams come true.

Over the past few years, we have essentially created a new means of communication within the cultural realm. We have found new opportunities to educate people about music and to present works of art. Many formats and approaches that we have first introduced at the festival are now widespread all across Russia. The festival programme is our guide to this space of search and communication.

For instance, chamber music concerts are more than mere performances where musicians play their part, take a bow, and leave the stage. Instead, they feel more like an old dream of how chamber music should be played; they are on a different level. Or concerts in the middle of the night — they are crucial. They might not be the most eye-catching events of the festival, but they represent its soul. Not a single evening feels ordinary. The spirit and atmosphere of those concerts are something special. And they do become special to the people — both to the performers and to the audience. That is how I see it, at least. That is what makes the festival so prominent and unique.

People come here to meet and communicate with others, to think and to create. The whole city is involved — you will hardly see anything like that elsewhere. When the festival programme comes to its end, I want everyone to leave in high spirits and with long-lasting impressions, feeling a little sad that it is over and eagerly looking forward to the next time.

Teodor Currentzis
Artistic Director of the International Diaghilev Festival