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March 31, 2014

The Next Generation of Classical Music Stars

By Sasha Levine

Olympus Music Festival
Photo courtesy of Constantine Onishchenko ©2013.

Future virtuosos of classical music will take the stage at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall on April 9 for the eighth annual Musical Olympus Festival. Five award-winning musicians, all between 20 and 30 years of age, will showcase their talent in a mix of solo and ensemble performances. The group—Marc Bouchkov (violin, France), Rémi Geniet (piano, France), Igor Eliseev (double bass, Russia), Nathalie Mittelbach (mezzo-soprano, Switzerland) and Vassilena Serafimova (percussion, Bulgaria)—will tackle works by the likes of Bruch, Brahms, Haydn and Rachmaninoff.

“Our goal is to present a program that is well balanced between classical music and newer, progressive tendencies,” says Irina Nikitina, president of the Musical Olympus Foundation. “We give a chance for each of the performers to play the music that corresponds to his [or her] character.”

Founded in St. Petersburg in 1995, the foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the arts and culture in Russia and the world through classical music. With awards competitions, festivals and scholarships, it identifies and supports exceptionally talented young instrumental soloists and chamber ensembles that show potential—and make certain they have an audience.

“Classical music, more than any other kind of entertaining music, reaches the inner world of a person,” says Nikitina. “It is more spiritual—it is called classical because it speaks of eternal truth.” 881 Seventh Ave.; 212-535-1059; musicalolympus.org.