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Wales’ Russia 17 Season up for Prestigious National Music Award

Russia 17, the season of performances and events produced by arts organisations across Wales to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution, has been shortlisted in the Concert Series And Festivals category at the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards.

In the first collaboration of its kind in Wales, 19 arts organisations including Welsh National Opera, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama worked together to capture the social and cultural explosion of 1917, and Wales’historic connections with the Russia of the time.

The Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards, presented in association with BBC Radio 3, are the highest recognition for live classical music in the UK, an area well represented in last year’s Russia 17 programme.

R17 Producers Andrew Miller and Laura Drane said:

“The R17 season was multi-artform, so we are especially thrilled to be recognised by this classical music nomination. R17 was a unique collaborative achievement by the Welsh arts community to reflect the rich artistic period in Russia around 1917, and demonstrates the
outstanding quality and distinction of music that exists in Wales.”

R17 was a unique cultural venture in a number of aspects:

  • an ambitious festival spearheaded by classical music organisations that encompassed multiple art forms: theatre, dance and visual arts
  • the first artistic collaboration of the national arts infrastructure of Wales
  • the only festival, worldwide, to purely focus on the 1917 centenary

The R17 artistic programme delivered a slew of 5* reviews across art forms and achieved a total reach of just under One Million people through live performance and exhibition attendances together with online and broadcast activities.

To cement the artistic alliance between Wales and Russia, two leading artists of each country agreed to be R17 Patrons. Celebrated, BAFTA Award winning Welsh actor Michael Sheen, and General Director and Artistic Director of the Mariinsky Theatre St. Petersburg, Valery Gergiev, Russia’s global artistic ambassador.

Whilst Russia itself chose not to mark the centenary, it was a coup for R17 to secure Gergiev’s support.

Valery Gergiev said:

I am touched that the major cultural institutions of Wales are joining together to celebrate the artistic riches of my country, which have inspired so many. The centenary of the Russian Revolution is a time for reflection, and the arts provide an ideal vehicle to explore this momentous historical event.”

The awards take place at The Brewery, London on May 9.