This year Menestrel could be 13, but in fact it took place just 8 times. There's no secret, just the fate, which maybe preserves the festival from the bad number 13. The intermission since 2000 till 2004 was the most long within the festival history, meanwhile the new generation of musicians grew up. This year Vitebsk was represented by a first-year student of the Sollertinsky music school Anton Babura. Despite of strong stage fright Anton performed very accurately. As he said, he had to withstand a hard time between the much more experienced colleagues. We hope his participation in Menestrel ‘2005 will do good to the young guitarist.
Natalia Lipnitskaya, a Laureate of several international contests, a student of Belarusian Academy of Music was the only representative of womankind among the participants of Menestrel. She is continuing her musical education in Vienna Academy of Music with a famous Alvaro Pierry. After several recitals in Europe and United States critics remarked her excellent performance, intellectuality and particular musicianship. Vitebsk audience proved the recognition of experts by long applause .
A new scheme of festival (solo + ensemble) was invented in summer of 2003 during “Slaviansky Bazar” festival, in which DiDuLa took part. After the concert he peeped into art-cafe where amid the thunder of salute we shook hands about his coming to Menestrel.
It is clearly seen that DiDuLa pays a great attention to his new tone and to the every single nuance of his musical search. His half an hour long solo performance was lyrical and varied in genres that pleased the audience so much. He played flamenco, some pieces with taste of Latin America and The East, one of his compositions sounded like an art-song, that rarely happened to him judging by issued CDs.
It's been 10 years since the first performance of Ivan Smirnov in Menestrel. It's hard to believe but our spectators forgot him. In 1994 he played his “The Merry-Go-Round Man” in duet with Dmitry Saphonov. Then audience listened to them lost, in admiration. It turned out that the time left just weak trace of that triumph. The more pleasant to read in some media that Vitebsk had a culture shock of second discovering Ivan Smirnov. Ivan's musical language is incredibly light and absolutely original, though obviously based on Russian tradition. His stunning composition for double album “The Land where the Sun Slumbers”, arranged for the acoustic guitar is breathing by would be symphony. He showed an excellent mastery of solo guitar performance, but no doubt it was his marvelous group who made his music so perfect.
Executive director - Edward Chernivchan