Russian Musical Union held the II International Symposium “The Recording Industry of Academic Music”

From 15 to 17 October in Moscow, as part of the International Award for the Best Audio Recording of Russian Academic Music “Pure Sound”, the II International Symposium “The Recording Industry of Academic Music” was hosted by Russian Musical Union.

The symposium brought together more than 400 participants: sound engineers and sound directors, employees of sound departments of theaters and concert halls, sound recording companies and film studios, teachers, producers, musicians, among whom were both residents of the capital and guests from other regions of the country.

The rich program of the symposium included lectures, master classes, presentations, round tables, an exhibition of sound equipment, a scientific and practical conference, Public Talk, as well as technical tours to leading studios and concert halls in Moscow.

The first day of the symposium was held at the World Trade Center – events were held in parallel in several halls of the Ladoga business space.

The tone for the three-day marathon was immediately set by the Chairman of the Guild of Sound Directors of Russian Musical Union, Maria Soboleva:

“We communicate so rarely, because our jobs are very individualized,” said Maria Soboleva, professor at Russian State University of Cinematography (VGIK), the Moscow Conservatory and the Institute of Contemporary Art at the opening of the symposium. “Russian Musical Union arranged a party for us. Be free to learn new things and feel free to ask questions.”

Maria Soboleva moderated the round table “Professional education in the field of sound engineering”, which brought together teachers of higher and secondary educational institutions: the Gnesins Russian Academy of Music, Moscow State Institute of Cinematography (GITIS), Moscow State Institute of Culture (MGIK), Russian State University of Cinematography (VGIK), Institute of Contemporary Art, the Gnesins Moscow Music School (college), College of Entrepreneurship No. 11. The teachers discussed the changes in the educational chain associated with the emergence of secondary schools that train sound engineers and sound directors. During the conversation, it was highlighted that secondary education provides a wide range of opportunities, which allows graduates to better determine both the direction of further education and the place of work. The participants of the discussion also touched upon the issue of the forming specializations within the profile standards for sound engineering and came to the conclusion that there is a need to create a more flexible system and increase the number of specializations. A proposal was made to organize the exchange of students between universities, which would allow them not only to gain new experience, but also to choose their preferred discipline.

As part of the first day, a whole series of lectures took place on the recording of a symphony orchestra for cinema, live recording, vinyl mastering and other topics. Among the lecturers were Andrey Levin, the leading sound director for recording music at the Mosfilm film studio, Mikhail Spassky, the leading sound director of the Moscow Conservatory, Yakov Zakhvatkin, the leading sound director of the CineLab music studio, Alexander Lurie, head of the Unvis-Pro group of companies and engineer-physicist, as well as a well-known specialist from Holland – director, producer, sound director of the record company Polyhymnia International Erdo Groot.

A highlight was the presentation of the magazine “Sound Director”, revived by the Russian Musical Union: the publication was presented by the editor-in-chief Anatoly Veizenfeld. The head of the legal department of Russian Musical Union, Ksenia Miryasova, and the senior lawyer of Russian Authors’ Society, Evgenia Sulla, spoke about copyright in the recording industry.

During the break between the business events, a drawing of prizes was held: the winners received valuable gifts from the partner of the symposium, the Dr. Head audio equipment store, as well as other prizes. In the showroom throughout the day one could get acquainted with the equipment of the companies Neumann (Germany), Oktava (Russia), NikFi (Russia), Nevaton (Russia), Simple Way (Latvia), Soyuz (Russia), Yamaha (Japan), Unvis-Pro (Russia) and Dr. Head (Russia).

An extensive program was presented to the participants of the symposium on the second day as well. The main metropolitan studios and theaters opened their doors for them: the Mosfilm and CineLab film studios, the Bolshoi Theater, the Helikon-Opera and Novaya Opera theaters, the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre, the Moscow Conservatory. Technical tours – excursions behind the scenes – were conducted by leading experts from studios and theaters.

In addition, at the conservatory, at the CineLab film studio and at the Gnesins Russian Academy of Music master classes of well-known masters of sound recording took place. Special interest of the audience was drawn to the master class by the director, producer, sound engineer of the recording company Polyhymnia International, Erdo Groot, “Approaches to Recording Projects”.

The Moscow Conservatory became the main venue for the third day of the symposium. The participants of the scientific and practical conference “Sound engineering – the profession of the future” considered important professional problems, and also continued to discuss the issues of education raised on the first day at the round table. Composer, pianist, professor of Sakuyo University (Japan) Artem Agazhanov presented the educational complex “Music. Theory and Practice”, which gathered many interested listeners.

Public Talk about the interaction of a sound engineer with a composer, performer and producer (label) caused a great revival: the head of the recording service of the Moscow Philharmonic Pavel Lavrenenkov, the sound engineer of the Moscow Philharmonic and the head of the Department of Sound Engineering of the Gnesins Russian Academy of Music Viktor Osadchev, Deputy Head of the Multifunctional Training and Production Center for Sound Recording and Sound Engineering of the Moscow Conservatory Evgeny Platonov, FANCYMUSIC label founder Sergei Krasin, OpensoundOrchestra conductor Stanislav Malyshev, composers Kirill Umansky and Mikhail Bronner and other speakers. The event was again moderated by Maria Soboleva.

Also on this day, a series of lectures and master classes took place. And the symposium ended with a bright concert of the Center for Electroacoustic Music of the Moscow Conservatory.

For those who could not attend the symposium in person, many events were broadcast online on the project website and on the website of Russian Musical Union. Recordings of the broadcasts will be posted on the “Pure Sound Award” channel on YouTube platform.

The hosts of the symposium received a huge amount of positive feedback from the participants of the events. The symposium has become an important and necessary event for the industry, which is confirmed by such feedback. The project, of course, is extremely in demand and relevant to the current times. The next symposium will take place in two years, as part of the next “Pure Sound” Award, and it is already clear that the organizers will have to prepare an equally extensive program.