The Kaliningrad Cathedral presented the “Organist of the Year” Award, established with the support of Russian Musical Union

Under the vaults of the “miracle of the amber region”, the main symbol of the Kaliningrad region, a magnificent organ sounded. Russian National Award for representatives of a rare profession took place in a hall with a unique organ complex, and all 8,525 pipes participated in the organ hit parade. The melodies of Bach, Mendelssohn, Tariverdiev, Dubois, Frank, Messiaen, Elgar, Vidor, Lemar, Khomyakov rushed up, expanding from stained glass to stained glass.

After a week-long pause caused by covid, the organ sounded, announcing the names of the winners. “Debut of the Year” – Elizaveta Borodaeva (St. Petersburg), “Person of the Year” – Elena Privalova (Riga), “For Contribution to the Profession” – Vladimir Khomyakov (Chelyabinsk), “For the Most Original and Conceptual Program” – Maria Blazhevich (Tomsk). “Everything here is dear to me,” – said the composer and organist, Honored Artist of Russia Vladimir Khomyakov. – “The construction of a large organ and partly a choral one – took place in my presence. It was honorable and interesting. Today it is joyful to perform again in the cathedral, to be a laureate. It’s always nice when you get recognition for your work and attention.”

On the page of the Cathedral, you can read wonderful words: “Despite the online format, we were together, no matter where on the planet we were in fact. The concert of the winners was complemented by performances by the Honored Artist of Russia, Professor of the St. Petersburg Conservatory named after N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov, holder of the title “Organist of the Year 2020” Daniel Zaretsky and laureate of the Moscow Prize, editor-in-chief of the magazine “Musical Life” Evgenia Krivitskaya. There was no discount for the absence of listeners at the concert. Brilliant outfits, solemnity, ceremoniality (the presenter is the winner of the Moscow Prize and the Russian national music award “Ovation” Petr Tataritsky) and a fantastic sound once again confirmed that true artists always give the best without demanding applause.

Having retained the traditional structure (4 nominations and 4 special prizes), the award, established a year ago by the Creative Initiatives Development Fund with the support of Russian Musical Union and the critical and journalistic magazine “Musical Life”, has been enriched with new meanings. One of the special projects of the award was the preparation of the third edition of the scientific encyclopedia “Organs of Russia”. In addition, almost all the winners received individual invitations to solo concert performances throughout Russia: in the Belgorod, Kaluga, Omsk, Chelyabinsk, Tver, Perm, Tomsk Philharmonics. For the first time, not only organists received a special prize, but also a person whose contribution to the development of organ culture in Russia is very significant. This is Vera Tariverdieva, and in her person is the Cathedral. “We decided to celebrate the hospitality of this place. Also this time, given the new conditions, we asked our partners and co-founders to record video messages to the audience so that even those who do not have the opportunity to come can be with us during the Award Ceremony,” – said Evgenia Krivitskaya.

On behalf of Russian Musical Union, the participants were welcomed by its Director Alexander Klevitsky: “For the second time, Russian Musical Union supports this unique action, which has no analogues either in Russia or in the world. There is only one such award for organists. And so the value of the title of a laureate is enormous.” “The organ is a multifaceted, cosmic instrument, accommodating the whole universe. And the more space there is in the souls of modern people, the more important the mission of the modern organist,” – emphasized Irina Gerasimova, CEO and Artistic Director of the Orpheus TV and Radio Center.

Special prizes were awarded at the ceremony: the award “For enlightenment” went to Natalia Golfarb (Saratov), ​​”For the creation of cultural bridges” – to Moshe Ariel Ganelin (USA / Russia), “For creative experiments” – to Stefanida Ermolaeva (Moscow), “For the organization of the Mikael Tariverdiev International Organ Competition and the creation of a unique organ area in the Kaliningrad Cathedral” – to the Director of the Cathedral, Vera Tariverdieva. “We are present at a great celebration of music in honor of his majesty the king of instruments – the organ!” Alexander Solovyov, President of the Foundation for the Development of Creative Initiatives, who founded the Organist of the Year Award, emphasized.