Sochi surprises at the Winter International Arts Festival

Sochi surprises at the Winter International Arts Festival
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By Euronews
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Classical music and a whole lot more is on offer at the annual event in the Russian city

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If you like classical music, you will love the Winter International Arts Festival in the Russian city of Sochi.

But the annual event, now in full swing, offers much more as Artistic Director Yuri Bashmet explains.

"It is a festival of research, a festival of premiers, a festival of discoveries of names, a star festival, very star-studded, I mean the participants," he told our correspondent Galina Polonskaya.

"Also the educational side is very important."

Where else would you seen a bass-balalaika soloing in an orchestra?

The king-size folk instrument is not an obvious choice to take the lead but try telling that to musician Mikhail Dzyudze.

"The unique thing is that this instrument was not created in order to play it solo from the very beginning," he said.

"Nobody would suggest it to play a complicated musical piece, not least with an orchestra! In the twentieth century it was impossible to even imagine that."

In the 21st century, video-art is an appetiser before every concert. Euronews was shown one film dedicated to heavy metal - featuring sound equipment being buried underground! But why?

"Heavy metal is not a conservatoire," said Antonio Geusa, curator of the 'Echo-Eco' exhibition.

"This work shows how a heavy metal group digs a huge hole, puts the loudspeakers inside and so we have got music, but coming from the ground, from the hole. It is surrealism, dissonance and music."

Then there is a tragic love story between Soviet trains - told by a renowned Georgian puppet theatre!

Expect the unexpected in Sochi where the Winter International Arts Festival continues until February 25.

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