Famous Italian saxophone quartet performs at Artek

Artek became a venue of the Palaces of Crimea - Palaces of St. Petersburg International Music Festival. On September 16, Suuk-Su Palace hosted a special concert featuring the Italian Saxophone Orchestra and the Style of Five Unique Russian Folk Ensemble.

The charity concert began with an improvised guided tour of Crimea, with writer and television show host Alexander Myasnikov, the author of the Russia: My History exhibition, telling children about the peninsula’s mysterious side. Merited Artist of Russia Maria Safaryants and the Style of Five Unique Russian Folk Ensemble changed their perception of Russian folk instruments. The musicians performed Russian folk music hits and popular film soundtracks arranged specially for the ensemble.

The Italian Saxophone Orchestra, conducted by Federico Mondelci, stole the limelight during the event. They presented a musical program featuring masterpieces by composers through the ages, from Gioacchino Rossini to Ennio Morricone. Their emotional and captivating style turned the classical-music concert into a thrilling musical journey. The children would not let the musicians go for a long time, giving them a standing ovation after each performance and shouting “Great!”

“While selecting the repertoire for our Artek concert, we decided that it should mostly consist of dynamic works, so that the young audience would not get bored with too much lyricism,” Mondelci said. But the musicians were amazed by the way the children responded to one of Astor Piazzolla's most popular tangos, Oblivion. “They really liked his music and gave the orchestra another standing ovation. It turned out that we could play any kind of music to these children,” Mondelci said gleefully.

The Italian guests also visited Camp Morskoi and performed at the opening ceremony of the Young Ambassadors of Peace summit that involved children from 14 countries. According to the musicians, their performance before the young ambassadors could be called a special mission. “We face no borders, we bring love to other people, and we also have a cultural and humanitarian mission.” The famous saxophone players were surprised to meet nine children from Italy staying at Artek under the Children: Ambassadors of Peace program. There was no generation gap between them, as they spoke to each other in Italian and discussed their impressions of Crimea and the legendary camp for children. 

“We said that we liked being at Artek very much because we can do what we like here,” said Nikita from Italy. “Artek is really cool: We get acquainted with children from other countries, and we tell each other about our culture and traditions. To my mind, Artek can improve the entire international situation. We are leaving this place as friends, and this friendship can spread all over the planet,” he noted.

The musicians were delighted to see how seriously the children took their stay at Artek. “We were amazed to see how delighted they sounded while telling us about Artek. Tears welled up in their eyes when they said that they would have to leave the camp on September 19,” Mondelci said. Their excitement is easy to explain: “Artek is something incredible. As a person who goes on tour very often, I have seen many campuses in my life, but I have never come across anything like this. The place has great potential, and this is really impressive,” he added.

While saying goodbye to Artek, the festival’s artistic director, Maria Safaryants, noted that “this is an incredibly happy day for us: we have visited Artek. This huge territory matches the scale of Russia. All of us are absolutely amazed to meet with these children, and this concert helped ‘gauge’ their level. We hope very much that precisely these children are our future. Today’s meeting with the best young representatives of Russia has made a tremendous impression on us and our Italian guests,” she added.

On September 5-20, the 1st Palaces of Crimea - Palaces of St. Petersburg International Music Festival is taking place at imperial palaces and other unique venues in the Republic of Crimea. The project won a competition organized by the Presidential Grants Fund and is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Crimea.