International Forum “Mieczysław Weinberg (1919–1996). A Re-Discovery” Moscow, 16–19 February 2017

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International Forum

“Mieczysław Weinberg (1919–1996). A Re-Discovery”

Moscow, 16–19 February 2017

A draft version of the project

(state of: 25.01.2017)

Conference languages: Russian and English

Conference Place: The Bolshoi Theatre, Theatre Square 1, 125009 Moscow

The international forum is designed to promote the revival of Mieczysław Weinberg’s name and oeuvre in the musical life of Russia.

The project comprises 4 opera premieres (two – in the Bolshoi Theatre, in the Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow and the Yekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre), three chamber music concerts (the Beethoven concert hall of the Bolshoi Theatre and the State Institute of Art Studies), 4 round tables, paper presentations of almost 40 researchers from different countries, artistic meetings with the staging teams of „The Idiot“ and „The Passenger“. The first staging director of „The Passenger“ David Pountney and the author of the novel „The Passenger“ Zofia Posmysz are the invited guests of the forum.

Mieczysław (Moisey) Weinberg (8.12.1919–26.02.1996) was an outstanding Soviet composer of a dramatic destiny, who reflected in his music the tragic events in the European history of the 20th century. For many years, Weinberg has been known in the Soviet Union and then Russia principally as a composer of film music. At the same time, his enormous musical legacy (26 symphonies, 17 string quartets, 7 operas, Requiem, and numerous other instrumental and vocal works), remaining largely unknown, except for professional musicians, has been on the remote outskirts of the music scene and public attention. Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, when the mankind is intensely reflecting upon the tragedies of the past, Weinberg’s heritage and the humanistic ideals expressed in his music reveal finally theirs great worth and have become highly topical.

Importantly, the forthcoming conference is a scientific part of the wide-scale theatre-and-music project, which includes Russian stage premieres of two operas by Weinberg: “The Idiot” at The Bolshoi Theatre and Mariinsky Theatre; “The Passenger” at the Yekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre and at the Theatre “New Opera”; concerts of chamber music in the Beethoven-Hall of The Bolshoi Theatre and in the Institute of Art Studies, several publications devoted to the conference materials and the composer himself. The project promises to have a great impact on the promotion of the Russian musicological tradition, on the research of Weinberg’s music and the music of the second part of the 20th century as well.

Thus, the main conference fields are the history and the present of staging of Weinberg’s operas, his life and work with a special accent on the chamber compositions, the aspects of the composer’s heritage and his identity. The international conference “Mieczysław Weinberg (1919–1996). A Re-Discovery” brings together the musicologists from Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium, the UK, the USA, and Israel.

10th February 2017

14:00   Press centre of the Bolshoi Theatre

Press conference of the International forum “Mieczysław Weinberg (1919–1996). A Re-Discovery”


Vladimir Urin, the director of the Bolshoi Theatre

Andrey Ustinov, chief-editor of the newspaper The Muzykalnoye obozrenie

Invited participants:

The State Institute of Art Studies (Natalya Sipovskaya)

The Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow (Dmitry Sibirtsev)

The Yekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre (Andrey Shishkin)

The Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw (Aleksander Laskowski)


12th until 19th of February 2017

Foyer of the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, Russia

Photo exhibition of the staging of Weinberg’s operas (2016–2017)

“The Passenger” in the The Yekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

“The Passenger”  in The Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow

“The Idiot” in The Bolshoi Theatre

“The Idiot” in The State Mariinsky Theatre


15th February 2017

19:00 The State Institute of Art Studies,  Kozitskiy pereulok 5, Moscow

Prologue concert

Violin music of Mieczysław Weinberg

Sonata for violin and piano No. 2 op. 15 (1944) dedicated to David Oistrakh

Sonata for violin and piano No. 6 op. 136 b (1982) dedicated “to the memory of my mother”

Elena Prokhorova (violin), Berlin, Germany

Olga Makarova (piano), Moscow, Russia


16th February 2017

Staging history of Mieczysław Weinberg’s operas – the opera „The Idiot“ in Russia today

11:00–11:30    The Bolshoi Theatre

Participants’ registration

11:30–12:00    Conference opening

12:00–14:00    Round table: “Mieczysław Weinberg’s operas in the context of contemporary theatre”

Participants: Invited music critics, stage directors, conference participants and guests.

Association of music critics

14:00–15:30    Break

15:30–17:30    Round table: The opera “The Idiot” on the Russian theatre stage                  


Mieczysław Weinberg’s opera “The Idiot”: Interpretation of Fedor Dostoyevsky’s novel in music

Svetlana Voytkevich, Krasnoyarsk, Russia

Alexey Stepanyuk, the State Academic Mariinsky Theatre, production director and scene designer of „The Idiot“ premiered on the 6th of July 2016

Yevgeny Aryeh production director in the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia

Michał Klauza (Poland), producing conductor of „The Idiot“ in the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia premiered on the 12th February 2017.

19:00   Performance in the Bolshoi Theatre

“The Idiot” of Mieczysław Weinberg

Libretto of Alexander Medvedev upon the same name novel of Fedor Dostoyevsky

producing conductor Michał Klauza (Poland)

production director Yevgeny Aryeh

stage designer Semen Pastukh

costume designer Galina Solov’yeva

light designer Damir Ismagilov

chief choir director Valery Borisov


17th February 2017

The opera “The Passenger”: the past and present

10:00–10:20 The Bolshoi Theatre

“The Passenger–2016” – The project – from the idea till the premiere – content, events and newsline. Postscriptum

Andrey Ustinov, Moscow, Russia


The premiere of “The Passenger” in 2006 in Russia

Dmitry Abaulin, Moscow, Russia

10:40–11:00    The Passenger”: text and context

Alla Bayeva, Moscow, Russia

11:00–11:20 The cancelled premiere of „The Passenger“ in 1968

Antonina Klokova, Berlin, Germany

11:30–12:00    Break

12:00–12:20    “The Passenger” in the USA

Katherine Syer, Illinois, the USA

12:20–14:00    Discussion

Round table: The opera “The Passenger” in Russia and in the world today

The historical memory in the opera “The Passenger”

Sergey Medvedev, Moscow, Russia

14:00–15:30    Break

15:30–16:30    Artistic meeting

Jan Latham-Koenig, musical director and conductor, Sergey Shirokov, stage director of “The Passenger” in the Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre

Thaddeus Strassberger (USA), stage director and designer as well as light designer,

Vita Tsykun (USA), costume designer,

Andrey Ustinov, project curator of “The Passenger” in the Yekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, premiered on the 15th September 2016.

16:30–18:00    Witness and Guardian of Memory. Zofia Posmysz.

Meeting with Zofia Posmysz (Warsaw, Poland), former prisoner of Auschwitz, novelist and script writer of the radio play „The Passenger from Cabin 45“ (1959) and the novel “The Passenger” (1963)

19:00 The Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre, ul. Karetnyy Ryad 3, building 2

Performance of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s opera “The Passenger” op. 97 (1967–1968) in 2 acts (8 scenes and an epilogue), libretto by Alexander Medvedev on the novel by Zofia Posmysz. Dedicated to the victims of Auschwitz.

Musical director and conductor Jan Latham-Koenig

Stage director Sergey Shirokov

Stage design Larissa Lomakina

Costume design Igor Tchapurin

Choir director Julyia Senyukova

Light design Ivar Salikhov

19:00 The Bolshoi Theatre

Performance of “The Idiot” of Mieczysław Weinberg


18th February 2017

The Life and Legacy of Mieczysław Weinberg – chamber works

10:00–10:20 The Bolshoi Theatre

The First 20 Years of Weinberg in Poland

Danuta Gwizdalanka, Warsaw, Poland


Mieczysław Weinberg and his music. Reception in the 21st century in Poland

Aleksander Laskowski, Warsaw, Poland


Weinberg and Belarus

Inessa Dvuzhilnaya, Grodno, Belarus


About the materials of Mieczysław Weinberg in the archives of Dmitry Shostakovitch and Manashir Yakubov

Olga Dombrovskaya, Moscow, Russia

11:30–12:00    Break


The Renaissane of Weinberg’s music in the West

Jascha Nemtsov, Berlin, Germany


Weinberg in Washington

Bret Werb, Washington, the USA

12:40–14:00    Discussion

14:00–15:30    Break


A performance guide for the unaccompanied cello compositions by Mieczysław Weinberg

Elizabeth A. Grunin, Lincoln, the USA


Intriguing connections: the inherent logic of the cycle “12 miniatures for flute and piano”, op. 29

Janna Menhel, Tel Aviv, Israel


“24 preludes for cello solo” of Mieczysław Weinberg

Anna Fefelova, Perm, Russia


Shakespeare Sonnets in the music of Mieczysław Weinberg

Stefan Weiss, Hannover, Germany


“An encyclopaedia of the genre”: Weinberg’s String Quartets

Daniel Elphick, London, the Great Britain

17:10–18:00    Discussion

19:00 The Bolshoi Theatre, Beethoven concert hall

Concert of chamber music of Mieczysław Weinberg

I part

Six Shakespeare Sonnets for bass and piano op. 33 (1946), dedicated to Nikolay Peyko, Russian translation by Nikolay Gerbel

Russian premiere

Yuri Syrov (bass-bariton)

Alla Osipenko (piano)

Concertino for violin and string orchestra op. 42 (1948)

Alexander Kalashnikov (violin)

Three Palms for string quartet and soprano op. 120 (1977), Poem after verses by Mikhail Lermontov, dedicated to Boris Tishchenko

Anna Aglatova (soprano)

II part

Concerto for clarinet and string orchestra op. 104 (1970)

Sergey Petrov (clarinet)

Concertino for violoncello and string orchestra op. 43, first variant (1948)

World premiere

Petr Kondrashin (violoncello)

The Chamber orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre

Conductor – Mikhail Tsinman

19:00 The Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre, ul. Karetnyy Ryad 3, building 2

Performance of Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s opera “The Passenger”


19th February 2017

Mieczysław Weinberg: Identity – Biography – Personality

10:00–11:30    The Bolshoi Theatre

Artistic meeting with David Pountney, Welsh National Opera, the Great Britain

11:30–12:00    Break


Music of Mieczysław Weinberg and Quatuor Danel

Marc Danel


Mieczysław Weinberg’s Jewish Songs: commemoration and constraints

David Fanning, Manchester, The Great Britain

Michelle Assay, Sheffield, The Great Britain


Jewish aspects in the works of Weinberg. The opera “Congratulations!” (Mazl Tov!)

Julia Broido, St. Petersburg, Russia


Symphony Nr. 21 and “hyphenated” national and cultural identity

Elena Dubinets, Seattle, The USA


In the middle of Mieczysław Weinberg’s identities: between Jewish, Polish, Russian und Soviet cultures

Ekaterina Lobankova, Moscow, Russia

14:00–15:30    Break


Mieczysław Weinberg and “the eternal feminine” (events, subjects, evocation)

Lyubov Kupets, Petrozavodsk, Russia


Music for the Dead. Weinberg’s instrumental music to the memory of his family

Verena Mogl, Hamburg, Germany


A documented biography of Mieczysław Weinberg as a research challenge

Antonina Klokova, Berlin, Germany

16:30–18:00    Discussion

Round table:  Mieczysław Weinberg in the memory of his family, friends and colleagues

Participants:    Olga Rakhalskaya, Anna Weinberg, Moscow, Russia

Arnt Nitschke, Hamburg, Germany

Tommy Persson, Gothenburg, Sweden

Vladimir Rubin, Moscow, Russia

Andrey Zolotaryov, Moscow, Russia

18:00 Final Forum results

Vladimir Urin, The Bolshoi Theatre

Andrey Ustinov, newspaper The Muzykalnoye obozrenie

19:00  The Bolshoi Theatre. The New Scene

The Yekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre

Mieczysław Weinberg’s “The Passenger” op. 97 (1967–1968) in 2 acts (8 scenes and an epilogue), libretto by Alexander Medvedev on the novel by Zofia Posmysz. Dedicated to the victims of Auschwitz.

Conductor – Oliver von Dohnányi  (Slovakia)

Stage director, stage and light designer – Thaddeus Strassberger (USA)

Costume designer – Vita Tsykun (USA)

Choir director – Angelika Grozina

Project curator – Andrey Ustinov

Premiere took place on the 15th September 2016.


20th February 2017

19:00 The State Institute of Art Studies,  Kozitskiy pereulok 5, Moscow

Unknown pages of  Mieczysław Weinberg’s vocal music

Concert of vocal music of Mieczysław Weinberg

“Jewish songs” op. 13,  1st cycle on poems by I. Leib Peretz

Edited by the Composers Union in 1945.

The Singers of the Primeval World, op. 32. Elegy after Friedrich Schiller

(1946), Russian translation by Lev Ostroumov

The Gipsy Bible, op. 57. Songs on poems by Julian Tuwim (1956). Dedicated

to Dmitry Shostakovitch

“Contemplation” , song No. 1 from the unfinished cycle Memoires, op. 62.

Songs on poems by Julian Tuwim (1957–1958)

Dmitry Grinikh (baritone)

Olga Sobakina (piano)


23rd February 2017

19:00 Dom Kino (The House of Cinema), Ul. Vasilyevskaya 13, Moscow

The Cultural Centre of Poland in Moscow presents

“The Passenger”, movie, Poland, 1963

Directors: Andrzej Munk, Witold Lesiewicz

Staring: Aleksandra Śląska, Anna Ciepielewska, Janusz Bylczynski, Krystyna Dubielowna, Anna Golebiowska, Barbara Horawianka, Małgorzata Potocka

Awarded by The International Federation of Film Critics  in 1964 at the Cannes Film Festival and The Italian critics award on The Film Festival in Venice.

Special guest: Małgorzata Potocka

Find the detailed information about the forum on