STARS OF THE ALBION: 5th International Performing Arts Festival & Competition in London

The period from February to April is always a busy one for adjudicators (or music judges). Many music festivals (often those affiliated to BIFF, or the British and International Federation of Festivals) take place at this time, as well as other competitions organised by musicians far and wide.

One such event is the Stars of the Albion, which is an international performing arts festival and competition. It’s an annual event, uniting young talented musicians and dancers from across the world. The project forms a unique bridge connecting different cultures and, in particular, that of Russia and Great Britain. It aims to provide valuable opportunities for young emerging artists to perform, learn, communicate and develop.

Organised and promoted by Musica Nova Academy of Music, which was founded and is owned by Russian singer, pianist and educator Evgenia Terentieva (pictured, second from the left, with some former winners). This bilingual establishment (situated just around the corner from King’s Cross station, on Crommer Street), combines the British and Russian principles of teaching. It’s held under the Patronage of the World Association of Performing Arts (WAPA) and is supported by the Rossotrudnichestvo, the Russian cultural centre in the UK.

This is the 5th performing arts festival & competition, and it will be held from the 16 – 18 February 2018 in London (primarily at the Mission of Rossotrudnichestvo (Russia House in the UK) at 37 Kensington High Street, London W8 5ED).

The competition consists of two rounds. The first one has been based on video recordings (either on DVD or YouTube), and the second round is open to the public and held at the concert hall of the Russian Cultural centre, and at the Musica Nova Academy. Forty soloists and fifteen ensembles or groups will be selected to come to London to participate in the second round. Participants come from Great Britain, France, USA, Malta, Cyprus, Russia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia and Ghana to take part in the competition.

This is my third year on the panel of judges at this competition and it has always been a fascinating day spent with colleagues and fellow judges, hearing a complete mixture of music and dance. Last year I was one of four judges for the piano and strings section and the standard of playing was generally high.

Anyone can attend this event. The awards ceremony and gala concert will take place on Sunday 18th February at 6.30pm at the Rudolf Steiner Theatre,  35 Park Road, London NW1 6XT. You can also attend the opening ceremony on Friday 16th February, which features performances of previous winners and some of the adjudication panel (at the Mission of Rossotrudnichestvo in Kensington High Street).

The classes include the following disciplines;

• Singing (classical, contemporary, folk)
• Instrumental playing (solo and ensemble)
• Dance (ballet, modern, historical dance, street-dance)

(as well as classes in music theatre, fringe theatre, one man show, performance in fine art, and performance in photography).

Age category: Children from 6 years old to adults, no age limit.

Applications deadline: 1 February 2018

For ticket sales & reservations call: +44 (0) 7832341745 | +44 (0) 207 8330502

Visit www.starsofthealbion.org.uk for more information

Send a message to: info@starsofthealbion.org.uk

Tickets online at: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk

 

The ‘Stars of the Albion’ Arts Competition and Festival

stars-imageOver the past few weekends I’ve been adjudicating at various competitions. On several occasions I worked alone (as an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Music Festivals), but this past weekend, I was one of a panel of judges for the ‘Stars of the Albion’ competition.  Although I enjoy both challenges, working with others is not only more interesting and convivial, but it also shares the responsibility of selecting winners (which is never an easy task).

‘Stars of the Albion’ is an international performing arts festival and competition. It’s an annual event, uniting young talented musicians and dancers from across the world. The project forms a unique bridge connecting different cultures and in particular that of Russia and Great Britain. It aims to provide valuable opportunities for young emerging artists to perform, learn, communicate and develop.

Organised and promoted by Musica Nova Academy of Music, which was founded and is owned by Russian singer, pianist and educator Evgenia Terentieva. This bilingual establishment (situated just around the corner from King’s Cross station, on Crommer Street), combines the British and Russian principles of teaching. It’s held under the Patronage of the World Association of Performing Arts (WAPA) and is supported by the Rossotrudnichestvo, the Russian cultural centre in the UK.

This is the fourth arts festival & competition. There are two rounds; the first one is based on video recordings (DVD and YouTube), and the second is open to the public and held at the concert hall of the Rossotrudnichestvo (situated just off Kensington High Street), and at the Musica Nova Academy. The Rudolf Steiner Theatre (also in London) plays host to the final awards ceremony and gala concert. Thirty international and twenty national soloists as well as five ensembles were selected to participate in the second round.

Participants hail from a large spectrum of nations including the UK, Russia, Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Republic of Belarus, Bulgaria, Malta, Philippines, Latvia, Armenia, Ukraine, Ghana, and India.

I was one of four to judge the instrumental category at the Musica Nova Academy (with colleagues, Alexander Ioffe and Yuri Zhislin (both from Russia), and Natalia Varkentin (who is Latvian)). The awards were segregated into three age categories; 6 -10 years old, 11 – 15 years, and 16 years and over, and all competitors were either pianists or violinists. The standard was reasonably high; students were expected to play their programmes from memory (including the duet classes), and many performed fairly advanced pieces (particularly in the age category from 6 – 10 years).

I’m always fascinated by the repertoire chosen for such events; there was a diverse selection from a piano arrangement of the theme from Schindler’s List (John Williams) and Yiruma’s ubiquitous piano piece The River Flows In You (played by a six-year-old!), to the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 11 by Liszt. We heard several renditions of Tchaikovsky’s Melody in E Op. 42 No. 3 (for violin) as well as typical selections from the ABRSM Grade 8 repertoire.

The winners of each class perform in the final gala concert (which was held last night), and some of them also win cash prizes. Whilst we enjoyed the instrumental classes at the Musica Nova Academy, a much larger panel judged the singing classes at the Rossotrudnichestvo Cultural Centre  (which were huge in comparison). I like the inclusion of multiple disciplines; there’s something for literally everyone (both amateur or professional), whether a classical performer, jazz player, pop singer, dancer, or folk musician. This flexibility will ensure that the ‘Stars of the Albion’ goes from strength to strength, and it will no doubt flourish and develop over the coming years.

www.starsofthealbion.org.uk

www.musicanova.org.uk


My Publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.