The Musical Olympus International Festival of St. Petersburg is held annually since 1996. The idea of the Festival is widely supported by prominent artists of the world, many of them member the Honorary Committee of the Musical Olympus: Matthias Bamert, Elisso Virsaladze, Daniel Barenboim, Placido Domingo, Montserrat Caballe, Zubin Mehta, Paloma O’Shea, Yuri Temirkanov, Dmitrij Hvorostovskij, Mariss Jansons, Yo-Yo Ma, András Schiff.
The festival has come to be known as a “parade of winners.” Every year it presents highly talented young musicians who have recently won prizes at the largest and most prestigious international music competitions. In 1997 the Festival received the patronage of the World Federation of International Music Competitions as well as of the Ministry for Culture of Russia.
Behind the concept of Musical Olympus is a precise and carefully planned strategy. First, Musical Olympus provides a rare opportunity to listen to winners and laureates of international competitions without having to track numerous tour schedules and travel to different places. Musical Olympus also provides music-lovers with the priceless opportunity of hearing the world’s best young musicians accompanied by the renowned St. Petersburg orchestras in the city’s most elegant halls. At the same time the Festival is not only a “parade of winners”, but also a kind of young talents exchange and a platform for the artists to meet their colleagues of the same age and professional level from all over the world.
For the past years the festival has presented more than 400 musicians from over 35 countries throughout the world. Many of the former Festival participants have developed solid international careers, including Nikolaj Znaider, Ilya Gringolts, Sayaka Shoji, Eldar Nebolsin, Martin Fröst, Marina Poplavskaya, Darrell Ang, Vasily Petrenko, Enrico Dindo, Boris Giltburg, Tugan Sokhiev, Khatia Buniatishvili, Andrey Baranov, Sol Gabetta, Andris Nelsons, Mario Chang.
One of the main goals of the Musical Olympus Festival is to assists young musicians at the beginning of their professional development. For this purpose the Festival presents its best participants at gala concerts held annually in Zurich / Tonhalle (since 2004), in New York / Carnegie Hall (since 2007), Berlin / Berlin Philharmonic (since 2009), in Singapore / Esplanade (2011), Baku and Rennes (2012).
The international presentations of the Musical Olympus participants are held under the patronage of the World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations. Music is but one means of dialogue — albeit one which most effectively crosses borders — and our initiative today serves to strengthen the dialogue between people, cultures, and countries through music.