ST PETERSBURG, April 11 (RIA Novosti) - The 13th Easter Festival will open on Sunday in Cathedral Square of the Sts Paul and Peter Fortress in St Petersburg, its organising committee said.

The festival programme includes six concerts, to be held in the Grand Hall of the St Petersburg Academic Philharmonic Society, the Hermitage Theatre and the St Isaac Cathedral.

Festival participants will be famed Russian music collectives - the Male Choir of the Synodal Residence of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II, the Admiralty Orchestra, the Choral Choir of St Petersburg, and the Academic Orchestra of the Philharmonic Society.

Individual singers and musicians will also take part in the festival concerts, among whom are Metropolitan Opera soloist Vladimir Chernov, Mariinsky Theatre soloist Olga Kondina, German violinist Diemuth Poppen, pianist Alexei Lyubimov, cellists Alexander Rudin and Sergei Roldugin, violinists Alexander Trostyansky and Ilya Ioff, and clarinet player Kirill Rybakov.

The programme of the concerts will include works of Russian religious music and church chorals that accompanied Russian warriors on their marches. Chamber music of Bach, Brahms, Rakhmaninoff and Hindemit will also be heard. as well as works by Russian and German classic composers - Mozart, Glinka, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and Strauss.

St Petersburg residents will also hear soldiers' and Cossacks' songs and marches dating from the days of the Russo-Japanese (1904-05), First World (1914-18) and the Great Patriotic (1941-45) wars.

Music lovers will also be pleased to hear a St Petersburg premiere of Mikhail Pletnev's concerto for the viola and orchestra and an author's evening of the famous Russian composer Galina Ustvolskaya, timed to coincide with her 85th birthday anniversary.

The festival will end on April 19.

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