* The Third Moscow Easter Festival is expected to become one of the main events in Russia's cultural life. The festival headed by Valery Gergiyev opened in Moscow on the Easter Sunday, April 11, and will run until April 27. It will tour nine cities of Russia: Novgorod, Vologda, Vladimir, Kostroma, Nizhny Novgorod, St. Petersburg, Ryazan, Tver and Yaroslavl.
At the first concert, the symphonic orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre conducted by Valery Gergiyev performed the music by Prokofyev, Rakhmaninov and Sibelius. In all, the programme of the festival includes over 70 concerts.
The Moscow Easter Festival was founded in May 2002 on the initiative of the Moscow government and with the blessing of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II. It is continuing the tradition of Easter music forums held worldwide.
* On March 17-April 17, the Vrubel fine arts museum of Omsk is hosting the exhibition of Omsk's abstract art of the late 20th century called "With No Horizon". The exhibition represents paintings and graphic works from museum and private collections of Russia.
The abstract art of Omsk is being so broadly represented for the first time. Visitors can see 40 paintings and the graphic works of 30 artists of different generations and trends.
The abstract genre appeared in Omsk in the late 1980s. This was the era of democratic reforms in the country and confrontation between avant-garde and the officially recognised realistic art.
The exhibition gives an insight into endless combinations of line and colour in the exhibited works of Omsk artists.
* From March 18 to April 18, the Stroganov Palace of the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg is hosting an exhibition, "Pioneers of Russian Photography", representing works from museums and private collections of Switzerland. The exhibition features pictures of Russian avant-garde masters. They are Dmitry Yermakov, one of the first photographers of the early 20th century, who is known for photographing great cities of the world; Lazar Lisitsky - an architect and painter, an active promoter of Russian avant-garde in the early 20th century; Alexander Rodchenko - a classical portrait photographer; and Gustav Klutsis - pioneer of "optical propaganda" and the founder of the Soviet photographic compilation.
These artists really influenced the development of photography in the 20th century. The exhibition also features works by masters of the younger generation.
* On April 12-21, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia conducted by Vladimir Spivakov begins its tour across the country.
This group was formed last year, but critics have already hailed it as one of the leading symphonic orchestras of Moscow.
So far, the musicians have only performed for the Western public but now people in Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg, Tyumen, Krasnodar and Rostov-on-Don can enjoy their virtuosity.
Maestro Spivakov, the art director and conductor of the orchestra, will personally participate in his musicians' debut tour of Russia.
* From March 22 to April 22, the Rudomino All-Russian State Library of Foreign Literature is holding an exhibition called "Giotto in Padua". The exhibition features photo copies of Giotto's frescoes in Capella degli Scrovegna in Padua. This extraordinarily interesting exposition was organised by the administration of the Padua province, the municipality of Padua and the Terme Euganee travel agency.
The centrepiece of the exhibition is the wooden model of Capella degli Scrovegna in the 1:4 scale, with the complete reproduction of all of Giotto's frescos in photos.
Residents of Barcelona, Weimar, Freeburg, Taipei, Santiago and Brussels have already had the opportunity to see the frescos of the genius artist of the 14th century right in their cities. Now it is St. Petersburg's turn.