Vienna, 10 June 2013 Press release

Austrian culture as a guest in Russia. Russian culture as a guest in Austria

Memorandum of Understanding signed in Vienna for the "Austrian-Russian Cultural Seasons 2013-2015"

Vienna, 10 June 2013 – A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Vienna for the "Austrian-Russian Cultural Seasons 2013-2015" in the Marble Hall of the Austrian Foreign Ministry on 10 June by the Russian Federation President’s Special Envoy for International Cooperation in the Arts, Mikhail SCHWYDKOJ and the Deputy Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, Alla MANILOVA for Russia and by Ambassador Johannes KYRLE, Secretary General for Foreign Affairs, on behalf of Austria. This major exchange programme in the arts spread over three years has already started with the opening of the "Austrian Cultural Season in Russia 2013-2014" in which 50 projects in the arts will be presented in 17 Russian cities between May 2013 and December 2014.

The Austrian Cultural Forum in Moscow as a part of the Austrian Foreign Ministry network is responsible for the programme and implementation of the "Austrian Cultural Season in Russia 2013-2014" together with the Austrian Embassy in Moscow; the project is supported by the Austrian Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture and several Austrian and Russian companies, in particular the general sponsors Raiffeisen Bank and Russian Machines.

Three entirely different projects have been selected as the prelude to the "Austrian Cultural Season in Russia 2013-2014": a guest performance of Peter Esterhazy’s “Harmonia Caelestis” by the Vienna Burgtheater at the Chekov Theatre Festival in Moscow; the opening of the exhibition sound:frame “collective” at the Museum of Screen Culture Manege / Media-ArtLab in Moscow; and "Say Yes to Life – the Search for Meaning in Life", a Russian-Austrian Viktor Frankl conference at Moscow’s Central House of Journalists. "The Austrian Cultural season is aiming to present a very broad perspective on the arts in our country, from our classics through to the contemporary scene", Austrian Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger said. "In all of this we have placed great emphasis not only on having presentations in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but also on taking our events to the people throughout the Russian regions."

 This is by far the richest and most comprehensive Austrian cultural programme that has ever been presented in Russia with a number of very special events in store, such as “Lenin:Icebreaker”, the first international art exhibition project on the world's first nuclear-powered icebreaker, which can be seen as a special project of the Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art from 17 September 2013 to 10 January 2014 in Murmansk. Or the exhibition "Beyond Vision" with works from the collection of contemporary art from the Benedictine Monastery of Admont at Vinzavod Centre for Contemporary Art in Moscow, where exhibits will be presented in the scope of a remarkable event catering both for people with sight and for visually-impaired people from November 2013 to January 2014. The exhibition "Expressionism – Master Works from the Vienna Albertina" at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg will provide a fascinating insight into the world of expressionist painting and drawing from 18 October 2013 to 12 January 2014. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Christian Thielemann will perform all nine of Ludwig van Beethoven’s symphonies at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow from 20 to 24 November 2013. The exhibition "The Treasury of the Esterházy Princes in the Moscow Kremlin Museum" from 17 December 2014 to 15 March 2015 will bring to Russia for the first time precious art exhibits from Forchtenstein Castle and selected treasures from the collection of the Esterházy Foundation.

 The great wealth of events in the "Austrian Cultural Season in Russia 2013-2014" will include a concert of the Vienna Boys’ Choir in Yekaterinburg (24 June to 7 July 2013), an Austrian Film Festival (2 to 13 April 2014) in Moscow, the Vienna Music Film Festival in Yekaterinburg and Sochi (24 June to 7 July 2013), an exhibition of award winning media art projects from ars electronica at the Museum of Modern Art PERMM in Perm (June 2014); an Erwin Wurm one-man exhibition at the Vinzavod in Moscow (6 September to 9 October 2013), and the "Erwartung" music project, which starting with the composition of this title by Arnold Schönberg, will invite young Russian and Austrian artists to look back and reflect on the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I.More details on the full programme of the "Austrian Cultural Season in Russia 2013-2014" are available on the homepage of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Moscow at

Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger summarised the "Austrian Cultural Season in Russia 2013-2014" as follows: "Our intention was to invite some of the best creative talents from Austria and to bring them together with their Russian colleagues and give them the opportunity to work together with them. Two projects are particularly fine examples of this cooperation:  "Lenin: Icebreaker", the international art exhibition on the first Soviet nuclear-powered icebreaker ship and also the “Erwartung” music project, an artistic reflection on the catastrophic breach that occurred in the 20th century during its second decade. I wish all the artists taking part every success and hope the Russian public will have an absorbing encounter with Austrian culture."

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