• 2nd All-Russian Open Festival “Russian Rozhok” – Nerekhta city (Kostroma region)

    Nerekhta, Russia. From May 30 to 31 of 2018 in the Nerekhta city in Kostroma region the Second All-Russian Open Festival “Russian Rozhok” will take place. This festival gathers all Russian shepherd’s rozhok music lovers, which is a unique musical instrument with an amazing timbre and expressive sound. The Russian rozhok is a woodwind instrument that is made from the cork of a tree.
    The festival’s mission is noble: the revival of the traditional Russian music culture. Since ancient times, the rozhok was played during grazing, feasts, buffoonery festivities, and military actions. Now the ensembles of rozhok players (from Moscow, Nerekhta, Vladimir, Suzdal, Dmitrov, and Tver) perform folk dances and play tunes. For many people, the rozhok remains an exotic musical instrument. But there already are obvious tendencies towards restoration and introduction of rozhoks back into the shepherds’ and pastoral life.
    The rozhok has entered the history and the culture of the people as an instrument that accurately conveys all the shades of feelings of a Russian soul. Rising from humble beginnings of being just an ordinary shepherd’s helper, it evolved into a musical instrument with virtually endless musical possibilities, which makes traditional Russian songs sound especially harmonious. Nowadays you don’t meet a shepherd playing the horn neither on the pasture, nor at the party, nor at the fair.
    A lot of famous Russian ensembles will take part in the festival: “The Nerekhta Rozhok Choir” – conductor K. Sergeyev (Nerekhta); “Moscow Horners Choir” – conductor B. Efremov (Moscow); An ensemble of horn playes “Zubtsy”(“Prongs”) – conductor S. Starostin (Moscow); Folk dance club “Tuda-Suda” (“Back and Forth”) – conductor I. Akhrameev (Moscow); ensemble SCM (St. Petersburg), etc.

    A special guest of the festival is Arkady Shilkloper, an alpine horn player (Germany – Russia) and Sergei Starostin.

    Arkady Shilkloper is a world-famous musician, multi-instrumentalist, a master of the horn, flugelhorn, alpine horn and the Corno del Cacho. In his musical toolbox he has a tool made especially for him. He played in famous bands such as “Moscow Art Trio”, “Tri O”, “Pago Libre”, Vienna Art Orchestra, Mauve. In Russia, he still constantly plays music together with Sergei Starostin and Vladimir Volkov. In 2013, his audio track “Duo For One / Russian Song”, presented by “Radio Russia”, won the International Folklore Competition the “Svetozár Stračina Grand Prix” (Bratislava, Slovakia). He also participated in the Euroradio folk music festival (EFF) in Cracow (performed by “Radio Russia”, 2015). In 1985, Arkady Shilkloper recorded his first album. The total number of albums he recorded is over 50, including solo albums.

    Sergei Starostin is a great Russian ethnic vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, an outstanding Russian folk performer, who works in his own authentic manner, ethnographer, collector, arranger, composer, music producer and TV host, and author of numerous musical projects. In 2003, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) nominated him for the Awards for World Music as one of the best European performers of folk and ethnic music. In 2009, the “Lullaby” recorded by “Radio Russia” from the South Russia region, performed by Sergei Starostin, won the International Folklore Competition the “Svetozár Stračina Grand Prix” (Bratislava, Slovakia). He also participated in the Euroradio folk music festival (EFF) in Moscow as part of the “Zhili-Byli” Band (“There Were Once”) (performed by “Radio Russia”, 2008).

    The festival includes concerts in Nerekhta and in the village of Grigortsevo of Nerekhtsky district of the Kostroma region (during and after grazing of the herd). The festival will provide a unique opportunity to see the pasture of cattle to the music of the rozhok and learn about the tradition of shepherd’s rozhok music from all over Russia.

    The proponent of the festival is the Ensemble “Nerekhta Rozhok’s Choir” is included in list of intangible cultural heritage items of the Kostroma region. In 2016, the ensemble won the “Best Authentic Project” award at the “Russian World Music Awards” [RWMA]. In 2017, the Nerekhta Rozhok’s Choir won the “Faithfulness to Traditions” award at the Third All-Russian “Music of the Earth” Festival.

    Interesting Facts:
    Nerekhta is considered to be the birthplace of aeronautics (1731).
    There are two nunneries in the city. In one of them (the Trinity-Sipan Pahomiev Monastery) keeps relics of St. Pachomiy Nerekhtsky and the miraculous Vladimir-Nerekht Icon of the Mother of God.
    The Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the festival is Igor Malyakin, the head of the Nerekhta city and the Nerekhtsky district.
    Deputy Chairman, Head of the Festival is Natalia Sergeyeva, head of the department of culture and youth of the Nerekhta city and the Nerekhtsky district.
    Art Director of the Festival is Ludmila Osipova, Honored Cultural Figure of the Russian Federation, Doctor of Arts, author and presenter of a music program on the “Radio Russia” (Moscow).

    Rocco Turi, Sociologist