First festival of Italian culture in Moscow and st. Petersburg

The first festival of Italian culture in Russia will take place in Moscow and St. Petersburg on October 31 - November 9, Russian Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoi told a press conference yesterday.

Famous musical and ballet companies vividly reflecting modern trends in Italian culture will participate in the festival.

Concerts of the orchestra conducted by glorious Zubin Mehta will be the central event of the festival. The concerts will take place in Moscow on October 31 and November 1 and in St. Petersburg on November 2.

Two chamber ensembles, Polimnia and Brass Quintet, will also represent the musical genre.

Two Italian choreographic companies, Mauro Bigonzetti's Aterballetto and the Contemporary Dance Company of Misha van Hoeke, will participate in the festival.

The Moscow State Photography Museum will host an exhibition presenting a rare collection of 400 photographs from the archives of Italian photographers of 1953-1973.

According to the Russian Culture Minister, a grandiose exhibition "Russia and Italy: 500 Years of Culture Links" is being prepared now. It will open in Rome in 2004 and then will be held in Moscow.

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