The 7th international festival and competition called "Petro-Pavlovskiye Accordion-2001 Assemblies" is opening in St. Petersburg today. This large-scale musical festival is named after founders of the St. Petersburg accordion players' school, i.e., Pavel Smirnov and Pyotr Govorushkin, Merited Artists of Russia. The festival participants will demonstrate the possibilities of various types of accordions while performing music of various styles and genres: from classical and folk music to pop and jazz music. According to Yuri Smirnov, Merited Artist of Russia and the festival's artistic director, some 1,000 accordion players from 12 countries will take part in this year's festival. What is interesting about this festival is that professional players will participate in it on a par with amateurs. The youngest performer is 8 years old, and the oldest - 66 years old. An international competition of soloists playing various types of accordions, as well as musical ensembles and orchestras which include accordions, will be held within the festival's framework. The winner will be awarded Grand Prix - a statuette called "Unruly Muse" and made of gilded bronze after the design of Vyacheslav Chebotar, a well-known sculptor. A scientific and practical conference on the art of playing folk instruments in the 21th century, called "Modern Means of Expressiveness in Accordion Playing. Traditional and Alternative Forms of Creative Work," will also be held within the framework of the said festival. The festival's last event will be a gala concert of winners in the competition and guests of the festival, which is due on April 28.
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Since the likes of the traditional Inauguration Day in the national Capitol are likely never to be witnessed again, take this opportunity from one who has been there to relate some truth about the experience