Jing Zhao (cello)
Aleksei Botvinov (piano)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 4 in A minor, Op. 23
Duo for Violin and Cello in D major
Fantasy Pieces, Op. 73
The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
– Invierno (Winter)
– Verano (Summer)
Michael Guttman is a violinist, conductor, and musical director of several prestigious festivals, including Pietrasanta in Concerto in Italy, Crans Montana Classics in Switzerland, Le Printemps du Violon in Paris, and Made in Polin in Warsaw. He is the artistic director of the Symphony Napa Valley and the Belgian Chamber Orchestra. He has performed as a violinist with many famous artists such as Martha Argerich, Nestor Marcon, Nigel Kennedy, Boris Berezovsky, Vadim Repin, and others. Guttman began his conducting career in 2017, giving concerts in prestigious Spanish concert halls with the legendary pianist Ivo Pogorelich. His recordings have received numerous accolades, including being nominated for a Grammy Award. Michael Guttman plays on a 1735 Guarneri del Gesù violin.
Jing Zhao is a younger-generation Chinese cellist whose outstanding virtuosity and deep musicality have received a great deal of international attention. Jing Zhao has performed with renowned conductors and orchestras and shared the stage with musicians such as Emmanuel Pahud, Martha Argerich, Guy Braunstein, Daishin Kashimoto, Paul Meyer, Boris Berezovsky, Eric Le Sage, Antoine Tamestit, Konstantin Lifschitz, and Trevor Pinnock. She has performed regularly at various festivals, including the Jerusalem Festival, the Zagreb International Festival, the Zagreb Chamber Music Festival, the Argerich Festival in Beppu, La Folle Journée, and Pietrasanta in Concerto. Jing Zhao has also recorded several albums in collaboration with the Japanese company Victor Entertainment. Jing Zhao plays on a Montagnana cello (1738).
Alexey Botvinov (Oleksi Botvinov in Ukrainian) is the most renowned pianist of Ukraine, an active musician, and a producer. He is considered the best performer of Rachmaninoff in the world, and he also holds the unofficial record for performing Goldberg Variations by Bach – he has performed this cornerstone of piano music more than 300 times. Alexey Botvinov has given solo concerts and performed with renowned symphony orchestras in many prestigious concert halls around the world, including long and successful tours. Botvinov is trying to discover new ways to introduce classical music. He has brought a number of innovative concert projects to the audience, where the traditional piano solo evening has been enriched with the possibilities of multimedia or drama. Since 2015, Botvinov has been organising the prestigious classical music festival Odessa Classics in Ukraine and Eastern Europe as the artistic director.
In June 2015, the Odessa Classics music festival was held in Odessa, Ukraine for the first time. Its founder, pianist Alexey Botvinov’s mission was to create a festival that would help Ukraine move closer to Europe and resist Russian-initiated military aggression. Odessa Classics has been associated with Estonia since its first days, through our musicians, festival guests and supporters.
The eighth Odessa Classics festival should have taken place from 2 – 15 June this year, with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (ERSO) performing at the opening concert in the Odessa Opera House. Unfortunately, the event has been postponed indefinitely in the wake of the war against Ukraine.
In order not to break the tradition of the festival, Odessa Classics will have a temporary home in Estonia from May 31 to June 3 this year and will be called Odessa Classics Tallinn. Estonian musicians, hopefully a large audience and business supporters will host Ukraine’s largest classical music event for four days in four different venues in Tallinn, Tartu and Laulasmaa. In addition to Estonia, the Odessa Classics festival will expand to several other European cities this summer, being a great example of Ukraine’s cultural exports. We hope you will join us in supporting the festival in these turbulent and difficult times.