Ambassador Antonov's welcoming remarks at the musical evening featuring the medalists of the International Tchaikovsky competition at the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC
I would like to cordially welcome you at the Russian Embassy. Today we honor three young but already accomplished musicians – Kenneth Broberg, Zlatomir Fung
and Ansel Norris. They represented the U.S. and became prize-winners of the 16th International Tchaikovsky Competition.
I am confident that the successful participation of the American colleagues in this prestigious competition will serve as a springboard in their professional career and international recognition of their talents.
Not many people know that the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958 was won by a U.S. citizen, outstanding pianist Van Cliburn. His sensational performance in Moscow at the height of the Cold War helped break down cultural barriers and gave hope for finding mutual understanding between our countries based on love for classical music.
I would like to acknowledge selfless efforts of Valery Gergiev – co-chair of the Organizing Committee of the Competition – who does a lot for further professional growth of its winners. Yesterday they were honored at one of the main concert venues in the U.S. – the Carnegie Hall, this week a series of performances will take place at a new concert hall of the Russian capital – Zaryadye Hall.
Dear friends, I would like to stress once again that such events as today are extremely important. Cultural cooperation once helped melt the ice of the Cold War. Its importance can be hardly overestimated nowadays too, since the universal language of art unites people of the most diverse nationalities, no matter what is going on in the world of “big politics”.
This is the goal which Ms. Susan Carmel, founder of the Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History at the American University, recipient of the Russian Order of Friendship, has been pursuing for years. Tonight’s concert, like many other Russia-U.S. cultural projects, is the result of her tireless work.