Vladimir Tarnopolski about the 1st Moscow Forum Festival:
The programs of the first “Moscow Forum” festivals were built as a dialogue between contemporary Russian music and the music of an especially invited guest-country. At that each festival was given a special concrete theme, relevant toward the current situation. Our first “window to the West” became the festival, organized in 1994, which had the title “Russian-Dutch Musical Assemblies”. Such a grandiose name and the reference to the great epoch of Tsar Peter I certainly sound rather droll nowadays, especially if one is to remember that the festival was organized literally “on our hands and knees” - at that time we did not have a space for rehearsals or even our own desk. The Conservatory had one single fax machine which did not work most of the time. The posters were written by hand on the back side of announcements of previous concerts and there could be no question of any festival catalogue! This is why, unfortunately, there has not been any documentation preserved about our first festival.
For the Dutch this festival also turned out to be a “window” - a window into the previously unknown and inaccessible Russia. An entire Dutch brigade landed in Moscow, consisting of two ensembles - de Volharding and Maarten Aaltana ensemble, as well as a dozen of composers
and musicologists! For us, who were brought up on puritan notions of the avant-garde as something always being “frighteningly serial” and unpalatable for the general public, the acquaintance with a totally differentent kind of avant-garde, which is free of all dogmas, which can turn easily and naturally to various styles and not shunning the so-called “popular” genres - from jazz to rock - all of this became a real revelation.