The international festival for contemporary music “Moscow Forum” belongs to the most important Russian festivals for contemporary art. This independent festival was organized for the first time in 1994 and its chief aim is the integration of contemporary Russian music into an overall European cultural context, the demonstration of the newest tendencies in the art of composition, juxtaposing music by composers from various countries and various schools. In the festival’s programs new works by Russian composers are performed in the same concerts along with new compositions by their colleagues from abroad. This festival is conceived as a cultural dialogue between diverse countries.
Each time the programs of the festival are integrated by new relevant themes, usually timed to complex issues of our days: “Contemporary music: Freedom or Engagement?”, “Music of the Time of Twilight of Empires” (Austrian-Russian Festival), “Getrennt durch Stachelmusik” ("Beyond Barbed Music," German-Russian Festival), "Freedom of Sound!" and others.
The evidence of the authority of this festival is in the fact that its concerts include some of the most famous orchestras of Europe, including the Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain, Schoenberg Ensemble, Ensemble recherche, die Reihe, Alter Ego, the XXIth Century, Volharding, Alternance, Het Trio, and many others.
The festival’s programs provide for joint performances of Russian musicians along with performers of the best contemporary music ensembles from other countries. In their turn, many well-known musicians have performed together with the Studio for New Music ensemble, among them flutists Harrie Starreveld , Helen Bledsoe , Manuel Zurria; Ernest Rombout (oboe), Micele Marelli (clarinet), Harry Sparnai (bass clarinet), Marcus Weiss (sax), Marco Blaauw (trumpet), Frances-Maria Uitti (cello) and many others. Special guests of the festival were composers Helmut Lachenmann, Ivan Fedele, Klaus Lang, Georg Haas, Klaas de Vries etc.
In addition the framework of the festival includes organizing international musicological conferences, which feature many highly respected music scholars, as well as lectures and workshops given by famous musicians. In 1919 “Moscow Forum,” is being restarted as a "platform for new music and aesthetical disputes". The music played in the concert halls will be directly interspersed with polemics uttered by composers, artists and well-known philosophers-theoreticians of contemporary art. The themes of the concerts-disputes are unified by one inclusive idea — the examination of the interactions of the phenomena of contemporary society and the tendencies of contemporary music. The daytime educational program of the Moscow Forum is organized in collaboration with the independent portal Stravinsky.online and includes a four-day intensive seminar for culturologists and music critics, as well as master-classes of famous performers of contemporary music.
The international recognition of this youthful Moscow-based contemporary music festival could be perceived by numerous reviews by some of the most important Russian and foreign publications, including Segodnya, Itogi, Moscow News, Nezavisimaya gazeta, Kommersant-Daily, Frankfurter Allgemeine, Kultur und Medien, 20th Century Music, International Herald Tribune and numerous others, as well as radio programs Echo Moskvy, Orfey, Radio Rossii, Deutsche Welle, Deutschlandfunk, BBC and others.
The Moscow Forum contributes to the further development of Russian musical culture and its integration into the overall European cultural context.