March and April have been a busy time for our Russian students. Since 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, there have been many opportunities near our campus, and our students have taken full advantage of them. On March 22, Russian students attended a lecture and piano performance by Alexander Toradze at the Katzen Arts Center at American University. Mr. Toradze is recognized as a "virtuoso in the grand Romantic tradition" (The Carmel Institute) and has been a professor at the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in Moscow. Several of our students were introduced to Mr. Toradze.
A number of our Russian students also attended "Music Under Stalin: The Shostakovich-Weinberg Connection," performed on the campus of the Shakespeare Theatre's Herman Hall. Our Russian students closed-out the series at The Kennedy Center, listening to a performance by The National Symphony Orchestra, titled "Prokofiev's First Piano Concerto and Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony."
And on Saturday, April 8th, six UMBC Russian students volunteered to take the rigorous six-hour Russian Exam, administered by The Pushkin Institute, resulting in the awarding of a prestigious Certificate of Accomplishment in Russian Language. The coordinator stated that, of all the participants, the UMBC group easily stood out as by far the most prepared and professional-- some after less than two years of Russian!