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Valery Gergiev to lead Munich Philharmonic Orchestra

22 January 2013
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Photograph: Grigory Murmikov under a CC licence

Russian musical maestro Valery Gergiev is set to become the chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra in 2015. The Bavarian Ministry of Culture will confirm the appointment on Wednesday. Gergiev, who is both the artistic director of St Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre and the principal conductor at the London Symphony Orchestra was nominated for a Grammy award in 2012 for his performance of Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances. He is credited with masterminding the £400m construction of the new Mariinsky Theatre, which is due to open in May and is said to be Europe's largest performing arts space.

Images by legendary Soviet sports photographer Lev Borodoulin go on show

22 January 2013
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Trainer Vikenty Dmitriev, Vitebsk, 1964

A retrospective of sports photographer Lev Borodulin's work opened at the Moscow Multimedia Art Museum on Friday. Borodulin turned to sports photography after the Second World War, which was the only creative profession exempted from state's ideological rules at the time. He is credited with single-handedly defining post-war Russian photography through his own distinct style that looked to resurrect formalist principles. He was influenced by key figures in Soviet Modernism including Alexander Rodchenko, Boris Ignatovich and Arkady Shaikhet. Borodulin's photograph The Parade was chosen by former US President Bill Clinton for display in The White House. A gallery of some of the works in the exhibition, which runs until 10 November 2013, can be viewed here

Crime drama The Delivery Guy to premiere at Rotterdam Film Festival

22 January 2013
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Screen shot from the trailer.

A criminal drama by filmmaker Andrei Stempkovsky has been selected for the Bright Future programme at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. The Delivery Guy (Raznoschik), follows a young pizza delivery boy as he struggles to find money to pay for medical treatment for his ailing father. The Bright Future programme is a selection of the best feature-length films by first- or second-time directors. Stempkovsky’s debut film Reverse Motion was released in 2010. The festival runs from 23 January to 3 February.
 

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Fate of iconic Moscow tower hangs in balance

19 January 2013 · Moscow
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Photograph: MClipsco under a Creative Commons licence

The future of Moscow's Shukhov radio tower, a showpiece of Russian avant-garde architecture, remains unknown as funds committed to its restoration have been diverted to pay for another project. The Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network, owners of the Shukhov tower, revealed that, following legal delays, a large tranche of the 135 million roubles (£2.7m) pledged for its repair in 2010 had instead been spent on refurbishing the Ostankino Television Tower, another landmark. The RTRS estimates that the cost of restoring the Shukhov tower now stands at 373 million roubles (£7.5m).

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Crowdfunded culture zine makes new bid for success

19 January 2013
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An online portal devoted to Russian contemporary art and culture reopened today after an absence of two months brought about by financial difficulties. Colta.ru launched in July 2012 following a crowdfunding drive, the first such example of this in Russia, but closed after just three months. The website's founders have now secured three-quarters of the funding it needs from long-term investors and plan to raise the remainder through crowdfunding. A new design for the website will be launched in March. Colta.ru was set up by the former editors of OpenSpace, Russia's first and most visited internet magazine covering art, film, music and other ares of contemporary culture. Its editor-in-chief since inception has been Maria Stepanova, a well-known literary critic and poet.

Filmmakers stage epic train journey to capture real Russia

18 January 2013
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A group of young filmmakers from around the world will spend a month travelling across Russia by train to produce six films that challenge cliches of Russia. The organisers of Cinetrain hope that the 25 filmmakers, most of whom have never been to Russia before, will be able to delve beneath the surface to produce a series of films that tackle stereotypes about women, vodka and bears.

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“Silicon Forest” classed as monument of cultural heritage

18 January 2013
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Photograph: Elya under a CC licence

A science town in western Siberia is to be classified as a monument of cultural heritage by the Russian Ministry of Culture. Hidden in a forest on the edge of Novosibirsk, Academgorodok (literally, academic town), was built in the late 1950s to house thousands of scientists and their families. Now dubbed "Silicon Forest", it is attracting companies such as IBM and Intel, who are beginning to realise the potential of a town that has long suffered from underinvestment. It is hoped that the new status will also protect the town from unsympathetic development.

Source: Sib.fm

Sochi 2014 Olympic torch unveiled

15 January 2013
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Photograph: RIA Novosti

Russia's Olympic Committee unveiled the silver torch to be used for the relay leading up to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. The 95-cm torch is made of chrome and shaped like a feather to represent the Firebird, a mythical creature from Slavic folklore that is said to bring good fortune. The torch has been designed to protect the flame from harsh weather conditions including strong winds and heavy snow. Each of the 14,000 torchbearers on the 65,000km route will have their own torch in what is set to be the longest relay in Olympic history. The relay begins in October.