March 10 , 2003

U-M launches St. Petersburg tricentennial celebration

ANN ARBOR, Mich-"Celebrating St. Petersburg: 300 Years of Cultural Brilliance" is a unique festival at the University of Michigan that will mark the tricentennial of this most splendid and cosmopolitan of Russia's cities. From March through December, the celebration will showcase an exclusive exhibition of art from the State Hermitage Museum, Russian cultural performances, public lectures and educational opportunities.

Launch event: Projecting Petersburg
The celebration kicks off March 8 with an international symposium, "Projecting Petersburg," that will bring together Valery Gergiev, the artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre, architect Eric Owen Moss and additional scholars and architects, for a daylong examination of bold plans to employ architecture as a catalyst to revive the city's historic center.
The symposium will occur 1-5 pm Saturday, March 8, in Hale Auditorium of the U-M Business School, 701 Tappan, Ann Arbor.

The Romanovs Collect: European Art from the Hermitage
"The Romanovs Collect: European Art from the Hermitage," an exhibition of 140 exceptional works of fine and decorative arts from the collections of the world-famous State Hermitage Museum, will be presented by the University of Michigan Museum of Art Sept. 21- Nov. 23. Ann Arbor will be the exclusive venue for the exhibition.

The works have been selected to provide an unprecedented window into the world of the Romanov tsars and their passion for collecting all things European. An opulent array of 18th- and 19th-century French paintings, Dutch drawings, furniture, Meissen and Sèvres porcelains, Aubusson tapestries and much more traces the evolution of taste and collecting by the Romanov dynasty from Peter the Great to its violent end in 1917.

Tickets for the exhibition go on sale July 1.
The exhibition is made possible by Ford Motor Co., which marks its Centennial in 2003.

Performing Arts: University Musical Society
An entire series of music, dance and theater drawing on the rich legacy of the performing arts of St. Petersburg will be presented throughout the festival by the University Musical Society. Featured performances include the Kirov Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, Edward Villella's Miami City Ballet, Pushkin's "Boris Godunov," violinist Vadim Repin, the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, the St. Petersburg State Academic Capella Choir and the St. Petersburg String Quartet.

Tickets for the UMS St. Petersburg series will go on sale later this spring.

Scholarly and public education programs
The U-M's Center for Russian and East European Studies has assembled an array of opportunities to explore the cultural and political history of Russia. Among the events will be a second major public symposium, "From the Mariinsky to Manhattan: George Balanchine and the Transformation of American Dance."

In addition, University students will have an opportunity to participate in a College of Literature, Science, and the Arts Theme Semester with numerous courses on St. Petersburg and Russian art, history, film, literature and politics. The University Library will draw on its collections to present "St. Petersburg: Window on the West/Window on the East," an exhibit in the Special Collections Library. The Department of Theatre and Drama in the U-M School of Music will present Ostrovsky's "The Diary of a Scoundrel" and Nagle Jackson's "The Quick Change Room." The Dance Department will feature choreography to music by St. Petersburg composers during its annual Power Center concert.

For a complete event listing for Celebrating St. Petersburg: 300 Years of Cultural Brilliance, visit
The Celebrating St. Petersburg Festival is made possible in part by the University of Michigan's office of the provost and office of the vice president for communications.

Links: U-M Theatre and Drama
U-M Museum of Art
University Library's Special Collections
University Musical Society

Contact: Joanne Nesbit
Phone: (734) 647-4418


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