Thursday 14 November 2013

The British Council and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs today announced that 2014 will see the biggest ever programme of UK cultural projects take place across Russia and an unprecedented showcase of Russian culture in the United Kingdom. Celebrations will run throughout the whole year, starting in January and finishing in December, officially launching in April with an exhibition, The Golden Age of the Russian Avant-Garde at Moscow Museum and Exhibition Association Manege, curated by British film director Peter Greenaway. UK-Russia Year of Culture will culminate with an exhibition at the Science Museum London about Russian space exploration, which will include extremely rare artefacts that have never before been seen outside Russia.

The UK-Russia Year of Culture will celebrate the rich and diverse cultural heritage of both countries. It aims to foster cultural exchange and the flow of ideas whilst developing stronger relations between people, institutions and governments. The scale of the programme across arts, education, language and science is indicative of a huge improvement in cultural relations.

The British Council will programme the UK events in Russia, which will also include Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style at Moscow Multimedia Art Museum, Dressing the Screen, the first ever exhibition of fashion film to be held there, Challenging Boundaries: Breakthroughs in British Art a major retrospective of Young British Artists at the Ekaterina Foundation and a celebration of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday at the Chekhov International Festival. The Russian Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs will lead on the programme for the UK, which will include an exhibition of Malevich works at the Tate Modern as well as performances by The Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Musical Academic Theatre, The Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra and Sretensky Monastery Choir.

The British Council is also pleased to announce BP as the first UK Founder Sponsor of the Year of Culture. BP are long-standing supporters of arts and culture in Russia, with a ten year partnership with the Mariinsky, who will be presenting extensive programmes in the UK and Russia as part of the Year of Culture.

Highlights of UK-Russia Year of Culture in Russia will include:

Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style at Moscow Multimedia Art Museum

The Barbican’s unique exhibition showcasing the inside story of the design and style of the world’s most iconic movie brand will reach Moscow in June, accompanied by an exciting education programme of design and fashion workshops, film screenings and more. The Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style exhibition is a collaboration between the Barbican and EON Productions.

Challenging Boundaries: Breakthroughs in British Art, 1988-1998 at the Ekaterina Foundation

In September 2014 the Ekaterina Foundation will host the first major retrospective of the YBA movement in Russia. Focussing on early works by Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sam Taylor-Wood, Sarah Lucas, Michael Landy and many others, it will be accompanied by a series of talks by artists and curators.

Akram Khan’s iTMOi

Akram Khan’s latest work iTMOi (In the Mind of Igor) marks the hundredth anniversary of Stravinsky’s ground-breaking ballet The Rite of Spring. Inspired by the Russian composer’s life and work, the piece will tour Russia in 2014. 

British Theatre Seasons by UK theatres

The theatre programme organised by Chekhov International Festival and supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation includes performances by six British theatres: the Royal Shakespeare Company, Scottish Ballet, Gecko, the Sadler's Wells Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe, and the Young Vic Theatre. As part of the programme Moscow will hold workshops and master classes for young directors from Russia, CIS and the UK. British Theatre Seasons will tour the Globe’s A Midsummer Night's Dream to Russian cities.

Dressing the Screen

Russia’s first ever exhibition of fashion film, Dressing the Screen: The Rise of Fashion Film, will bring together work by some of the world’s most famous and innovative fashion designers and film-makers from the last 75 years.Featured designers and filmmakers will include SHOWstudio’s Nick Knight and Ruth Hogben, Alexander McQueen, Tim Walker, Rifat Ozbek, Vivienne Westwood, Ossie Clark, Hussain Chalayan, Gareth Pugh, Henry Holland and Burberry.

Northern Ireland Opera - The Turn of the Screw, Novaya Opera

The critically acclaimed 2012 production by Northern Ireland Opera, directed by Oliver Mears, will be performed at Novaya Opera, Moscow.  This performance of Benjamin Britten’s chilling opera is part of the legacy of the extensive Britten centenary celebrations in Russia in 2013. 

National English Language Olympiad

The English Language Olympiad, a competition designed and implemented by the British Council, will be open to all secondary school students in partnership with educational authorities across the Russian Federation.

London Philharmonic Orchestra - Britten’s War Requiem, Rostropovich Festival

The London Philharmonic Orchestra will close the 2014 Rostropovich Festivalwith a performance of Britten’s War Requiem, originally composed for Galina Vishnevskaya and marking a homecoming for LPO conductor Vladimir Jurowski

Hitchcock 9, Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design

Screenings of Alfred Hitchcock’s early silent works, restored as part of a landmark restoration programme by the BFI (British Film Institute) and backed by live music.

The Golden Age of Russian Avant-Garde, Museum and Exhibition Association
The Year of Culture will open withThe Golden Age of the Russian Avant-garde, an exhibition curated by Peter Greenaway (Great Britain) and Saskia Boddeke (Holland) that will animate more than 400 masterpieces of Russian avant-garde from the collections of the Russian Museum, Tretyakov Gallery, Schusev Architectural Museum, Bakhrushin Theatre Museum and rarely seen works from private collections. The video installation designed by Peter Greenaway will return to London later in the year.

Researcher Links

Researcher Links is a global British Council science programme that provides a forum for researchers from the UK and other countries to explore opportunities for collaboration. In 2014, 40 researchers from the UK and Russia will act as mentors to young scientists in a series of workshops across Russia. 

Exhibition of Wedgwood Pottery, All-Russian Museum of the Applied and Folk Arts

This exhibition will showcase Josiah Wedgwood’s world famous works from the collection of the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Liverpool, supplemented by Wedgwood pieces from Russian museums including the Hermitage. The exhibition will feature jasperware, furniture and paintings and will be supported by an extensive educational programme.

Highlights of UK-Russia Year of Culture in Britain will include:

Russia’s Space Quest (working title),Science Museum

An exhibition at the Science Museum London in Autumn 2014 will tell the story of Russian space exploration and feature rare artefacts that have never before been seen outside Russia. The exhibition has been developed in collaboration with the Moscow State Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics and the Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos.

Russian Philharmonic Orchestra concert conducted by Dmitri Yurovsky, Royal Festival Hall

Moscow’s first symphony Orchestra was founded by the Moscow City Government in 2000 and they will perform at the Royal Festival Hall in January with a subsequent date planned in Oxford. Dmitri Yurovsky is Chief Conductor of the Moscow City and the concert is supported by the Moscow City Department of Culture.

Kazimir Malevich, Tate Modern

Kazimir Malevich was a deeply radical and influential figure in modern art, who lived and worked through one of the most turbulent moments in 20th century history. This groundbreaking exhibition, the first major Malevich retrospective for almost 25 years, will offer an expansive view of his career in its entirety. The exhibition is based on the historic collaboration of the Stedelijk Museum, the Khardzhiev Foundation and the Costakis Collection, with key loans from public and private collections around the world, including the State Russian Museum and State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, MoMA in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Organised by Tate Modern in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn. Sponsored by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the Amsterdam Trade Bank.

Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra concert conducted by Vladimir Fedoseyev

Founded in 1930 theTchaikovsky Symphony is Russia’s oldest symphony orchestra and is considered one of the best in the world. Since 1974 Vladimir Fedoseyev has been its irreplaceable artistic director and chief conductor of the orchestra, which has toured to Europe, Japan, USA and Australia.

Russian Maslenitsa Festival in Trafalgar Square, London

A traditional Russian celebration of spring in London supported by Moscow City Department of Culture, featuring music, dancing and buttermilk pancakes.

The Stanislavsky and Nemirovich Danchenko Moscow Musical Academic Theatre
The Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Musical Academic Theatre, named after two of theatres’ greatest innovators, is one of Russia’s leading theatres with more than 90 years of history. The performances are supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and British partners.

Days of Saint Petersburg, Scotland

Days of Saint Petersburg will celebrate authors including Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov with readings, exhibitions and performances. Organisers include the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Scottish Ministry of Culture, Renfrewshire Council and the Scotland-Russia Forum.

Sretensky Monastery Choir Kensington Palace, London
Sretensky Monastery was founded in Moscow in 1397 and the Choir has been in existence for more than 600 years. Supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Russian Orthodox Church, the concert will feature both spiritual music and traditional Russian songs.

International Chekhov Festival, Edinburgh and London

There will be several performances throughout the year including the Russian-British collaboration War, based on the play by young Russian playwright Yuriy Klavdiev and directed by Vladimir Pankov.

Olga Golodets, the Deputy Prime Minister for Social Affairs of the Russian Federation, said:

“Today, we are hugely pleased to announce that 2014 will be the Russia-UK Year of Culture. More than 250 events in the sphere of culture, science, education and sports, which will be held both in Russia and the UK, will undoubtedly attract the attention of many people, including youth. It will serve the cause of better mutual understanding between our peoples, will lay a solid foundation for long-term cooperation in the future in various areas.”

The Rt Hon. the Baroness D’Souza CMG, Lord Speaker, said: "I am delighted to announce the start of this new initiative. The UK's cultural and educational relationship with Russia matters enormously and the UK-Russia Year of Culture will create new links between people, institutions and businesses in both our countries. Russia and the UK are renowned for their cultural and creative contribution to the world so it is right that we come together to celebrate our grand traditions in 2014 whilst initiating new collaborations for the future."

Notes to Editor

 For more information about the British Council contact:

Alex Bratt, Senior Press Officer, 07798840876 / 02073894872

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide. We work in more than 100 countries and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every yearteaching English, sharing the Arts and in education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A publically-funded grant-in-aid provides less than a quarter of our turnover which last year was £781m.  The rest we earn from English teaching, UK exams and services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with other institutions, brands and companies.  All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and creates prosperity and security for the UK and the countries we work in all around the world.

For more information, please visit: You can also keep in touch with the British Council through and

About the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) is a federal executive body responsible for drafting and implementing government policy and legal regulation in the field of foreign relations of the Russian Federation. The President of the Russian Federation oversees the activity of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For more information please visit:

About BP

BP is a major supporter of UK arts with a programme that spans over 35 years. Eighteen months ago BP announced its investment of almost £10 million in extending its long term partnerships with the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House, and Tate Britain over the next five years. Taken together, these agreements represent one of the most significant long-term corporate investments in UK arts and culture. BP’s commitment to Russia goes beyond the development of oil and gas reserves. In line with its global practice BP views corporate social responsibility as an integral part of its business in Russia. BP’s overall support of the local social, cultural, educational and charity projects has been one of the largest among foreign companies operating in Russia.