The interest in Russian culture in Spain remains unabated, as evidenced by the popularity of the Museo Ruso, or Russian Art Museum, in Malaga. The museum occupies a significant portion of the former tobacco factory and has been one of the most popular museums on the Costa del Sol since Malaga reinvented itself as a cultural destination. Tourists and locals alike have been frequenting the city’s numerous museums and art galleries, and the Russian Art Museum in Malaga has been no
The museum has had ample opportunities to showcase Russian masterpieces from the Russian State Museum in St. Petersburg before they were returned to Russia. It briefly showcased Picasso works before a British collector, Jenny Green, brought her impressive private Russian art collection to the museum. This collection includes works of Aivazovsky, Repin, Serov, Kandinsky, Venetsianov, Serebiriakova, Larionov, Benois, Bakst, Ivanov, Goncharova, and other artists. Once again, the museum opened its doors to Russian art aficionados who had the opportunity to see this collection, as well as
“Sputnik, The Odyssey of the Soyuz 2.”
In the past, the Museo Ruso hosted various musical concerts, and after a short hiatus, this tradition has been revived again with none other than the internationally renowned concert pianist Grigory Sokolov. Trained in the traditional style of the Russian pianistic school, Sokolov has gained worldwide recognition among piano lovers and beyond. His somewhat mysterious and sometimes pensive interpretations of Baroque music, as well as flawless and soulful interpretations of Chopin and Mozart, have won the hearts of audiences all over the world. This time, a mix of Spanish and international
fans in the audience attended his recent concert at the Museo Ruso. The artist received a standing ovation and was asked for an encore performance five times after the concert. For the encore, Sokolov played Chopin’s Preludes and Mazurkas and Rameau’s “Tambourin.”
The first part of the concert included works by Purcell, and after an intermission during which patrons were treated to Spanish wines and tapas in the courtyard, the artist proceeded to play Mozart’s Sonata in B flat major and Adagio in B minor. Sokolov’s interpretations of even familiar piano works make audiences appreciate his deep spiritual connection to the music he plays, often seemingly unaware of the audience and in his own mystical world.
The Spanish and international Russian art lovers who attended the concert and those who continue to support the museum by attending its current exhibitions demonstrate that music and art are truly without borders and belong to humankind. As Jose Maria Luna, the Museo Ruso’s director, recently noted, “canceling Russian culture doesn’t solve anything.” He added that “we will continue to work with culture as a bridge between people.” It gives us all hope.