24 January 2021
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Russian Embassy online concert ‘Loving Russia’



1) Johann Sebastian Bach – Charles Gounod «Ave Maria»

Nina Mishchenko – harp, Maria Veretenina – coloratura soprano


2) Vincenzo Bellini Cavatina of Norma «Casta Diva» from the opera «Norma»

Nina Mishchenko – harp, Maria Veretenina – coloratura soprano


3) Mikhail Glinka – «Nocturne»

Nina Mishchenko – harp, Maria Veretenina – coloratura soprano


  4) William Walton – «Five Bagatelles»                                                                                                            

    II. Lento

    III. Alla Cubana Con Slancio

    IV. Con Slancio

Alex Hart – Guitar


5) Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (arr. Pletnev) – «Nutcracker Suite»                                                                      

    I. Andante Maestoso

    II. Intermezzo

Yulia Chaplina – Piano


6) Sergei Rachmaninov – «Prelude in G minor, no. 12, op. 33»                                                                     

Yulia Chaplina – Piano


7) Frank Bridge – «Cello Sonata»                                                                                                                   

    I. Allegro ben moderato

Robbie Stanley Smith – Cello) & Thomas Kelly – Piano


8) Sergei Rachmaninov – «Etudes-Tableaux»                                                                                                

    I. no. 7 op. 33

    II. no. 8 op. 33

    III. no. 9 op. 39

Victor Maslov – Piano


9) Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – «Valse Scherzo Op. 34»                                                                                   

Aleem Kandour – Violin & Victor Maslov – Piano




Nina Mishchenko



Nina Mishchenko was born in Moscow, Russia. After completing the Children's Music School of the Academic Music College of the Moscow State P.I.Tchaikovsky Conservatory (harp class) she entered in the Gnessin State Musical College (harp class), which she graduated with a diploma of the highest level. Then she joined the orchestra faculty (harp class) at the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music. After graduating from the Academy she has undertaken a two-year postgraduate course "Teacher of high music school" at the Moscow State P.I.Tchaikovsky Conservatory.


Apart from her music career, Nina graduated from the faculty of International Relations of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also she graduated from the faculty of Foreign Languages of the University of Russian Academy of Education and completed a two-year professional retraining course at the faculty of Psychology at the Lomonosov Moscow State University (speciality - psycho diagnostics and psychological counselling). Candidate of pedagogical sciences.


Nina performed in orchestras and ensembles at the Kremlin Palace Concert Hall, Moscow International House of Music, Moscow Crocus City Hall and others. She is a member of the Russian Harp Society and the World Harp Congress. She is a Third Secretary of the Russian Embassy in London.


Maria Veretenina

Coloratura soprano


Maria Veretenina is a famous 5-octave Eastern European coloratura soprano born in Estonia, Tallinn into the Polish/Lithuanian Pierzchala noble family; having lived in the UK for the past 12 years. One of Maria’s most prestigious teachers was the opera singer Montserrat Caballé and famous bass Jaako Ryhannen, who was also instrumental in launching her career, believing that Maria would become a world-renowned dramatic- coloratura soprano. 


Maria Veretenina made her debut on the big stage in 2011 at the Finnish National Opera with the famous bass Matti Salminen. In 2019, Maria gave a sold-out solo concert at the Mariinsky Theatre’s new stage in the main Concert Hall in St Petersburg and two concerts at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow which was broadcast live on Russian television. Maria has sung in front of HRH The Prince of Wales and his family, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill.


In 2009-2010, she studied at the National Academy of Music, Santa Cecilia in Rome. Maria continued her professional music education at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, graduating with honour with a Master’s degree.  Maria undertook practical training at the Vadstena Academy in Sweden, where she appeared as a soloist in Handel’s oratorio Saul, which was also recorded for the Swedish radio and TV and received accolades in the Swedish press and in the Opera Magazine.


Maria has taken part in numerous international competitions and has won many awards. In November 2014, Maria became the Grand Prix winner of the London Song Festival at the Royal College of Music.


Yulia Chaplina



Born in Rostov-on-Don (Russia), London-based Yulia gave her debut performance aged 7, performing Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in F minor with the Rostov State Symphony Orchestra. Since then, she has performed extensively in Europe and Asia.

Described by International Piano Magazine as ‘quintessentially Russian’ and ‘with technical fluency and rich tonal shading reminiscent of the great Communist era artists such as Emil Gilels’, Yulia is the winner of 7 international piano competitions. Since winning the First Prize & the Gold Medal in the prestigious Tchaikovsky International Competition for Young Musicians, she has performed regularly as a soloist in many of the world's finest venues, including the Wigmore Hall in London, Berlin’s Philharmonie, the Grand Halls of the Moscow Conservatory and the St. Petersburg Philharmonia, Bunka Kaikan Hall in Tokyo and many other prestigious concert halls.


Yulia’s solo CD of Russian Music, recorded by Champs Hill Records, was described by the American Record Guide  as "....an outstanding disc and one I’ll return to often", adding that "Russian born and trained Yulia Chaplina brings to her playing more than a lifetime of acquaintance with this music."


Yulia holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Arts (Berlin), Masters in Music & Fellowship from the RCM (London). Yulia received music coaching from Mstislav Rostropovitch, Andras Schiff, Mitsuko Uchida and Paul Badura-Skoda. 


Alex Hart



British Guitarist Alexander Hart is alumni of the Royal college of music and Currently at The Royal academy of music under Michael Lewin and Grammy award winning guitarist David Russel. A finalist of a growing number of international music competitions including London international Guitar Competition, Lithuania international guitar competition and holder of the Manual Barruecco Prize at the Koblenz international guitar festival. 


His beginnings were not classical, focused on blues and jazz on steel string guitar which he now brings into his performance through arrangements of minimalist music and improvisation. 


Alexander has recently been recorded on bbc radio performing Federic Haas’s rare and beautiful guitar quartet and reviewed in the Times. 

Alex is also a founding member of the The London Mandolin Quartet, the only of its kind in the country, which premiered their new Handle and friends Programme at the Handle Hendrix House in Oxford Street. 


His new concert programme is built around the celebrated British lutenist Robert Johnson, his own arrangements of Bach and 20th century British music. 


He performs regularly with Soprano Alex Sesenton with global music company Sofar Sounds as some of their first classical artists as well as touring southern spain last year with a new Spanish programme. The duo are also undertaking projects featuring Purcell for steel string and Soprano as well as arrangements of Elizabethan music.


Robbie Stanley-Smith



Robbie Stanley-Smith began learning the cello at the age of three with Penny Heath and the Suzuki method. With Helen Verney in Kingston he subsequently achieved distinctions at dipABRSM and LRSM level and entered the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. In 2009 he was soloist in Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations with Kingston Chamber Orchestra, and returned to perform the Schumann concerto with the orchestra in 2012. Between 2009 and 2013 he studied Spanish and Latin at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he performed the Walton, Dvořák and Elgar concertos. A keen chamber musician, has performed at the Leeds and RNCM chamber music festivals and at Wigmore Hall with Pro Corda, with whom he is now Leverhulme Fellow for 2019-2020. Last year he completed a Master’s of Performance under Richard Lester and Melissa Phelps at the Royal College of Music, where he won the 2018 Cello Prize and was generously supported by the H R Taylor Trust. Robbie loves teaching cello and languages, and arranging for cello ensemble. He lives in Camberwell and teaches mainly at Suzuki Hub in Hoxton.


Thomas Kelly



Thomas Kelly was born on 5 November 1998. He passed Grade 8 with Distinction in 2006, and performed Mozart Concerto No.24 in the Marlowe Theater two years later. After moving to Cheshire, he regularly played in festivals, winning prizes including in Birmingham Festival, 3rd prize in Young Pianist of The North 2012, and 1st prize in WACIDOM 2014. Since 2015, Thomas has been studying with Andrew Ball, initially at the Purcell School of Music and now at Royal College of Music where he is in third-year undergraduate. Thomas has won first prizes including Pianale International Piano Competition 2017, Kharkiv Assemblies 2018, at Lucca Virtuoso e Bel Canto festival 2018, RCM Joan Chissell Schumann competition 2019, Kendall Taylor Beethoven competition 2019 and BPSE Intercollegiate Beethoven competition 2019. In addition, he has performed in a variety of venues, including the Wigmore Hall, the Cadogan Hall, Holy Trinity Sloane Square, St James’ Piccadilly, Oxford Town Hall, St Mary's Perivale, St Paul's Bedford, the Poole Lighthouse Arts Centre, the Stoller Hall, at Paris Conservatoire, the StreingreaberHaus in Bayreuth, the Teatro Del Sale in Florence, and in Vilnius and Palanga. Thomas' studies at RCM are generously supported by Ms Daunt and Ms Stevenson, Pat Kendall Taylor and C. Bechstein pianos.


Victor Maslov



Russian pianist Victor Maslov was praised as “one of those people who is close to all-round mastery of his repertoire” by the New York Concert Review, following his performance at Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall), New York in 2010. Victor is currently studying at the Royal College of Music, London, with Prof. Dmitri Alexeev and Prof. Vanessa Latarche as a Ruth West Scholar. In 2017 he became an Eileen Rowe Musical Trust Award Holder. Victor began his studies at the Gnessin Moscow Special School of Music, where he was taught by his mother Olga Maslova. He later became a scholar of the Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation and has received masterclasses from Dmitry Bashkirov for several years.

Victor has been a prize winner in several international competitions, including First Prize at the Nikolai Rubinstein International Piano Competition (Paris 2004), Musicale dell’Adriatico (Ancona 2007), Overall Prize Winner of the 47th Concertino Praga International Radio Competition for Young Musicians (2013), Two times winner of Concerto Competition (Royal College of Music, 2015, 2018), and the First prize winner at the 2nd International Rachmaninoff Piano Competition (Moscow 2020).


Additional prizes include Fourth Prize at the Vladimir Horowitz International Competition for Young Pianists (Kiev 2012), Second Prize at the Astana Piano Passion (Astana 2015), Second prize at Joan Chissell Schumann Prize (London 2019) and Third prize at the 6th Umanitaria Societa Competition (Milan 2019).

He gave his concerto debut at the age of nine with the State Symphony Orchestra of Moscow and has since performed with orchestras such as RCM Symphony, RCM Philharmonic, Symphonic Orchestra of Czech Radio, City of Cambridge Symphonic Orchestra, Astana Opera Symphonic Orchestra, Kostroma Symphonic Orchestra, Penza State Symphonic Orchestra, State Orchestra “New Russia”. Victor has given solo performances at international music festivals across the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Turkey, Switzerland, Russia, Israel, and the USA. Venues have included Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Weil Recital hall at Carnegie Hall, Elgar Room at the Royal Albert Hall, Cadogan Hall, Great Hall of Moscow Conservatoire, Smetana Hall and Rudolfinum. 


Aleem Kandour



Russian born British violinist Aleem Kandour has performed at venues such as Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall and Buckingham Palace and with orchestras such as the European Chamber Orchestra and Prague Philharmonia. He has recently graduated the Royal College of Music with a distinction for his postgraduate studies as a Derek Butler Scholar of Ms Deborah Bacon and Trustees scholar. He’s also been awarded several prizes such as the Boconnoc Chamber Music Award and the first prizes in the Mozart Junior Competition.


In December 2019, Aleem debuted in Maxim Vengerov’s 45th Jubilee concert at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall (Bolshoi Zal). In January in the same year Aleem performed under Maxim Vengerov’s baton as the soloist in the Sibelius Violin Concerto masterclass at the Royal College of music, accompanied by the Royal College of Music philharmonic. In summer 2018, Aleem played second violinist to Vasko Vassilev for TriOperas, a celebration of women’s suffrage, Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. Aleem represented the United Kingdom at the Peace Concert of Hiroshima organised by the UN in April 2013 as well as performing in several other countries such as France, Italy, Spain, China and Sweden. He has also appeared on broadcasts such as Mezzo and Medici.



Christmas Concert 2020

We hope you enjoy our festive concert of classical music with performances by Nadey Hakim (clarinet), Aleem Kandur (violin), Victor Maslov (piano) and Nina Mishchenko (harp). Your hosts for the evening will be Anastasia and Ilya Erofeev.


Ambassador Andrei Kelin’s address on the occasion of installing the memorial to the Soviet pilots in Errol, Scotland

Dear friends! Today, on 11th November, Remembrance Day, the memorial to the Soviet pilots has been installed in Errol, Scotland, also commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II. I would like to say a few words about that episode of the war. The Soviet Union desperately needed airplanes, and in 1943, in the heat of the bloody battles, the British Government passed over a number of twin-engine Albemarle bombers. To perform the secret task of transporting them, a group of pilots from the Moscow special air group have come to the airbase in Errol in 1943 where they joined the RAF 305 Squadron, formed to prepare Soviet aircrew.


Ambassador Andrei Kelin's message of congratulations on the occasion of the 175th Anniversary of the St Mary and St Nicholas Church in Wilton

Dear Rector Wood, Dear congregation, On behalf of myself and everyone at the Russian Embassy in London please accept our most sincere congratulations on the occasion of the 175th Anniversary of the St Mary and St Nicholas Church in Wilton. On this momentous day it is an honourable pleasure to remember that our Russian compatriots have played a decisive role in building the Church, as it was done upon the initiative of Catherine Woronzow, Countess of Pembroke. It is a vivid demonstration of how powerful we can be when we join the efforts of all the faithful and those compassionate toward the present and the future of the church.


Ambassador Andrei Kelin’s on The Agenda with Stephen Cole at CGTN, 08.08.2020

Ambassador Andrei Kelin gave an interview to Stephen Cole on CGTN Europe's "TheAgenda".


Ambassador Andrei Kelin's interview with ITV News, 21 July 2020

Ambassador Andrei Kelin gave an interview to ITV News, speaking on the release of the Russia Report and the current state and prospects of Russia-UK relations.


Ambassador Andrei Kelin's interview with Sky News, 21 July 2020

Q: Thank you Mr Ambassador for speaking to us today. My first question is have you seen the report today, have you read it, what do you think? A: Yes, of course, I’ve seen it and and I have read it this morning. My first impression is that the Shakespeare’s phrase is very much applicable to it: much ado about nothing. The report is called “Russia”. But if you put the name of any other country, it will be the same, because this report is not about Russia. It is about the relationship between different intelligence agencies inside the UK.


Ambassador Andrei Kelin's interview to Andrew Marr on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC

Ambassador Andrei Kelin gave an interview to Andrew Marr on his BBC programme The Andrew Marr Show


Ambassador Andrei Kelin's interview to RT Arabic

Russian Ambassador to UK Andrei Kelin gave an interview to RT Arabic programme Newsmaker, speaking on current state and prospects of Russi-UK relations, as well as Russia's view on topical issues of the international agenda.


Concert at the Russian Embassy in London on the Day of Family, Love and Faithfulness

Concert at the Russian Embassy in London dedicated to the Day of Family, Love and Faithfulness, 8 July 2020.


British veterans of the Arctic Convoys awarded with Russian commemorative medal '75 years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945'

This year, to mark the 75th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War, British veterans of the Arctic Convoys have been awarded with Russian commemorative medal '75 years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945'. We will allways be grateful to you for your contribution to our common victory against Nazi Germany and we shall never forget those who sacrificed their lives for today's peaceful sky. Thank you!

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