Best Cultural Event

Winner
Chekhov!

The 12th Chekhov Festival opened with Parisian troupe Des Bouffes Du Nord's production of "Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme" by Moliere that packed the house four nights in a row. It ended with a farewell performance by famous French ballerina Sylvie Guillem, who announced the end of her dance career in the spring. The French presence at the Chekhov Festival was particularly strong this year. Suffice it to mention one more sold-out performance: "Red Tobacco" by James Thierree, a grandson of Charlie Chaplin and founder, director, choreographer and principal actor of La Compagnie du Hanneton, which combines theater with circus and ballet. On the ballet program were the German company Deutsche Oper am Rhein staging the plotless "7" to the music of Mahler's Seventh Symphony and Ballett Nurnberg with "Cinderella" to the music of Sergei Prokofiev.

Tchaikovsky Competition

The main achievement of the 15th Tchaikovsky Competition, which took place this summer, were the beautifully orchestrated webcasts on medici.tv. Thanks to them, more than 10 million people around the world watched the competition along with the jury and public in Moscow and discovered new stars, such as the winner of the piano competition Dmitry Masleyev from Ulan-Ude, Romanian cellist Andrei Ionita, mezzo-soprano Julia Matochkina from St. Petersburg and Mongolian baritone Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar. But the main sensation of the Tchaikovsky Competition was audience favorite French pianist Lucas Debargue, a writer and composer, who had chosen piano as his profession not at all long ago. He received the fourth prize, not reaching the final round, but the Moscow Association of Music Critics awarded its prize to him, which means that Debargue will give a solo concert at the House of Music in December of this year, and Pushkin Museum director Irina Antonova invited him to the museum’s "December Evenings."

Cosmoscow

The third annual modern art fair took the place of Art-Moscow, which ceased three years ago. However, Art-Moscow focused on high prices and celebrities, while Cosmoscow relies on young artists, and also organizes non-profit programs and a charity auction to benefit Natalia Vodyanova’s Naked Heart philanthropic fund. Thirty-four galleries from Moscow, St. Petersburg and the West participated in the event. The organizers’ intention was good art at affordable prices (from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand dollars for a work).

Archive M Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe Retrospective

This summer, an exhibition of the collages, video art, diaries, posters and costumes of one of the most prominent Russian artists of the 1990s occupied the premises of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art on Gogolevsky Boulevard, including the courtyard and storage rooms. Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe died in Bali in 2013. The curators of this posthumous exhibition were Elena Selina and Antonio Geusa, who dedicated an enormous effort to it. They tried to assemble not only all of Mamyshev-Monroe's work, but all surviving – physically and digitally – drafts and preparatory materials for his projects, arranged in chronological order and with commentary. Most of Mamyshev-Monroe’s texts presented at the MMMA were unpublished. They revealed that the artist had as fine a command of the word as he did of images. The exhibition allowed critics and the Moscow public to rethink the legacy Mamyshev-Monroe and reassess the scale of his artistic talent.

Lexus Hybrid Art

The theme of this year’s sixth annual exhibition, held in the Rossiya Cinema, was "Creating Senses.” The dark auditorium was turned into a mysterious amusement park in the spirit of David Lynch. The biggest successes of the exhibition, according to critics, were the video installations of American veteran videographers Bill Viola, Gary Hill and Julio Le Parc. Their works were created specially for the Moscow exhibition. The audience waited patiently in long lines to take part in pleasantly shocking performances of Russian and Western artists (such as Liza Morozova’s "Being Left-Handed Together" and Annika Kars’s "Two Playing at One"). Actors dressed as hotel pages helped the public get into the spirit of the goings-on by tenderly whispering into their ears advice on how to behave with hybrid art.

The Books of Russia Festival

For the first time in many decades, trading stalls returned to Red Square. In late June, the square was filled with stands from leading publishers of literary fiction, non-fiction and children's books. A library was built at the festival with brightly colored armchairs, and for children there was a Hobbiteka – a rest spot with mats laid out directly on the cobblestones. During the festival, authors such as Alexander Arkhangelsky, Pavel Basinsky and Vladimir Pozner gave lectures on Red Square, and Yury Bashmet and writer Zakhar Prilepin’s group Elephank gave concerts. In three days, at least 100,000 people attended the first-ever book festival on Red Square.