President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko opens the festival
The Opening Ceremony concert
Nadezhda Babkina
Grand Prix winners and chairpersons of the contest jury
Participants of the children contest
Youth Day
Leonid Ptashka's jazz marathon
From “Dubrovsky” musical
Blue band
Zadvinie market

In 2014, the “Year of Hospitality” in Belarus, the 23rd International Festival of Arts “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk” welcomed the representatives of 30 countries: Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Georgia, Great Britain, Italy, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Ukraine, the USA, Uzbekistan.

The international forum of arts was officially scheduled from July 10 to July 14, 2014. However, by tradition the festival events started two days before the official Opening Ceremony. The closing festival concert also took place two days after the Closing Ceremony of the international forum of arts.

Over 9 festival days 14 concert venues of Vitebsk hosted about 90 events. The main festival venue - the Summer Amphitheatre - hosted 19 concerts, including 4 night shows.

The first concert “Parade of Smiles” featuring the Russian pop stars and long-time friends of the festival Klara Novikova, Sergei Drobotenko, Alexander and Valery Ponomarenko, Efim Shifrin, and Andrey Barinov, the Grand Prix winner of the International Festival of Humor and Parodies “Big Difference”, gave the audience sunny mood and positive festival emotions. The concerts on July 8 were followed by “Turetsky Choir” art group with a new program “Men Look at Love” in the Summer Amphitheatre.

One of the main events of the Festival of Arts - the International Children Music Contest “Vitebsk” - began on July 9, Wednesday, at 12.00. In 2014, contest was held for the twelfth time.

The participants of the contest program first met at the drawing lots ceremony, held for several years in the Soviet Army Cultural and Recreation Complex. The picturesque park on the bank of the Western Dvina River became a harbor for the young contestants, where they started their musical voyage in search of the main treasure – the Grand Prix of the 12th International Children Music Contest “Vitebsk-2014”.

21 participants from 18 countries were competing for the prestigious award: Mika (Armenia), Zinaida Kupriyanovich and Milana Redchenko (Belarus), Gabi (Bulgaria), Masha Chochkalo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Nastja Kiel (Germany), Lizi Shavgulidze (Georgia), Keren Fishel (Israel), Giuseppe Lorusso (Italy), Nurzhan Zhumagali (Kazakhstan), Katrina-Paula Diringa (Latvia), Saule (Lithuania), Mina (Macedonia), Victoria Tracz (Poland), Karima and Maria Yermolayeva (Russia), Ina (Serbia), Elizaveta Yagudayeva (Uzbekistan) Anastasia Baginskaya and Andrey Boyko (Ukraine), Bruno (Croatia).

The International Jury was headed by the Honored Artist of Belarus, singer Irina Dorofeeva (Belarus). Other jury members included the III Prize winner of the 17th International Pop Song Performers Contest “Vitebsk-2008” Plamen Patov (Bulgaria), People's Artist of Georgia Irma Sokhadze (Georgia), manager and impresario Rafails Balkins (Latvia), Grand Prix Winner of the 22nd International Pop Song Performers Contest “Vitebsk-2013” Michal Kaczmarek (Poland), popular singer Zara (Russia), founder of the Belgrade Chamber Orchestra “Orpheus”, conductor Ivan Markovic (Serbia), popular singer, president of the charitable foundation Natalia Valevskaya (Ukraine).

The results of the two contest days, July 10 and 11 July, in the Concert Hall “Vitebsk”, showed that Grand Prix was awarded to Anastasia Baginskaya (Ukraine), I Prize to Zinaida Kupriyanovich (Belarus), II Prize was equally divided between Lizi Shavgulidze (Georgia) and Andrey Boyko (Ukraine), III Prize went to Mika (Armenia).

The Special Prizes of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Belarus-Russia Union to the “best performer from Belarus” and the “best performer from Russia” were awarded to Milana Redchenko (Belarus) and Maria Yermolayeva (Russia). The Award Ceremony took place at the gala concert of the Closing Ceremony of the 23rd International Festival of Arts “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk”.

The first contest day for the participants of the XII International Children Music Contest “Vitebsk-2014” was on the same day with the Opening Ceremony of the 23rd International Festival of Arts “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk”.

July 10, in the morning, the Walk of Fame in Vitebsk hosted the opening of the star of the People's Artist of Russia Nadezhda Babkina, who became the tenth awardee of the Special Award “Through Art To Peace And Mutual Understanding” of the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko.

On the evening of July 10 the opening of the International Forum of Arts was announced from the stage of the Summer Amphitheatre by the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. In his welcoming speech the President emphasized that the International Festival of Arts “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk” had been developing around the main core - the art of the fraternal peoples of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, and creating bridges of friendship between people. Alexander Lukashenko in his address noted that the unique festival image was largely determined by the inherent warmth and hospitality of the Slavs. The festival is a celebration for those who make life beautiful and better though creativity. “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk” from a simple song contest grew into a real creative Olympics where representatives of different countries and arts demonstrate their achievements.

At the solemn ceremony Alexander Lukashenko announced the winner of the Special Award “Through Art To Peace And Mutual Understanding” Nadezhda Babkina and the laureates of the Union State Prize sculptor Ivan Misko, architecture researcher Inessa Slyunkova, People's Artist of the USSR Vladimir Zeldin, who made a significant contribution to strengthening of mutual understanding and harmony between the peoples.

The welcoming address to the forum and the participants 23rd International Festival of Arts “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk” by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin said that the “International Festival of Arts “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk” helped to implement promising creative ideas and various projects in humanitarian cooperation”.

The Ambassador of Ukraine to Belarus Mikhail Ezhel read out from the stage of the Summer Amphitheatre the festival greetings from the President of Ukraine Petr Poroshenko.

The gala concert of the Opening Ceremony impressed by its variety featuring stars from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Norway and other countries.

The celebration of the commonwealth of cultures and talents closed with the final appearance of all artists on the stage and a premiere song “Slavic soul”, composed by the Merited Artist of Russia Kim Breitburg specifically for the International Festival of Arts “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk”.

Traditionally, “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk” hosted the Union State Day. July 11 was full of events and began with laying flowers at the eternal fire of the Memorial complex to the heroes of the Great Patriotic War. The ceremony was attended by the representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Belarus-Russia Union, public organizations, members of youth organizations. The press conference was followed by a meeting with the laureates of the Union State Prize in literature and art in 2013 – 2014, Belarusian sculptor Ivan Misko, Russian art historian Inessa Slyunkova at the Cinema House. The People’s Artist of the USSR Vladimir Zeldin was awarded the prize on the Day of Belarus and Russia Unity. Inessa Slyunkova and Ivan Misko were granted the award by the President of Belarus during the Opening Ceremony of the 23rd International Festival of Arts “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk”.

The representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Belarus-Russia Union with the Deputy State Secretary of the Union State, member of the Permanent Committee of the Union State Ivan Bambiza visited Ilya Repin Museum-Estate “Zdravnevo”. The museum holdings received seventeen digital copies of works by painters of the 19th-century Russian realist school.

The evening gala concert “The Union State invites ... I love you, life” became a celebration for the festival Vitebsk. The audience and TV viewers were welcomed by the Deputy State Secretary, member of the Permanent Committee of the Union State Ivan Bambiza and deputy of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Belarus-Russia Union, deputy of the State Duma of Russia Yelena Afanasieva, who announced greetings to the festival on behalf of the Chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Belarus-Russia Union, Chairman of the State Duma of Russia Sergei Naryshkin and the State Secretary of the Union State Grigory Rapota.

The concert of masters of arts was devoted to the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Belarus from the Nazi invaders and the forthcoming 70th Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. At the beginning of the program Ivan Bambiza announced the holders of the Special Prize and Diploma of the Permanent Committee of the Union State “For creative embodiment of friendship between the peoples of Belarus and Russia”. In 2014, the awards were granted to the People’s Artist of Russia, artistic director of the State Music Folklore Theatre “Russian Song” Nadezhda Babkina, the Honored Artist of the Republic of Belarus, soloist of the Bolshoi Theatre of Belarus and the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia Oksana Volkova, laureate of awards in art, popular Russian singer Zara and Chairman of the Vitebsk Regional Executive Committee Alexander Kosinets.

The jubilee program “I returned to my native land”, dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of Mark Fradkin, a native of Vitebsk, was presented by the Honored Artist of Belarus Elena Spiridovich and Honored Artist of Russia Sergei Shustitsky as if browsing the book of the Soviet composer’s life, illustrated with our favorite songs. On July 12, many songs were performed on the stage of the Summer Amphitheatre, that was opened by Mark Fradkin 26 years ago. The songs, composed and dedicated to his hometown became a gift to the festival Vitebsk: “I returned to my native land” performed by Nicholai Skorikov and “Stolitsa oblastnaya” performed by the Vitebsk theater of song “Prostory”. The concert program featured representatives of all generations of modern Belarusian and Russian pop stage. The performances were brilliantly accompanied by the Honored National Academic Orchestra of Symphonic and Popular Music of the Republic of Belarus conducted by the People’s Artist of Belarus, Professor Mikhail Finberg.

The 23rd International Pop Song Performers Contest cannot be imagined without the orchestra conducted by Mikhail Finberg too. Over these years the orchestra under his direction has been accompanying the performances of talented young people from different countries who take part in this prestigious singing competition.

The drawing lots ceremony for the participants of the 23rd International Pop Song Performers Contest “Vitebsk-2014” took place on the night of July 10-11. As envisioned by the director of the production team Alexander Vavilov, the first meeting of the contestants and the members of the International Jury took place on a makeshift railway station near the building of the Vitebsk Regional Philharmonic Hall. The numbers for the order of performances were hidden in suitcases, carried by actors, who were impatient to get rid of "heavy" load.

21 representatives from 21 countries entered the competition: Tigranui Shaginian (Armenia), Artur Mikhailov (Belarus), Monica Karagenova (Bulgaria), Lukijan Ivanovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Tatia (Georgia), Diana Golbi (Israel), Daiana (Italy) Marhaba Sabieva (Kazakhstan), Charlotte (Cuba), Emils Balceris (Latvia), Milda (Lithuania), Dimitar Andonovski (Macedonia), Rodrigo de la Cadena (Mexico), Vitalie Negrutsa (Moldova), Zlat (Russia), Ruxandra (Romania), Alexa Perovic (Serbia), Farangiz Shamsieva (Uzbekistan), Veronica Dorosh (Ukraine), Dino (Croatia), Thomas Kolk (Estonia).

The International Jury was headed by the Honored Artist of Russia, composer, producer Kim Breitburg. The jury included People’s Artist of Belarus, popular singer Yadviga Poplavskaya (Belarus), People’s Artist of Bulgaria, popular singer Lili Ivanova (Bulgaria), pianist, composer, jazzman Leonid Ptashka (Israel), Honored Worker of the Republic of Kazakhstan, pop singer, vocal coach Tolkyn Zabirova (Kazakhstan), I Prize winner of the 21st International Pop Song Performers Contest “Vitebsk-2012” Samanta Tina (Latvia), Grand Prix winner of the 17th International Pop Song Performers Contest “Vitebsk-2008” Donny Montell (Lithuania), People’s Artist of the Republic of Moldova, composer Constantin Moscovici (Moldova), winner of the International Song Contest “Eurovision-2009” Alexander Rybak (Norway) and People’s Artist of Ukraine, popular singer and composer, TV presenter Irina Bilyk (Ukraine).

In 2014, the contest was changed and consisted of the semi-final and final rounds.

The semi-final round of the 23rd International Pop Song Performers Contest “Vitebsk-2014” was held on July 11 in the Vitebsk Regional Philharmonic Hall. 15 participants, representing Belarus, Bulgaria, Israel, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia, Ukraine, Serbia, Russia, Moldova, Mexico, and Macedonia got into the finals.

On the first day of the final round the contestants performed a pop song by a composer from any Slavic country in the language of one of the Slavic countries to the accompaniment of the National Academic Concert Orchestra of Belarus conducted by Mikhail Finberg.

On the second day the contestants presented their interpretations of the world hits.

According to the results of two contest performances, the Grand Prix of the 23rd International Pop Song Performers Contest “Vitebsk-2014” was awarded to Rodrigo de la Cadena (Mexico), the I Prize was given to Vitalie Negrutsa (Moldova), the II Prize to Veronica Dorosh (Ukraine) and Dino (Croatia), the III Prize to Diana Golbi (Israel) and Marhaba Sabieva (Kazakhstan).

The Special Award named after Vladimir Mulyavin “For the best embodiment of the national theme and high level of performance” was awarded to Emils Baltseris (Latvia).

The Special Prizes of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Belarus-Russia Union were awarded to Artur Mikhailov (Belarus) and Zlat (Russia).

The first program in the Concert Hall “Vitebsk” was held before the Opening Ceremony of the festival. July 9, 2014, (for the first time in the history of “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk”) was the day of opening of “Art Sessio” visual arts contest-exhibition by the students specializing in art at higher educational institutions. The contest was entered by representatives of the Belarusian, Russian, Latvian and German schools of painting. The jury, headed by Professor of the Department of History and Theory of Arts, Associate Professor, Rector of the Belarusian Academy of Arts Mikhail Borozna, awarded 11 diplomas.

After the Award Ceremony and visit to the exhibition that was working during the festival days there followed a rock performance “Malevich. Portrait of two dimensions” presented by the Vitebsk youth theater “Koleso” directed by Vladislava Tsviki.

On July 9 the International Press Center of the festival hosted the first press conference before the Opening Ceremony of the festival. The first guest of the traditional “Star Hour” show was Sergei Volchkov, the winner of the Russian TV show “The Voice” (2013). On the following festival days the International Press Center organized meetings of journalists with Nadezhda Babkina, Sergei Yurskiy, Alexander Rybak, Gleb Matveichuk, Alexander Buynov (Russia), Lili Ivanova (Bulgaria), “Blue” band (United Kingdom). The press conference devoted to the festival project “Jazz Marathon” featured Leonid Ptashka (Israel), Sania Kroitor (Israel), Anatoly Kroll (Russia), Christina Aglints (Russia), James Maiman (USA). Kim Breitburg, Valeria Breitburg, Nikolai Androsov (Russia), Irina Dorofeeva and Alexander Vavilov (Belarus) told the reporters about the production of the musical “Dubrovsky”.

The “Star Hour” programs were presented by Sergei Shustitsky and Alexei Ostudin.

On July 9, 2014, a new festival project “Puppet Quarter” was launched. Its first participants were the actors of the Grodno Regional Puppet Theater (Belarus), who showed a performance “Queen of Spades”, based on the works by Alexander Pushkin and Petr Tchaikovsky. The production by the director Oleg Zhyugzhda and artist Margaita Stashulenok won several Grand Prix at the prestigious theater festivals, became the winner of the II National Theatre Award of Belarus in four nominations: “Best Puppet Show”, “Best Actress” (Larisa Mikulich), “Best Director's Work” and “Best Performance”.

The mastery of the Russian puppet schools was presented on July 10 and July 11 by the “Puppet Format” theatre (Saint-Petersburg). The play “Mermaid Sveta from the village Peremilovo” was staged by directors Svetlana Dorozhko and Anna Viktorova and based on the original paintings of the Moscow artist Vladimir Lyubarov.

The performance “Horseman Cuprum” by director and artistic director Anna Viktorova featured actors Olga Donets, Svetlana Dorozhko, Anton Vitchenko, Andrew Yarkin, Alexei Shishigin. The performance was staged in 2003 to the 170th anniversary of the first St. Petersburg novel-tale by Alexander Pushkin “The Bronze Horseman”. In 2005, the production won the Russian National Theatre Award “Golden Masque”.

The Belarusian theater “Lyalka”, a hospitable host the project “Puppet Quarter”, presented two performances featuring Alexander Makhankov, Valery Zimnitskiy, Olga Lazebnaya Yuriy Frankov, Anna Stepanets, Oleg Rihter, Mikhaeil Klimchuk, Larisa Martynova, Evgeniy Gusev, Natalia Gaiduk, Nina Shabanova, Olga Mahankova, Alexei Makarskiy, Marina Morozova.

The first (July 12) performance was “Decameron” based on Giovanni Boccaccio’s work and staged by Victor Klimchuk. The scenic interpretation of novels was made by the Russian playwright Vladimir Maslov. The translation into Belarusian was made by Peter Laman, the actor of the Yakub Kolas National Academic Drama Theater.

The second performance by the Vitebsk puppeteers “The Bremen Town Musicians” based on the work by Vasily Livanov and Yuriy Entin closed the premier festival program “Puppet Quarter” on July 12.

The program “Theatre Meetings” celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2014. It started on the day of the Opening Ceremony of the festival and began with the show “Warsaw Story” staged by Sergei Dubrovin and based on Leonid Zorin’s novel. The love story of Gelena from Warsaw and the Soviet citizen Victor, played by the Honored Artist of Russia Nonna Grishaeva and actor Dmitry Isaev, was sincere, convincing and touching.

The theatre-goers who came to the performance “Flying with an Angel. Chagall” on July 11 in Kolas Theater watched a century long life. The play about Marc Chagall’s life, written by Zinoviy Sagalov and based on real events from Marc Chagall’s life, resurrected everything connected with the painter. It was a performance-symbol bringing Master back home. The production director is Sergei Yurskiy, who also played nine roles in the performance. His partners on the stage were the actors Natalia Tenyakova, Lyudmila Drebneva, Anna Garnova Alexander Aronin and musicians Alexei Skipin Alexei Polishchuk, Mikhail Khohlov, Pavel Demidov.

One of the highlights of the “Theatre Meetings” was the night show (from July 11 to July 12) of “Macbeth” based on William Shakespeare's play by the Yakub Kolas National Academic Drama Theater in the Ilya Repin’s Museum-Estate. The production by Valery Anisenko, the art director of Yakub Kolas Theatre, was devoted to the 450th anniversary of the great English playwright. The cast included Yuriy Tsvirko, Angelica Barkovskaya, Georgiy Loiko, Irina Tishkevich, Evgeniy Beresnev, Evgeniy Lukianov, Gregoriy Shatko and others.

On July 12 the Yakub Kolas National Academic Drama Theater presented “Provincial anecdotes” by the production company “RusArt”, staged by Sergei Kutasov and based on two one-act plays by Alexander Vampilov. This hilarious play was a kind of reminder of the need to remain a human being under any circumstances. The festival audience were “taught” by popular actors: Alexander Pankratov-Cherny, Alexander Pashutin, Alexander Postnikov, Olga Naumenko, Igor Bushmelev, Lilia Volkova and others.

On July 13 and July 14 the stage of the Yakub Kolas Theatre belonged to a longtime friend of “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk” - the Moscow theater “Na Yugo-Zapade”. The mini-tour was opened by “Love and Doves” based on Vladimir Gurkin’s play and directed by the Honored Artist of Russia Oleg Leushin.

The witty comedy “Fools”, one of the new productions directed by Valery Belyakovich, showed a semi-fantastic story with a happy ending from the life of a provincial village, invented by the American playwright Neil Simon.

Both performances featured Alexander Shatokhin, Zhanna Chirva, Lyubov Yarlykova Alexei Nazarov, Sergei Borodin, Karina Dymont, Mikhail Belyakovich, Denis Nagretdinov, Alina Ivanova, Oleg Anishchenko, Evgeniy Sergeev, Konstantin Kurochkin, Tatiana Gorodetskaya, Elena Shestovskaya, Ilona Barysheva.

On July 14 the Concert Hall “Vitebsk” hosted a melodrama “All Over Again” by Antoine Ro, presented by director Andrei Zhitinkin within the theatrical agency “Art-partner XXI”. The theatre-goers could enjoy the brilliant play by Elena Proklova, Boris Shcherbakov and Alexandra Moshkova.

The “Festival film program” presented Russian filmmakers. On July 13 the movie-goers watched Andrei Silkin’s film “The Diary of First Grader’s Mom”, filmed on the eponymous book by Maria Traub. The film cast included Svetlana Hodchenkova, Dmitriy Endaltsev, Dima Polunin, Elena Yakovleva, Viktor Sukhorukov, Galina Polskih and others.

On July 13 the Movie House hosted a meeting with the Honored Artist of Russia Svetlana Svetlichnaya known for her work in the movies “The Diamond Arm”, “Seventeen Moments of Spring”, “Meeting Place Can’t Be Changed” and others.

On July 14 the “Festival film program” presented a feature film “Babu” with Belarusian and Azerbaijani actors by Andrei Grebyonkin. The international film was shot in 2013 by the film company “New Wave Production” with the support of the National Film Studio “BelarusFilm”. Speaking about the film at the festival, the general producer Alexander Levenchuk said that the film was based on the script by Alena Kalinova from Belarus. The script had everything the producer had looked for to make the movie: the idea of victory of good over evil in the modern world despite the national and religious beliefs.

On July 13 the Concert Hall “Vitebsk” hosted the musical “Dubrovsky” by Kim Breitburg and Karen Kavaleryan, based on Alexander Pushkin’s novel. The musical was staged by the Honored Artist of Russia Nikolai Androsov. The production was very special for both the creative paths of the authors and the actors - future professionals of the theatrical art. The production cast were the students and recent graduates of the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts.

The Youth Day in 2014 was held for the tenth time. The press conference on the morning of July 12 at the International Press Centre was held on the occasion of the youth day and was attended by the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Belarusian Republican Youth Union Igor Buzovskiy, director of "Pilot FM” radio station Anatoliy Chepikov, chairman of the sports public association “City Dance” Dmitriy Borovik and chairman of the public association “Auto-America” Alexander Shurin.

Many events and activities of the Youth Day were dedicated to the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Belarus. In the city center there was a youth subcultures parade “BelaRus in My Heart!”. Victory Square hosted a mobile museum exhibition “Museum-bus”, exhibitions “Retro Cars”, “SuperBike”, “TehnoGrad”, festival AutoSound”. Master classes in break dance, beat boxing, krump, hip-hop, body-art, graffiti and other youth culture trends were organized on thematic sites.

As part of the Youth Day the final round of the youth festival “Fire of Dance-2014” was held. In the nominations “Show program”, “Break”, “Latino”, “Street Dance”, “Oriental dance” featured the performance of the winners of the qualifying rounds in all regions of the country. The highlight of the day was the “Battle of the DJs “Belarus and Me”, organized by radio station “Pilot FM”.

For the first time the 23rd International Festival of Arts “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk” presented the Vitebsk International Festival of Modern Choreography. On July 15 in the Concert Hall “Vitebsk” the soloists of “Kiev Modern Ballet” Alexei Busko and Anastasia Kharchenko treated the audience with a choreographic miniature “Album” that was awarded the Grand Prix at the International Competition IFMC-2012. Denis Boroditsky’s Dance Company (Moscow) presented a fragment from a new ballet “Empatheia”. The Theatre-Studio of Modern Choreography under Diana Yurchenko (Vitebsk) showed “Portrait of the Artist's Wife”. The winner of the “Golden Mask” National Award- the “Eccentric Ballet” under Sergei Smirnov from Yekaterinburg delighted the audience with a new performance “Chronotope” about the life of a human being in a huge and violent world.

The 23rd International Festival of Arts returned to Vitebsk, the jazz capital of Belarus since the 1980s, the art extravaganza of musical improvisation - jazz. Three programs “Jazz Marathon with Leonid Ptashka” took place in the Concert Hall “Vitebsk”.

The concert “Leonid Ptashka and Friends” on July 14 in the Vitebsk Regional Philharmonic Hall was also dedicated to jazz. The trio of Leonid Ptashka (piano), Valery Lipets (bass) and Alik Akopova (drums) played popular hits of the world jazz classics, including from the repertoire of Sinatra, Parker and Soviet films of different years. The audience gave a warm reception to Anatoly Kroll. The concert also featured jazz masters Stas Maynugin, Christina Aglints, Stella Rupos, Jacob Maiman, the brothers Zhurakov, drummer Alexa Magilevich and others.

The Vitebsk Regional Philharmonic Hall invited to attend the concerts in the framework of “Festival Without Borders” program. It was opened on July 10 by the concert of masters from Bulgaria and presented by Nikolai Tekeliev, the head of the Bulgarian delegation at the festival. All concert participants had the most pleasant emotions and memories about Vitebsk and the festival, while some of them became prize-winners at the International contest “Vitebsk”. The concert featured Plamen Patov, Presiyana Dimitrova, Monica Karagenova, Tony Di Napoli, participant of the children contest Gabi, and, of course, the unequalled Lili Ivanova.

On July 12 good old rock 'n' roll was performed in the hall. The concert of masters of arts from Latvia presented the band “Big Al & The Jokers”, over the years preserving and developing the traditions of blues and rock 'n' roll style.

On July 13 the Israeli delegation invited to attend the concert of masters of arts from Israel. The concert program featured the ensemble “Kleizmer-drive”, Leonid Ptashka, Sanya Kroitor Diana Golbi, Dmitriy Lovtsov, the vocal octet “Jazz Classics”, the theater of song “Merhavim” and many others, representing the culture of the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv, Ashdod, Bat Yam, Petah Tikva, Ashkelon, and guest artists from other countries.

The unforgettable impressions were left after the performance of the State Academic Folk Dance Ensemble “Alan” that presented Avarian, Armenian, Georgian and Adzharian dances on the stage of the Vitebsk Regional Philharmonic Hall on July 14.

The concerts in the Vitebsk Regional Philharmonic Hall were closed by the internationally renowned group “Terem-Quartet” from St. Petersburg. The concert “In Search of Russian Image” on the evening of July 15, given by Andrei Konstantinov (small domra), Andrei Smirnov (bayan), Michael Dzyudze (balalaika-contrabass), Alexei Barshchyov (domra-alto) and soloist Anastasia Kalagina, included original fantasies on the theme of the works by Bach, Tchaikovsky, Schubert, as well as folk music of different countries.

On July 13 the regional local lore museum hosted the opening of an exhibition “Doll Seasons at “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk”, prepared by the Baltic Guild of Dolls and Toys Artists, bringing together several dozen artists and craftsmen from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Kaliningrad. The exhibition “Doll Seasons” was brought to the festival by the delegation from Daugavpils.

The international press center presented the exhibition “Portrait of the festival city”, prepared specially for the festival by the Contemporary Art Center (Vitebsk).

The Summer Amphitheater hosted concerts by Sergei Volchkov (July 9), Nadezhda Kadysheva and ensemble “Golden Ring” (July 9), Stas Mikhailov (July 9), Philip Kirkorov (the night of July 10-11), “Golden Hit” (July11), “Stars of Europe” (the night of July 11-12), “Tele-assorti” (the night of July 12-13), Boris Moiseyev (July 13), Nikolai Rastorguev and “Lube” group (July 14).

The Closing Ceremony of the festival was held in the Summer Amphitheatre on July 14. The program featured professionals from Belarus, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Latvia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. During the ceremony the Grand Prix of the 23rd International Pop Song Performers Contest “Vitebsk-2014” was granted to Rodrigo de la Cadena from Mexico, while the Grand Prix of the 12th International Children Music Contest to Anastasia Baginskaya from Ukraine.

At the end of the gala concert (director:Marina Romanovskaya) all participants traditionally came out on the stage to perform the festival song-symbol “All flowers of July”.

The concert “Stars of “Chanson-TV”, traditionally held after the official closing, always gather a full house in the Summer Amphitheatre. In 2014 the concert-goers could enjoy the orchestra under Michail Yanis. All performers were enthusiastically received and generously presented bouquets of flowers. The singers-participants of the concert program performed love songs for the festival audience.

The festival program in the Concert Hall “Vitebsk” was closed by the Presidential Orchestra of the Republic of Belarus under Victor Babarikin, who presented his program “Rock Meets Opera”. In previous years, the orchestra presented the festival capital the programs “Hurricane” and “Smoke on the Water”. The rock concert in 2014 with the Presidential Orchestra of Belarus featured Georgiy Koldun, Peter Elfimov, Ivan Vabishchevich, Ksenia Zhuk, Natalie Bayara, Svetlana Shimanovich, Svetlana Shvedova, Anatoly Sivko and Alexander Krasnodubskiy. The real surprise was the duo of Victor Babarikin and Alexei Hlestov who sang the famous Italian song “Oh, sole mio”.

The program of the 23rd International Festival of Arts “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk” was closed by “Rock-Panorama” concert. The legendary group “Chaif” performed in the Summer Amphitheatre its songs of the past years and from the new album “Movies, wine and domino”.

In 2014, the design of the main festival stage was complemented with original special effects. Light-fountains with water were installed in the Summer Amphitheatre.