At the Golden Mask award ceremony on March 27, 2000, Alexander Kalyagin, Chairman of the Theater Representatives Union, stated that Alfa-Bank was honored the award for its numerous regional cultural programs. An important factor, according to the jury, was that money raised from concerts was used for charity including assistance to childrens’ homes, support for regional theater, construction of hospitals for children and restoration of churches.
“Alfa-Bank is certainly the winner,” according to one of the jury members. Other sponsors could not be compared to Alfa-Bank’s contribution to Russian theater.
The Golden Mask jury acknowledged Alfa-Bank for its contribution to culture. Alfa-Bank plans to support the national arts in the future. In a new program, Alfa-Bank intends to introduce Golden Mask winning performances to audiences of Russian cities.
Sponsored by Alfa-Bank, Russian ballet stars will perform in Ufa this May. In Lipetsk this June, the Igor Moiseyev Ballet Group will perform. Performances sponsored by the bank will take place in Saratov, Rostov-on-the-Don, Krasnodar, Kalinigrad, Tomsk, Khabarovsk, Chelyabinsk and other Russian cities during the year 2000. This year, audiences of Tyumen and Nizhnevartovsk already saw the Imperial Russian Ballet by Gedeminas Tarandi, also sponsored by Alfa-Bank.
Alfa-Bank did not forget Moscow. At the end of May, the Marice Liepi Foundation supported by Alfa-Bank is organizing two concerts in honor of Mr Liepi: the Riga National Opera, Bolshoi and Marinsky ballet stars.
For nine years, Alfa-Bank has organized performances. The bank supported the New Names Program, Sovremennik, School of Modern Drama by I. Reichelhaus, Ray Charles concerts, Sting, Elton John, Tina Turner, Maurice Bejart and his Bejart Ballet Lausanne.
Alfa-Bank organized the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Spivakov in Nizhny Novgorod in 1997. In Saint Petersburg this year, Nina Ananiashvili and Russian ballet stars performed with great success.
Last year, Alfa-Bank organized the performances by actors from the Marinsky Theater in Moscow, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Perm and Ekaterinburg, and the Imperial Russian Ballet in Kurgan, Volgograd and Orenburg. Supported by Alfa-Bank, Starosvetsky Lyubov premiered at the International Christmas Festival of Art in Novosibirsk. They performed in Ekaterinburg in January, and in Moscow and Saint Petersburg in February, and Kiev in March.
The Russian Theater Representatives Union created the Golden Mask award in 1994 for the best theater productions. Winners are selected at the annual Festival Nominees, which is conducted by the Russian Theater Representatives Union, Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Moscow government, Golden Mask association financed by the European Union Commission, the Soros Fund, the British Consulate and the Gute Institute.