The festival was created in 2013. Italian promoter Carlo Visintini visited a concert of the Moscow Youth Chamber Orchestra in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and invited them to play in Italy. The performance was a success, the young Russian musicians impressed the Italian public so much that it was decided to make their concerts a regular event. Thus the Artistic Director of the orchestra Valery Vorona and producer Carlo Visintini came up with the idea of a joint Festival of Russian-Italian culture.
The project was strongly supported by the Mayor of Montecatini Terme Giuseppe Belandi and the President of the Italian Festival «Estate Regina» Giovanni Fiori. The name for the new festival project was chosen not without reason – Montecatini Terme was the filming ground of Nikita Mikhalkov's famous movie "Ochi chornye" with Marcello Mastroianni in the leading part. In 2014 the renowned filmmaker was the guest of honor of the Festival.
Over the years, the Festival has acquired a lot of friends and admirers. Russia and Italy are linked with longstanding creative bonds. Evstigney Fomin and Maxim Berezovsky, Mikhail Glinka and Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Alexander Ivanov, Mikhail Vrubel, Andrei Tarkovsky — for each of them Italy was a source of mastery and inspiration.
The festival is famous for its unique traditions. In 2015 and 2016 monuments to the great Italian composers Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini were unveiled in the center of Montecatini Terme. Both the monuments, which later on became a beautiful attraction of the resort, were a gift from the talented Russian sculptor Aidyn Zeinalov.
Another remarkable feature of the Festival which has become a tradition is that not only world-famous artists take part in the festival concerts, but also young virtuosos from Russia and Italy – scholars of the Russian Performing Art Fund and of the Vladimir Spivakov Fund, as well as pupils of the school of the Moscow Conservatory and Italian music schools and colleges.
One of the concerts of the festival is traditionally dedicated to young talents and has a symbolic name "The Future of the Great Music". Besides, at the Festival 2017 there will be held a Charity raffle, the proceeds of which will be used to support young talented musicians.
The interest towards the Festival increases every year, as well as its geography, the range of genres and types of art. In 2017 the Gala dinner and the ceremony of the Festival Presentation will be held for the first time at the "Grand Hotel & La Pace". There the guests of the Festival will enjoy a wide range of activities including specially arranged tours, exhibitions of works by Russian artists and designers, workshops, sports and cultural events. Florence, Milan, Cremona, Verona, Venice, Bari all aspire to become a part of the cultural program of the Festival. In short, the Ochi Chornye Festival has a great future...