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Music Night at the Museum in Moscow

Last month the director of the Tretyakov Gallery, Zelfira Tregulova, talked about a favorite painting to a rapt audience.

What are you doing this Thursday evening? Instead of the doing the same old same old, how about going to the New Tretyakov Gallery for its special program: "Your 20th Century: Thursdays — Open Until Late on Krymsky Val"?

Here are three great reasons:

First of all, the New Tretyakov Gallery displays the world's best collection of 20th century Russian avant-garde works of art, the kind of collection that people all over the world would stand in line for hours to see. And here in Moscow, you can just stroll in after work and take in priceless works by Kazimir Malevich, Lyubov Popova, Vasily Kandinsky, Nataliya Goncharova, and dozens more.

Second, you get to sit in a museum hall filled with that priceless art and listen to a great concert.  "Your 20th Century" is an innovative program that tries to put the art of the last century into its cultural context. Every Thursday night the organizers invite performers, actors, writers, musicians and specialists to the gallery to present the poetry, prose, music, and theater that were being created at the same time the art was.  In March, they covered the first decade of the century, and in April they are beginning the 1920s. This Thursday is music night, with a concert that will include works by Maurice Ravel, Dmitry Shostakovich, and George Gershwin performed by Yelena Korzehenevich on violin, Nataliya Grines on piano and Yevgeny Varavko on clarinet.

And third, during the intermission you can listen to the art historian and curator Ruth Addison talking about one of the works of art in English, while your Russian friends or family can listen to another art historian discuss a painting in Russian. When else can you get a curator's guide to great works of art? In English? For a small group?

And the price of all this great culture? A mere 400 rubles ($6.50).

The New Tretyakov Gallery. 10 Krymsky Val. Metro Park Kultury, Oktyabrskaya.  499-230-7788, 238-1378, 495-951-1362. Thurs. April 7 at 7 p.m.

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