The 43rd Festival of Nations, held from the 26th of August to the 5th of September in Città di Castello and the splendid villages of the Upper Tiber Valley, was a success with the public and critics alike. Since its inception, the territory has provided an enchanting backdrop for this historic musical event, this year dedicated entirely to Russia. Some of the headliners on the rich, prominent programme inaugurated in the church of San Domenico included The Soloists of Moscow, directed by the famous and highly acclaimed Yuri Bashmet with music by Grieg, Paganini, Bruch and Čajkovskij. For the occasion, the historic Borodin Quartet, with its impressive 65 years of making music, performed the Quartet for Strings no. 2 by Borodin, two quartets by Čajkovskij and Romance by Rachmaninov. And the event would not have been the same without an appearance from Mischa Maisky, considered the best cellist in the world, who performed in the festival with his daughter Lily. The event marked the great return of Stefano Bollani and his magical improvisations to Città di Castello. The pianist Arcadi Volodos also appeared to perform a refined selection of pieces by Skrjabin. In a special evening event, the Russian chamber ensemble Musica Petropolitana, along with soprano Olga Pasichnyk, created an atmosphere reminiscent of the court of Catherine the Great as they performed an important repertoire of Italian composers summoned to St. Petersburg in the eighteenth century using original instruments. The festival also featured theatrical presentations dedicated exclusively to Šostakovič with Sandro Cappelletto accompanied by the Savinio Quartet and Marco Scolastra. Finally, in a stylish conclusion to the event, there was a performance by the Abruzzo Symphonic Orchestra of the suite Pulcinella by Stravinskij and Ivo Pogorelich with the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no. 2 in F Minor, op. 21, a worthy tribute to Chopin celebrating the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Once again the Festival of Nations has proven to be one of the most important summer events in the Italian music scene, combining a wide array of approaches and cultures, considered to be a model and the foundation of a musical journey that is certain to take us to new heights in 2011.