When in 2009 Yuri Bashmet firstly invited his friends and like-minded people on the first festival in an ancient city in the north of Russia, the event was rather modest. But already in the following year Yaroslavl Festival has had a powerful vector of developing.

The main idea of the festival which expands in an infinitely creative way is to show all the facets and all the diversity of an academic music, to bring musicians and famous collectives that for some reasons did not perform in Russia before.

Guests of Yaroslavl become also the best chamber ensembles of Europe – “I Virtuosi Italiani” and “Camerata Salzburg”, Hungarian chamber orchestra named after F. Liszt, chamber orchestra “Trondheim Soloists” (Norway), Estonian ensemble “Hortus Musicus”. After the invitation of Yuri Bashmet and Russian Concert Agency it was the first time String sextet of Vienna Philharmonic, Soloists ensemble of Berlin Philharmonic orchestra, French collective “Les Percussions de Strasbourg”, Italian baroque ensemble “Soqquadro Italiano”, British collective of wind instruments “London brass” performed in Russia. In Yaroslavl Russian spectators could firstly make acquaintance with the art of the best flutists of the world Sir James Galway, moreover, in this city an outstanding Chinese composer, Shostakovich award winner and “Oscar” winner Tan Dun has also firstly performed.

Legends of musical performing art of XX-XXI centuries have acted on Yaroslavl festival (Natalia Gutman, Victor Tretyakov, Vasiliy Lobanov, Paul Badura-Skoda, Elizaveta Leonskaya) and outstanding musicians of the new generation (Denis Matsuev, Olli Mustoonen, Vadim Repin, Alexander Rudin), Grand Prix winners of prestige international competitions (Kristof Barati, Massimo Quarta, Agata Shimchevska, Alexander Ramm, Vadim Kholodenko, Philipp Kopachevsky), famous Russian actors (Oleg Menshikov, Konstantin Khabensky, Evgeniy Stychkin). And that list is not full at all.

Since 2010 with the concerts in oblast cities (Myshkin and Gavrilov-Yama) a new oblast program of the festival has started, which from year to year has been engaging an increasing number of places near Yaroslavl. For the first time in decades citizens of localities far from thriving cosmopolitan cities have had a unique possibility of hearing Yuri Bashmet’s playing in person, his chamber orchestra “Moscow soloists” and other wonderful musicians, get acquainted not with indisputable masterpieces of world music, but with rare creations of different composition schools, styles and epochs. In nine years of Festival existence there were concert programs in such Russian cities as Rostov Veliky, Uglich, Rybinsk, Pereyaslavl-Zalessky, Myshkin, Tutaev, Gavrilov-Yam, Lybim, Breytovo, Danilov, villages Kukoboi, Vyatskoye, Bolshoye, towns Borisoglebsky, Krasnyi Profintern, Borok, Nekrasovskoye!

Since 2017 the program of Yaroslavl Festival also has included international scientific conferences dedicated to different aspects of musical performing and studying the musical historical heritage.

The initiative of maestro Yuri Bashmet supported by his Russian and foreign colleagues was strongly rooted in the cultural life of Yaroslavl, and the thriving world-class music festival becomes another one wonderful tradition of a thousand-year city.