“If music be the food of love, play on…”, says Orsino in Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’. The words are well-known and have been regularly quoted ever since the play was first performed in February 1602 – but the meaning is very much alive today in Cyprus. And where could be more fitting to follow the bard’s lyrical advice than in Londa Hotel’s very own Caprice Restaurant.
From its open plan terrace overlooking a Mediterranean evening skyline, Londa Hotel guests and visitors can enjoy the sophisticated pleasures of luxury dining served with a satisfying side dish of Jazz melodies and rhythms. Our 2018 season of popular Jazz nights, featuring some of the best Russian and Cyprus Jazz musicians on the concert circuit, was kicked off in the finest of contemporary and classic styles at the end of January.
The coming together of top Russian and Cypriot Jazz players to trade signature rhythms and dazzling licks on the same stage is always a great musical meeting between two equally long Jazz traditions.
The first Jazz orchestra of Russia was founded in 1922, and despite many challenges during the Soviet era, by the late 1960s and early 1970s the musical form resurfaced and has flourished ever since. Today, Russia’s most famous saxophone player, Igor Butman, is responsible for organising many annual Jazz festivals such as, the Triumph of Jazz in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Aquajazz in Sochi and at the Skolkovo Innovation Centre.
Russian holidaymakers, visitors and residents have made Limassol their home from home
A Sunday evening of Jazz at the Londa Hotel is proving to be a popular draw on the Limassol music scene. Not least because of the many Russian holidaymakers, visitors and residents who have made Cyprus, and Limassol in particular, their frequent and regular home from home.
Of the 75,867 visitors to Cyprus in January 2018, one in seven arrivals (10,832) was from Russia, according to official Passenger Survey figures. When Cyprus hit a record 3.1 million arrivals in 2016, Russian tourists – already the second largest number after the UK – had reached 780,000, and a huge 49 per cent increase on 2015. The number of Russian visitors had actually overtaken the numbers arriving from the UK the year before.
Real interest in Cyprus for ordinary Russians started to really grow from the late 1990s onwards with the development of business and investment opportunities on the island. But as with so many visitors from countries with very different climates, Russian people were also drawn by the Mediterranean sun and sea, and an affinity for traditional Cypriot cuisine, including the many types of fruits, berries and vegetables available throughout the year.
Today, around 40,000 people from Russia and the former Soviet republic have made Cyprus their permanent home, of which, three quarters are resident in Limassol. The growing relationship between Russian visitors and Cyprus is clearly reflected in the high number of cultural events staged in the theatres and concert halls across the island. Throughout the year, there is a running programme of Russian ballet and opera, classical orchestras, singer and piano recitals, and of course, traditional and contemporary Jazz.
Cross-cultural treats regularly enjoyed by both Cypriot and Russian music lovers
One example highlighting the special cross-cultural treats regularly enjoyed by both Cypriot and Russian music lovers is to be a tribute to the great Russian composer, Sergei Rachmaninoff, close to the 75th anniversary of his death on the 28 March 1943.
Cypriot pianist Manolis Neophytou and a 7-piece ensemble will showcase several of the great works of the Russian pianist, composer and conductor, including the 2nd Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Elegie Op.3 No.1 and Vocalise Op.34 No.14. Manolis performed his first solo recital at the age of eleven, just a few months before he entered the Moscow Special State Music School. Works by other great Russian composers to be featured include, Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev, and Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakoff. The 90 minute concert, which is to be held at the Rialto, Limassol on Saturday on March 17th, 2018, commences at 20:30.
Cultural explorers visiting Limassol in the first days of June should ensure they definitely won’t miss out on the Annual Cyprus Russian Festival, self-styled the “Biggest event in the European Union dedicated to friendship with Russia”. Londa Hotel is an official Hospitality Sponsor for the 2-day Festival, which will showcase, over 1,300 professional and amateur singers and dancers from both countries over 3 large concert stages installed in the Limassol Municipal Gardens.
Be sure to check back here for a full preview of this unique celebration of Cyprus-Russian cultural relations – and of course, the special offers and events that Londa, as an official Hospitality Sponsor, are planning during the Festival. In the meanwhile, our series of Jazz nights continue – keep checking HERE for all forthcoming dates, and to discover which exciting mix of Cypriot and Russian players will be appearing.