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Russian Beatles act given ticket to ride in Preston

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The free UCLan gig on 28 February has been organised by the School of Language and Global Studies.

UCLan to host cultural event to celebrate Russian studies

Balalaikas will soon be ringing out in Preston as the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is set to welcome a Beatles tribute band with a Russian twist.

Musicians from Russian University Tomsk State are coming to UCLan to perform some of The Beatles’ biggest hits in Russian, accompanied by the balalaika guitar famously mentioned in the band’s ‘Back in the USSR’ 1968 hit.  A famous sculptor from the Siberian university’s city will also bring four busts of the famous four carved from cedar wood to the event.  The artwork, by sculptor Leonty Usov, will then go on display at The Beatles’ Museum in Liverpool.

The free UCLan gig on Tuesday 28 February has been organised by the School of Language and Global Studies to promote Russian studies at the University.  As well as hearing The Beatles’ songs in a new language, visitors can also join in a discussion about the significance of the band in Russia and more generally how poetry and literature can bridge a dialogue between cultures.

Russian Studies at UCLan is a fast developing subject and it has become our tradition to host inspiring cultural events that bridge the gap between Russia and the West.

Project director Andrey Olear from Tomsk State said: “We are visiting under the leadership of Julius Burkin; writer, musician, translator and teacher at Tomsk State who wrote a book around 20 years ago that attracted a cult following amongst Russian Beatles fans.  Julius sincerely believes that the creativity of The Beatles bridges British and Russian cultures and through a mutual love of the band, we have something to share and enjoy.”

Dr Olga Tabachnikova, lecturer in Russian Studies at UCLan, is organising the event.  She said: “We’re very excited to host our Russian guests and allow Beatles’ fans to enjoy the band’s music in a completely new way.  Russian Studies at UCLan is a fast developing subject and it has become our tradition to host inspiring cultural events that bridge the gap between Russia and the West."

The free UCLan event will run 6.00pm – 8.00pm on Tuesday 28 February in Greenbank Lecture Theatre on the Preston Campus.  There is no need to book, people can just turn up on the night.  For more information contact Dr Tabachnikova on 01772 893044 or otabachnikova@uclan.ac.uk

Other artwork from sculptor Leonty Usov will be exhibited in the UK this year.  His busts of Shakespeare will go on display in Shakespeare’s Birthplace Museum in Stratford-upon-Avon and in the library of Kensington Palace in London.

Last summer, the renowned sculptor donated a wooden bust of Mikhail Sholokhov, the Russian Nobel prize laureate in literature, to Warrington Town Hall as part of a UK visit with representatives from the Russian Embassy.

Lyndsey Boardman | 20 February 2017