About the forum



The St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum is an exclusive cultural event at the end of the year, a unique debating stage that gathers thousands of experts in the field of culture from all over the world. Among them – theatre and opera stars, ballet dancers and coaches, outstanding directors and musicians, authority and business representatives, academic community leaders. 


The Forum is developing in three parallel lines. The specialists and experts are welcomed to take part in the extensive Business programme. The Festival programme includes numeral cultural events for citizens and tourists. The Business Venue is a place where the important negotiations and agreement conclusions take place. Besides, the structure includes two separate flows: Public and Professional. 


The BUSINESS PROGRAMME of the Forum includes 14 sections which are being ruled by outstanding professionals in the area of culture. The heads of the sections create the agenda of the forum and set the directions of disputes. Among them - the General Director of the Hermitage State Museum Mikhail Piotrovsky, the ballet dancer and teacher Nikolai Tsiskaridze, the famous pianist Denis Matsuev, and other experts. In addition to sections, there are going to be various intersectional events. In 2016 the Business Programme of the Forum included more than 300 discussions of different formats.  


Among the Forum participants - the Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, the Chinese writer and the Nobel prize winner Wang Meng, the film director Jos Stelling, the ex-head of the British Victoria and Albert Museum Martin Roth, the filmmaker Emir Kusturica, the actor and filmmaker Ralph Fiennes and others. In 2016 the number of Business programme participants reached 8000 people. 


The BUSINESS VENUE of the Forum is a territory of negotiations between business and culture representatives, public speakers and sponsors. It is a place of key agreements and financial contracts, of presentations and innovative programmes. Within the V Forum more than 50 agreements were concluded. 


Besides, the Forum offers the fascinating CULTURAL PROGRAMME, which always includes spectacular premieres. In 2016 the audience got the chance to see the orchestral play of Igor Stravinsky 'Funeral Song', which had been considered to be lost for more than a century. Within the Forum the premiere of the antique tragedy, 'Oedipus Rex' was presented with the participance of Russian and Greek theatres.  


In 2016 the special status of the 'guest-state' was established: the chosen country gets to present a special cultural and business programme. On the V Forum the first 'guest-state' got the Greek Republic, this year this status was adjudged to Japan.     


The VI St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum will take place on 16-18 November 2017. 

The main venue of the Forum will be the General Staff Building of the Hermitage State Museum, the Business venue will be accomodated in the Russian Ethnographic Museum. Besides, almost all the cultural institutions of the city will be involved into the Forum: from national theatres to small art-centers and museums. 

The cross-cutting issue of the VI Forum will be 135th anniversary of Igor Stravinsky. A number of events will be dedicated to the 100th anniversary of October Revolution in Russia. 


Those WHO WANT TO TAKE PART IN THE PROFESSIONAL EVENT FLOW of the VI Forum should fill in the form on our website and wait for our response. 


Event organizers:

     - Government of the Russian Federation; 

     - Government of St. Petersburg. 


The MISSION of the St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum is to form the key vectors of the development of culture as a progressive force that brings the constructive origin into life of our country and of the world community as a whole.


In the local context, the St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum presents itself the principal event of the cultural life of the great country in the days when the national consciousness is experiencing its rebirth and Russia is reconsidering its global roles and meanings. Culture is a soul of a nation and that is why the St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum is one of the fundamental points of these historical processes.


In the global aspect, the St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum is considered the one of the key elements of domestic and foreign policy. Russia in the contemporary world appears not only as a country of great culture, but also as a state, that successively defends the constructive values: the preservation of the cultural heritage and diversity, mutual respect and equal dialogue. Through this, in the eyes of world community Russia aims to represent the positive and originative tendencies in politics, culture and social development as a counter to the aspiration towards destruction and chaos.


The AIMS of the St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum:

1)       Culture as humanity heritage. The goal of the Forum is to initiate, develop and establish national, interstate and global programmes aimed to preserve and to multiply the cultural heritage of the humanity.

2)        Culture as a factor of social development. The goal of the Forum is to provide the effective functioning and creating of the new efficient mechanisms of the culture impact on the development of the modern society on both global and local levels.

3)       Culture as industry (economics of culture). The goal of the Forum is to support the achievement of the intra-branch development goals, providing the existence of culture as the all-sufficient social environment.




The exceptional status "The Forum Ambassador" was introduced in the St.Petersburg International Cultural Forum in 2016. 


The status of the Forum Ambassador is being granted to Russian and foreign prominent culture and arts experts, leaders, heads of large-scale international forums and festivals.  


The activities implemented by the Forum Ambassador are related to the development of culture, arts and education; are aimed at strengthening of humanitarian ties, enhancement of intercultural dialog and promotion of arts and culture among public. The Ambassador himself is a bright personality, has the out-of-the-box thinking and possesses the can-do attitude to any issues, is able to inspire people to develop culture in the world.


Mission and goals of the Forum Ambassador.


The mission of the Forum Ambassador is to strengthen humanitarian ties of Russia with other countries in arts and culture, as well as to create the positive image of the Forum as one of the most significant cultural events promoting Russian and world culture, intercultural dialog and new culture projects.  


On behalf of the Forum the Forum Ambassador is entitled to establish friendly and partner relations with world-known prominent culture professionals from different countries, promote cooperation with Russian, foreign and international cultural organizations and unions.


Under the Auspices of the Forum, the Forum Ambassador implements cultural and educational programs meant to promote arts and culture in the world.           


American pianist Daniel Pollack was chosen to be the first honorary Forum Ambassador in 2016.   




Daniel Pollack shared with Robert Bradford his experiece of participation in the V St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum.


Daniel Pollack is a laureate of the Tchaikovsky I International Contest in Moscow (1958). After winning he traveled in the USSR with concert and became the first American performer to start cooperation with “Melodia” company. Daniel Pollack performed with the Symphony orchestra of the Mariinsky theater, the Symphony orchestra of the Moscow State Philharmonic, with philharmonic orchestras of London, Seoul, Hong Kong, Kiev, New York, Los Angeles etc. 


He also performed as a soloist at the “Royal Festival Hall” in London, in “Musikferein” in Vienne, in “Koncertgebau” in Amsterdam, “Theatro Colon” in Buenos Aires, Seoul Arts Center, Bolshoy hall of the Moscow conservatory, the “Carnegie Hall” in New York, the National Center of Performing Arts in Beijing and in “Orchestra Hall” in Chicago.


Pollack is a member of the jury in numerous international contests including the Tchaikovsky International Contest, Queen Elizabeth’s Contest in Brussels, Prokofiev and Rachmaninov International Contests.


9-11 November, 2012

The total number of the Forum participants: 70 (including 30 foreign guests), 300 visitors (incl. 100 journalists).

All the Forum events took place in Mikhailovsky Theatre.


Ideologically the Forum consisted of two parts:  

Debating, scientific and philosophical part aimed to develop the main cultural cooperation directions, to find solutions to global problems with the help of culture.

Illustrative part, that was aimed to illustrate the importance of cultural cooperation and interaction, to show that the language of art and culture has no boundaries and   is able to resist the ethnic, religious, economic and other disunity.

The debating programme was accompanied by various cultural performances, which demonstrated the interethnic cultural achievements.


The structure of the Forum included the following units:

1)  Political (with the participance of Ministers of Culture and Heads of the Departments of Culture of foreign countries) – in format of plenary sessions;

2)  Professional (with the participance of artistic directors, curators, artists and scientists) – in format of round-table conferences and seminars;

3)  Festival and exhibition programme (included intercultural activities, events, projects with multicultural interaction).



2-4 December, 2013 


The total number of the Forum participants: 2856 (including 160 foreign guests). Among them – authority representatives, artistic directors and heads of the leading cultural institutions of St. Petersburg, Russia and European countries, chancellors of the Russian and European educational institutions in the area of art and culture.

The Structure of the Forum: 11 sections (Cinema and Literature, Circus, Music, Theatre, Modern Art, Traditional Culture and Folk Art, Museums and Libraries, Cultural Policy and Art Education).

The events took place in 50 different venues all around the city. The key events were: Plenary Session where the Year of Culture in Russia was announced; the final Plenary session where the results of the II Forum were presented. 

The key topic of the Forum was announcing the Year of Culture in Russia (2014). The Year of Culture was marked with grand projects and unique events and let to create the strategic premises for developing Russian culture for the forthcoming years and to draw the attention of the society to the problems of cultural heritage preservation.   

Agendas of the Forum-2013: 

- The role of culture in the innovative development of Russia;

- Culture as a key to a modern Russian identity;

- Tolerance and culture, preservation of the cultural diversity of Russian peoples;

- Resources of cultural development and culture as a resource;

- The current scientific and educational space in the field of culture;

- Russian regions as centers of cultural development on the modern stage;

- State and private partnership in the area of cultural projects;

- The financing models of cultural and art projects;

- Innovative forms of cultural activity. 


The cultural programme of the Forum included the remarkable theatre performances, exhibitions, and concerts, presentations of art and cinema projects. 



7-9 December, 2014


The total number of participants: 6700 (including 437 foreign guests).


The structure of the Forum: 16 sections (Cultural Policy, Theatre, Music, Language and Literature, Libraries, Cinema, Circus and Street Theatre, Traditional Culture and Folk Art, Choreography, Fine Arts; Science and Education in the Area of Culture, Philosophy of Culture, Preservation and Copularization of Historical and Cultural Monuments, Media Culture, Citizen Culture).

The Forum-2014 was dedicated to the 250-th anniversary of the State Hermitage Museum.

The key events were: the Opening Ceremony in Alexandrinsky Theatre; the celebration of the Hermitage Museum anniversary; the round-table discussion `Cultural Policy. Innovations and Current Challenges`; the final Plenary session and the Closing Ceremony in the Mariinsky Theatre.

One of the main topics of all the sectional discussions was the improvement of the accessibility of cultural services for people with special needs.


Agendas of the Forum-2014

- preservation and development of the Russian culture, heritage and traditions of peoples and regions of Russia; 

- governmental and international support of cultural initiatives; 

- development of the international cooperation in the field of culture; 

- role of Russian language and Russian literature all over the world; 

- realization of government programmes supporting the translation of Russian literature into foreign languages; 

- development of Russian and foreign cultural tourism for further involvement of the regional places of interest into touristic circulation, etc. 



14-16 December, 2015


The total number of participants: 11200 (including more than 1000 foreign guests from 79 countries). Among the participants – UNESCO experts: Goodwill ambassadors, members of international commissions, other representatives of the foreign expert community. Besides, there were 46 official delegations of foreign Ministries of Culture.


The structure of the Forum: 12 sections (Theatre, Music, Museums and Exhibitions, Literature and Reading, Cinema, Circus and Street Theatre, Folk Art and Intangible Cultural Heritage, Ballet and Dance, Visual Art, Cultural Heritage Preservation, Mass Communications, Education).

Besides, for the first time the programme of the Forum was divided into four event flows: oficial, business, educational and public.

The key topic of the IV Forum was the 70th anniversary of UNESCO. 

The key events: Plenary Meeting with the participance of the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the head of UNESCO Irina Bokova.  
One of the results of the IV Forum was the project of the resolution dedicated to culture preservation in the areas of military conflicts. 

For the first time, the Anatoly Lunacharsky Award was presented. 

Besides, within the IV Forum the festival programme `Under the Auspices of the Forum` was launched. This programme includes remarkable cultural events: bright premieres, performances and exhibitions in St. Petersburg that are available to public all the year round. The Forum renders the informational support to its organizers. 



1-3 December, 2016


The total number of participants: more than 20000 (including 750 foreign guests from 91 countries, 12 foreign ministers of Culture, 35 foreign delegations). 

The structure of the Forum: 14 sections (Cinema, Music, Ballet and Dance, Theatre, Museums and Exhibitions, Circus and Street Theatre, Tourism, Folk Art and Intangible Cultural Heritage, Cultural Heritage Preservation, Mass Communications, Fine Arts, Literature and Reading, Education, Creative Industry and Urban Science). Besides, the Forum was divided into two event flows: Professional and Public. 


The key topics: 125-th anniversary of Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, 25-th anniversary of the Commonwealth of Independent States, announcement of the results of The Year of Cinema in Russia. 

The key events: Plenary session `World Cultural Heritage Preservation: National Strategies And Global Challenges`; International Symposium `Sergei Prokofiev in the XXI Century`where the grandson of Sergei Prokofiev, Gabriel Prokofiev took part.

Besides, in the Mariinsky Theatre the Year of Cinema in Russia oficially ended up. Main participants of the Ceremony: Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Russian directors Nikita Mikhalkov and Fedor Bondarchuk, the British actor Ralph Fiennes. 

The innovation of the V Forum was the establishment of the special status `guest-country`. In 2016 the guest-country was Greece. 


One more innovation of the Forum was `Festival of Festivals`- an event which gathered the leaders of the international cultural festivals, artistic directors and government representatives. Among the participants - the artistic director of the International Athens and Epidaurus Festival Vangelis Theodoropoulos, the representative of the European Cultural Forum Walter Zampieri,  the vice-mayor of Avignon Jacques Montignac. 






Archives of IV Saint Petersburg International Cultural Forum 2015

Video Report of the IV St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum (2015): 

Video Report of the V St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum (2016):