The Unquenchable Torch

The Svetlanov Legacy Charity and the Evgeny Svetlanov International Conducting Competition is proud to support the literary-musical events “The Unquenchable Torch“, commemorating the Soviet Yiddish poets that will be presented by pianist Evgeny Kissin and actor Veniamin Smekhov.

This composition first premiered in Carnegie Hall, New York in 2022.

We invite you to join us for an evening of a captivating literary-musical composition born from the brilliant collaboration of pianist Evgeny Kissin and actor Veniamin Smekhov. This extraordinary performance pays heartfelt tribute to the memory of Soviet Yiddish poets who endured the darkest hours of the Stalinist antisemitic campaign.

This performance aspires to honor the legacy of the Yiddish language and the poems of Peretz Markish, David Gofshteyn, Lev Kvitko, and others. With Evgeny Kissin reciting in Yiddish and Veniamin Smekhov eloquently providing Russian translations, this fusion of language and music promises to be deeply moving.
This evening is a dedication to the victims of the anti-Semitic campaign, the members and employees of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee.


Evgeny Kissin, a pianist celebrated with the most prestigious music awards, and Veniamin Smekhov, a versatile actor, director, and screenwriter, undertake the noble task of narrating the lives and contributions of these heroes. Looking into the traditions of the Jewish people and the almost-forgotten Yiddish language ,which at the beginning of the 20th century was spoken by about 11 million Jews around the world, inspiring countless poets and writers.

For Evgeny Kissin, Yiddish culture is a cherished treasure. His personal connection with it, passed down from his grandparents, inspired a lifelong passion for the language. His journey led him to share the beauty of Yiddish poetry through recitations and recordings.

Veniamin Smekhov, equally captivated by Yiddish culture, embarked on this artistic journey with Kissin. Together, they bring to life the literary composition “The Unquenchable Torch,” dedicated to Soviet Jewish poets. This artistic endeavor has been a labor of love refined and enriched through their comprehensive knowledge and boundless energy.

Don’t miss this enchanting evening, where language, music, and culture converge to create an unforgettable experience. “The Unquenchable Torch” is more than a performance; it’s an artistic journey that promises to touch your heart and inspire your spirit.



The performances will take place on


28 October 2023 in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France
(Click here to learn more and buy tickets)

23 November 2023 in Brussels, Belgium
(Click here to learn more and buy tickets)