BeMuse UK Performing Arts
We established BeMuse UK Performing Arts to: create new forms of presenting classical music, produce new artistic content, initiate artistic collaborations and sponsor art and music education.
We have found an Ambassador in the uniquely talented concert pianist Gala Chistiakova. We sponsored her appearance at the Salzburg Festival Amadeus Weekend in August 2021 which helped her become a Steinway Artist.

We have also sponsored two educational projects, Recondita Armonia, a festival in Grosseto established by Diego Benocci and Gala Chistiakova, and at St Edwards School, Oxford, with music master classes and performances by Gala Chistiakova and Diego Benocci.

We commissioned a play by Ian Kelly, a British playwright, "The Great Gates of Kyiv", and we have produced a video installation, "On The Interaction of Image and Sound", in partnership with David Zwirner and the Josef and Anni Albers foundation. The video was realised by Benoit Peverelli and partly sponsored by Steinway and Co.
In the years to come, we aim to sponsor more artistic collaborations creating a community of artists from different fields to bring their ideas together, produce artistic content, facilitate stage opportunities for our artists, and sponsor talented children to study music and performance arts.

We invite you to contact us with your ideas.

About BeMuse
BeMuse UK Performing Arts established in June 2021 by George Fenton and Oxana Symonds in order to:
produce new
artistic content
create new forms of
presenting classical
initiate artistic
sponsor art
music education

George Fenton
Oxana Symonds
Born in Moscow and raised in Russia, France and New York, Oxana Symonds spent over twenty years in the fund management industry as a portfolio manager for Ashmore Group plc, one of the world’s largest emerging-markets funds.

She first established the Ashmore offices in Russia and the CIS and then served as Director, with a focus on energy, sovereign and corporate debt financing, and corporate distress deals.

Prior to Ashmore, she worked in capital markets with Merrill Lynch and Salomon Brothers in London and New York. As well as holding a Master’s Degree in Economics from Moscow State University and an MBA from INSEAD, France, she trained originally as a classical pianist in Moscow and remains passionately committed to music and the arts.

George Fenton and Oxana Symonds together have founded BeMuse UK Performing Arts to support musicians and music education, and produce new artistic content involving classical music and other forms of performative and visual art.

Ms Symonds is a patron of the Recondite Armonia Festival in Italy which has helped over 100 children from all over the world to develop their full musical potential.

She lives in London with her husband and their daughter. This year Ms Symonds is a sponsor of the Salzburg festival Mozart Matinee.
Best known for his work in film and television, George Fenton is one of the UK’s most prominent composers, writing scores for over 100 films and dozens of plays and TV programmes.

He has been recognised with numerous awards: 5 Oscar nominations, multiple Ivor Novello, BAFTA, Golden Globe, Emmy and BMI awards, a Classical Brit, The Nina Rota Award at Venice and a World Soundtrack Lifetime Achievement Award from Film Fest Gent.

Mr. Fenton was first nominated for an Academy Award in 1982 with Ravi Shankar for the score to Richard Attenborough’s biopic ‘Gandhi’. He then went on to score another four films for Attenborough, including ‘Cry Freedom’ and ‘Shadowlands’. He has enjoyed long collaborations with Stephen Frears, Andy Tennant and Ken Loach, for whom he has scored his last 17 films, including his forthcoming film, ‘Sorry We Missed You’, which was in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2005 he lead the initiative to create the North Wall Arts Centre in Oxford where he continues as a Trustee. Built by the UK’s leading theatre architects Howarth Tomkins, it is committed to nurturing emerging artists and is nationally recognised for its ArtsLab programme. A North Wall production won the Edinburgh Fringe First Award at the festival in 2019. BeMuse is currently exploring a recital and masterclass series in conjunction with the North Wall for the fall of 2020.

He is a visiting professor at the Royal College of Music and at Nottingham University.


BeMuse Ambassador Gala Chistiakova
Gala Chistiakova
Gala Chistiakova is a Russian Italian concert pianist, who has performed as a soloist and with symphony orchestras in 18 countries across Europe and the Far East.

Ms. Chistiakova began her piano studies aged three, with her mother Liubov Chistiakova. She is a prizewinner of more than 30 international piano competitions, including the Moscow International Chopin Competition for young pianists, the Moscow Scriabin International Piano Competition, the Maria Callas Grand Prix in Athens and the Concerto Competition in China.

Born in Moscow in 1987, Ms. Chistiakova joined the Tchaikovsky Central Music School of the Moscow Conservatoire at the age of six, where she was taught by Professors E. Khoven and A. Ryabov. She left the Conservatoire in 2014 having completed a post graduate course taught by Professor M. Voskresensky.

Now resident in Tuscany, she continues her studies at the International Piano Academy in Imola with Professor Petrushansky. Ms. Chistiakova has served on the jury of several international competitions and on the board of the Cultural Association Recondita Armonia. She has recorded for KNS Classical, ACOUSENS Records and OnClassical.
Interview with George Fenton


Benoît Peverelli
Swiss born, Paris based photographer Benoît Peverelli is known for his broad approach to photography. Whether in fashion, portraiture, landscape or documentary, his work displays photography’s essence as being the central core of his practice.

Trained as a photojournalist, Peverelli started at a young age shooting for local newspapers and press agencies, he moved to New York in his early twenties to pursue his career and widen a vision that has matured into a distinct voice, mixing an ability to disappear and observe with a powerful ability to direct.

He regularly shoots and collaborates on content for publications such as Vogue Paris, Elle, W, T Magazine, Purple, etc. His illustrious clients have included the likes of Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Air France, Kering, Uniqlo, and Loewe.

Peverelli has published "CHANEL: Final Fittings & Backstage" with Gerhard Steidl, a four-volume book documenting 10 years of his work at the Parisian house. He also published: Balthus The Last Studies a two volume book showing the photographic studies of the late painter.

He has directed the musical movie "Song of Songs" (Cantique des Cantiques) with musician Rodolphe Burger.

Ian Kelly
Ian Kelly is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter as well as best-selling historian. His play "Mr Foote’s Other Leg" transferred straight into the West End from its premiere at Hampstead Theatre, directed by Sir Richard Eyre and starring Sir Simon Russell Beale.

His biography and New York Off-Broadway hit "Cooking for Kings", about Napoleon’s chef Carême, is being adapted as TV series with Banijay-Endemol, Paris. Other works include biographies of Regency dandy Beau Brummell (adapted as a BBC film) and Georgian comedian Samuel Foote (Theatre Book of the Year, 2009) and co- writing with Vivienne Westwood her punk memoir "Vivienne Westwood".

He co- wrote with choreographer Kenneth Tindall the scenario for the ballet "Casanova", based on and inspired by Kelly’s best-selling biography of Casanova (Sunday Times Biography of the Year, Outstanding Achievement in Dance, BroadwayWorld, Sadlers’ Wells 2018), and his play "The Painted Hall", written to celebrate the renovation of Sir James Thornhill’s baroque masterpiece in Greenwich became a radio play in 2022, starring Jane Asher and Hugh Bonneville.

Ian’s many current projects include co-writing with Kit de Waal a stage-play about Frank Barber, Britain’s first Black schoolteacher, a screenplay about the music of Robert Burns, collaborating with Eddi Reader, a film about the premiere of Handel’s Messiah and the TV series ‘The Rothschilds’ for MGMtv, co-writing with Julian Fellowes.


BeMuse has cancelled the sold out performance of "Concert Fantasia" in Moscow in protest of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

A unique hybrid of stage play, classical piano concert, and history-play about now, Playing for Stalin or The Gates of Kiev is the true story of the pianist who defied Stalin. Written in Moscow and St Petersburg just before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the play represents a moment in Russian musical history that has clear resonance with now.

Maria Yudina - protestor, disruptor, dissident and 'Holy Fool' - was one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century and one of the first Jewish women to study at the St Petersburg Conservatoire -a woman who believed music could change minds and save civilizations. Fiercely defiant of the repressive regime of Josef Stalin, she interrupted her own live radio broadcasts to publicly denounce the Kremlin, risking her life in so doing, in the long tradition of those who have stood up to - and defeated - totalitarianism in Russia...

Her lifelong friend Dimitri Shostakovich tried to warn her away from politics and from taking Russian autocrats too seriously, until Shostakovich had to too, little knowing that Stalin himself was also in love with Maria and her music. The legend is, Stalin and Yudina met...

A play/piano-concert about the power of music to change hearts and minds and the fight for peace in the former Soviet empire, using Yudina's own repertoire, and ending with her famous furious rendition of Mussorgsky's The Gates of Kiev
Playing for Stalin

BeMuse Performing Arts, in partnership with the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and David Zwirner, present a multimedia project "On Interaction of Image and Sound" with a performance by Gala Chistiakova, a Russian Italian concert pianist and a laureate of international competitions.

"Every colour, every form should speak with its own voice."

Two artistic pairings: Albers and Zwirner, Midnight and Noon, Nicholas Fox Weber, David Zwirner books, 2016, p130-131

"Hearing music depends on the recognition of the in-between of the tones, of their placing and of their spacing…"

"…color present themselves in continuous flux, constantly related to changing neighbors and changing conditions."

“In musical compositions, so long as we hear merely single tones, we do not hear music.
Hearing music depends on the recognition of the in-between of the tones, of their placing and their spacing Equally a factual identification of colors within a given painting has nothing to do with a sensitive seeing nor with an understanding of the color action within the painting our concern is the interaction of color; that is, seeing what happens between colors."

“Colors and hues are defined, as are tones in music, by wave length.”

Is it possible to “see” sound, is it possible to “hear” colour?

The project is a story of the universal interpretation of music through colours, the relationship between sound and colour and how they are perceived together; the concept of Synaesthesia pioneered by Alexander Scriabin at the turn of the 20th century that formed his modernist vision and informed other forms of art, including visual art. The audience relives these ideas and sees his music through colours as performed by Gala Chistiakova.

The visual part of the program comes from Josef Albers’ iconic "Homage to the Square" paintings, courtesy of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and world-renowned gallery David Zwirner, our partner in this program. Albers’ work showed how our perception of any given colour changes depending on the colour it is shown next to, just as our perception of sound changes depending on the harmony that one sound forms with another. Albers’ coloured squares on screen correspond to music tonalities derived from Scriabin’s theory.
On Interaction of Image and Sound


Our contacts
7 Savoy Court London, UK WC2R 0EX

George Fenton

Oxana Symonds