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Phenomen Trust was founded by Russian entrepreneur and philanthropist Sergei Adoniev (b. 1961, Soviet Union) as a vehicle to pursue his intellectual curiosity, at the nexus of art, science, and philosophy.

Sergei Adoniev and Ilya Khrzhanovsky on the set of DAU, 2009

Sergei Adoniev and Ilya Khrzhanovsky on the set of DAU, 2009

Adoniev graduated from Leningrad Polytechnic Institute, where he also held a professorship in Structural Resistance in from 1985 to 1989.

In the early 1990s, Adoniev co-founded Olbi-Jazz and subsequently the Joint Food Company (JFC), which became the leading fruit importing company in Russia, and in 2001, moved his focus to tech industries. In 2006, Adoniev founded Telconet Capital fund, which became the main shareholder of the telecommunication operator Skartel (trademark Yota), the first provider launching mobile wimax (4G) in Russia, and the first company in Russia to launch LTE.

Via Phenomen Trust, Adoniev supports many cultural and social projects, the most significant of which include the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre; Teodor Currentzis’ musicAeterna choir; The Shed, a new multimedia performance venue in New York City; and Ilya Khrzhanovsky’s epic film project DAU.

In addition, Adoniev supports several Educational institutions. The Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design is a non-profit international educational project, founded in 2009, located in Moscow; Adoniev co-founded the Institute and co-financed it between 2009-2014. Merab Mamardashvili Foundation, which is aimed at studying and publishing the heritage of the outstanding Soviet philosopher and phenomenologist, Merab Mamardashvili, is also financed by Adoniev, in addition to the Salomon Maimon Heritage Foundation, which is aimed at studying and publishing the life and works of Salomon Maimon, a German self-taught philosopher of Jewish descent from the 17th century. Adoniev also funds the Charitable Foundation Ostrova, which offers help to people suffering from cystic fibrosis in Russia, in addition to the Gift of Life, which offers hope and care to children and young adults from Russia and the CIS, whose families cannot afford treatment for cancer and other life-threatening diseases; in January 2017, Gift of Life hosted an exclusive concert at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank starring celebrated British actors Ralph Fiennes and Vanessa Redgrave CBE, accompanied by world-renowned conductor Teodor Currentzis and his orchestra, musicAeterna; Phenomen Trust supported generously to the evening which raised in excess of £600,000.

In 2016, Adoniev received Philanthropist of the Year award. The award was established by the Ministry of Culture of Russia and is awarded to significant philanthropists for their support and financial aid to projects aimed at preservation of Russian cultural heritage.