25.04.2015

To mark the anniversary of victory in WW II the Mariinsky Theatre website is exhibiting photographs and playbills from the Mariinsky Theatre Archive, performers’ family albums and the collection of the Central State Archive of Film and Photo Documents of St Petersburg

To mark the anniversary of victory in WW II the Mariinsky Theatre website is exhibiting photographs and playbills from the Mariinsky Theatre Archive, performers’ family albums and the collection of the Central State Archive of Film and Photo Documents of St Petersburg. There are comments about these items in the form of extracts from diaries, letters and memoirs of theatre staff, reactions from contemporaries and the dry lines of certain official decrees. The chronicle is split into five sections and will be published in several stages – the final series (1945) to be published on the website on the eve of festivities taking place on 9 May.

21.04.2015

Today, 21 April, following a matinee charity concert by the Mariinsky Orchestra in Tomsk as part of the Moscow Easter Festival maestro Gergiev was awarded the title of Honorary Doctor of the Tomsk State University

Today, 21 April, following a matinee charity concert by the Mariinsky Orchestra in Tomsk as part of the Moscow Easter Festival maestro Gergiev was awarded the title of Honorary Doctor of the Tomsk State University.

The performance in Tomsk marked the fourth visit by the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev to this city. This close cultural collaboration has been made possible thanks to an agreement signed in May 2014 between the Tomsk Region and the Mariinsky. In line with tradition, the musicians perform two concerts at most of the stops on the festival tour. The first – a matinee – is for charity and allows free entry to veterans of World War II, students of academic institutions and their teachers. The programme of the charity concert in Tomsk featured masterpieces of world symphony music Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d'un faune and music from Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker as well as Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto with the outstanding Russian pianist Alexei Volodin. At the end of the performance Dean of the Tomsk State University Georgy Mayer awarded maestro Gergiev the Gold Medal and regalia as an Honorary Doctor of the university.

In the evening, at 19:00 at the Tomsk Philharmonic there will be another concert by the Mariinsky Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev. The playbill for the evening performance includes Tchaikovsky’s Second Piano Concerto (soloist – Boris Berezovsky), the first movement of Shostakovich’s Seventh (Leningrad) Symphony and highlights from Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird.

The musicians arrived in Tomsk on the Moscow Easter Festival’s chartered train from Omsk, where yesterday there were also two concerts; the next stop on this record tour in terms of its geography is Kemerovo.

17.04.2015

Barry Douglas, Valery Gergiev and musicians of the Mariinsky Orchestra performed in Votkinsk, Tchaikovsky’s home town

Barry Douglas, Valery Gergiev and musicians of the Mariinsky Orchestra performed in Votkinsk, Tchaikovsky’s home town.

On 16 April, the fifth day of the XIV Moscow Easter Festival, under the baton of Valery Gergiev the Mariinsky Orchestra performed at the Yubileiny House of Culture in Votkinsk, the town where Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born. There were performances of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony and First Piano Concerto with piano soloist Barry Douglas, winner of the VIII International Tchaikovsky Competition (1986). After the concert Valery Gergiev, Barry Douglas and musicians of the Mariinsky Orchestra visited the house where Tchaikovsky was born which is today the composer’s House-Museum. The musicians then set out for Izhevsk, where at the Axion House of Culture they performed Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony and First Piano Concerto. From Izhevsk a special train set out for Perm, where there will be two concerts today.

13.04.2015
Following the conclusion of the XV International Ballet Festival Mariinsky a new energy can be felt within the ballet company

Following the conclusion of the XV International Ballet Festival Mariinsky a new energy can be felt within the ballet company.

Ernest Latypov has been made a Coryphée, Sofia Ivanova-Skoblikoba is now a Second Soloist and Kimin Kim and Timur Askerov are Principal Dancers. In just a few years (four years in the case of Timur Askerov and three and a bit with Kimin Kim) under the guidance of St Petersburg coaches who teach the St Petersburg school, they have embraced not just the technical elements but also the style of Mariinsky Theatre productions. Their repertoires include many lead roles, and now their leading positions in the company has been formally confirmed.

13.04.2015

On 12 April Valery Gergiev will be conducting the Mariinsky Orchestra with Denis Matsuev and Olga Borodina at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire for the opening of the XIV Moscow Easter Festival

On 12 April Valery Gergiev will be conducting the Mariinsky Orchestra with Denis Matsuev and Olga Borodina at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire for the opening of the XIV Moscow Easter Festival.

This year the festival will be dedicated to two dates of tremendous importance in international history and world music history – seventy years since victory in World War II and one hundred and seventy-five years since the birth of the great Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

To mark one hundred and seventy-five years since the birth of Tchaikovsky, the playbill includes symphony music programmes – performances by the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev in Tchaikovsky’s home town of Votkinsk, as well as in Klin, where the composer spent the last years of his life and in other towns closely linked with Tchaikovsky’s life – Izhevsk, Moscow and St Petersburg.

The concerts by the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev to mark seventy years of victory in World War II will take place in the “hero-cities” of Moscow, Smolensk and Volgograd, in the military cities Belgorod, Voronezh and Kursk as well as in Samara, Orenburg, Yekaterinburg, Tyumen and Perm. The programme features “military symphonies” by Prokofiev and Shostakovich, Rachmaninoff’s late works and pieces by Medtner.

Alongside the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, the programme of the XIV Easter Festival will feature concerts by past winners – pianists Barry Douglas, Denis Matsuev and Boris Berezovsky, opera stars Albina Shagimuratova and Mikhail Kazakov and young but already acclaimed talents. The festival’s participants also include the rising international stars of the music scene Behzod Abduraimov, Pavel Milyukov and Andrei Baranov.

In line with tradition, the festival will see rich programmes of symphony, chamber, choral and bell-ringing music.

For details please go to: http://easterfestival.ru/

10.04.2015
To mark twenty years of her creative career the internationally acclaimed ballerina Diana Vishneva is having a photo exhibition at the Mariinsky Theatre entitled Twenty, organised together with the Tatyana Parfionova Fashion House which is also twenty-years-old

To mark twenty years of her creative career the internationally acclaimed ballerina Diana Vishneva is having a photo exhibition at the Mariinsky Theatre entitled Twenty, organised together with the Tatyana Parfionova Fashion House which is also twenty-years-old.

A prima ballerina with the Mariinsky Theatre, principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and a guest soloist with the Bolshoi Theatre, she first appeared at the Mariinsky Theatre on 16 February 1995 as Kitri in the ballet Don Quixote while still a pupil at the Vaganova Academy, and ever since then she has been a favourite with the public.
Vishneva has received a plethora of prestigious prizes and titles including the State Prize of the Russian Federation, People’s Artist of the Russian Federation, Best Dancer in Europe, the Divine prize, the Benois de la Danse, the Golden Sofit, Ballerina of the Decade and six Russian Golden Mask awards. Some of the present day’s most acclaimed choreographers have staged works for the dancer, among them John Neumeier, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Alexei Ratmansky and Carolyn Carlson. Since 2008 Vishneva has launched her own independent projects Beauty in Motion, Dialogues and On the Edge.
Diana Vishneva became a muse for the acclaimed designer Tatyana Parfionova, inspiring new artistic ideas and fashion collections. Twenty is an exhibition that allows us to see this well-loved ballerina not just in theatrical roles but also in the new role of a model. The art captured in the lens of the camera is very different to that which develops during a performance. The genre of stage photography reveals new shades of Vishneva’s talent. The classical tutus and transparent tunics of her heroines – Giselle, Juliet and Cinderella – are mixed with the refined, elegant and poetically imaginative costumes of Tatyana Parfionova.

Italian photographer Carlo Giorgi began to work in 1978 as an official photographer of the Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana, now known as PITTI IMMAGINE. For many years it has collaborated with the fashion magazines of such fashion houses as Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Ermenegildo Zegna and Yves Saint Laurent among others. In 1994 Carlo Giorgi began to work as a wedding photographer and has won particular popularity in this sphere. Today he is one of Italy’s most acclaimed photographers.

The TATYANA PARFIONOVA fashion house was established by the designer and artist Tatyana Parfionova in 1995, and has since become a symbol of St Petersburg. The collections produced by this fashion house are examples of intellectual and elegant fashion in Russia as well as being well perceived internationally.

The photo exhibition is taking place at two Mariinsky Theatre venues:
from 10 – 28 April 2015 in the dress circle foyer
of the Mariinsky Theatre (1 Theatre Square) and
from 29 April – 5 May in the audience foyer of the Mariinsky-II (29 Decembrists’ Street).

09.04.2015

On 4 May the Mariinsky recording label releases its latest – indeed the sixth – disc in the series Gergiev’s Shostakovich

On 4 May the Mariinsky recording label releases its latest – indeed the sixth – disc in the series Gergiev’s Shostakovich. The release includes the Ninth Symphony and the First Violin Concerto (with soloist Leonidas Kavakos) performed by the Mariinsky Orchestra under maestro Gergiev. These works were recorded at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre in June 2012.

The Ninth Symphony is one of Shostakovich’s most enigmatical works – the composer began the composition in January 1945 and he concluded it at the same time as the end of the Great Patriotic War. After the vast Seventh and Eighth Symphonies everyone was expecting an even more grandiose work – after all, he had initially conceived the Ninth as a hymn to the victory over Nazi Germany with soloists and a chorus to complement Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The result was unexpected: the symphony turned out to be chamber-like and very laconic. The disappointment in official circles meant that the work was prohibited right up until 1955. The First Violin Concerto, composed in 1948, is, in essence, a symphony with a violin solo. Shostakovich dedicated the work to violinist David Oistrakh, with whom he had shared a friendship and creative collaboration for many years, and it was Oistrakh who performed the Concerto’s official premiere.
Performances and recordings of all of Dmitry Shostakovich’s symphonies and instrumental concerti are one of maestro Gergiev’s foremost artistic projects. The symphony cycle Gergiev’s Shostakovich began in 2006 at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre and continued at concert venues in the USA, Great Britain, Austria and Germany. In the 2013−2014 season the full cycle of Shostakovich’s instrumental concerti and symphonies was also performed at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. “Gergiev and Shostakovich provide a rare today example of a profound connection between a composer and a conductor, a connection that gives the audience an unforgettable impression,” wrote the German press after the final part of the Gergiev’s Shostakovich project in Munich.
Pre-release orders can be made on the label’s official site in the disc formats Super Audio CD: bit.ly/1Ci42n4 (to be sent by post one week before the official release date) and in iTunes (geni.us/3oPB).
Moreover, to mark the release of the new disc of works by Shostakovich the Mariinsky label is offering a 20% discount on all previously released recordings in the series – discs featuring Symphonies Nos 1−8, 10, 11 and 15 as well as the First and Second Piano Concerti (soloist – Denis Matsuev).

04.04.2015
The Mariinsky Theatre is running the MariinskyInternational Piano Festival for the ninth time. From 6 – 12 April at the Concert Hall and chamber venues of the Mariinsky-II there will be fourteen concert programmes featuring sixteen pianists

The Mariinsky Theatre is running the Mariinsky International Piano Festival for the ninth time. From 6 – 12 April at the Concert Hall and chamber venues of the Mariinsky-II there will be fourteen concert programmes featuring sixteen pianists.

Twice a year this major piano forum showcases different performing traditions featuring great maestri who have already won international acclaim as well as dazzling young pianists for whom the journey to music’s Mount Olympus has only just begun. The recital, chamber and symphony programmes afford a wonderful opportunity to judge the particulars of the technique, interpretations and styles of pianists from different generations and nationalities.

One feature of the current festival is the monograph programmes: there will be performances of piano concerti by Ravel (opening concert of the festival, soloist Pierre-Laurent Aimard (France), 6 April), all of Brahms’ piano concerti (closing concert of the festival, soloist Alexei Volodin, 12 April), a programme of works by Chopin with Jean-Baptiste Fonlupt from France (8 April), works by Liszt including the Sonata in B Minor with Shin-Heae Kang from Germany (9 April), Bach’s Twenty-Four Preludes and Fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier (Volume I) in the recital programme of Pierre-Laurent Aimard (9 April), all of Chopin’s preludes and Scriabin’s twenty-four preludes with Boris Petrushansky (10 April), Beethoven’s cycles of variations – thirty-three variations on a theme by Diabelli and thirty-two variations on one of Beethoven’s own themes – performed by Finnish pianist Jukka Ovaskainen (10 April), Beethoven’s Große Sonate für das Hammerklavier (Sonata No 29) in a recital programme by Ivan Rudin (11 April), Modest Musorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death and five romances by Dmitry Shostakovich to verse by Dolmatovsky (Xenia Bashmet, piano, and Gevorg Ambartsumian, baritone, 7 April) and romances by Taneyev (Viktoria Mun, soprano, and Mikhail Byalik, piano, 12 April).

New to the festival in St Petersburg are pianists who have already won international critical acclaim including Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who follows the French pianistic tradition. On 6 April he will open the festival with Ravel’s two piano concerti with the Mariinsky Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev. On 9 April Aimard will give a recital dedicated to the music of Bach. His interpretations of polyphony have received lofty praise from renowned critics, while his disc of Bach’s The Art of the Fugue, recorded with Deutsche Grammophon, became one of the most popular classical albums on iTunes.

One unvarying aspect of the festival programme is that it presents the school of one outstanding professor of piano. On 10 April there will be a performance by Boris Petrushansky, Honoured Artist of Russia, soloist with the Moscow State Academic Philharmonic and professor at the  Incontri col Maestro piano academy in Imola (Italy). The pianist will perform preludes by Scriabin and Chopin. As Petrushansky says, the idea of performing two cycles, “uniting forty-eight different states of the human soul, thoughts, moods and relationships in one huge garland” came about by itself. “In terms of structure, in terms of the circle of fifths with parallel tonalities, Scriabin’s preludes exactly replicate Chopin’s principles, and the early Scriabin came totally from Chopin.”

On 11 April St Petersburg audiences will have the opportunity to hear Petrushansky’s students – Kiryl Keduk, Galina Chistyakova, Leonora Armellini and Roman Lopatynskyi.
The galaxy of young stars will also feature Yeol Eum Son from South Korea, Ivan Rudin from Moscow and the German pianist of Korean descent Shin-Heae Kang.

The current festival will also feature concert-master pianists and maestri of chamber performance. There will be duets of singers featuring Mikhail Byalik (with soprano Viktoria Mun in a programme of romances by Taneyev, 12 April) and Xenia Bashmet (with baritone Gevorg Ambartsumian in a programme of romances by Rachmaninoff and song cycles by Shostakovich and Musorgsky, 7 April). Together with violinist Dragan Sredojević, the Croatian pianist “with staggering stage charisma” Goran Filipec will be performing a programme of works by Bach, Liszt and Franck (11 April).

Regular festival guest Denis Matsuev will gather together his fans on 8 April at the Concert Hall. Together with the Mariinsky Orchestra he will be performing works by Russian composers Igor Stravinsky and Rodion Shchedrin. Valery Gergiev will be conducting.

The final chord of the forum will come with a performance by Alexei Volodin with the Mariinsky Orchestra under Daniel Raiskin. This pianist of high musical intellect and a “poet” of the piano will present Brahms’ First and Second Piano Concerti.

The festival will run at three venues – the Concert Hall and chamber halls at the Mariinsky-II.

01.04.2015
On 7 April the performance of the opera Khovanshchina will be dedicated to Boris Shtokolov, an outstanding singer of the Kirov-Mariinsky Opera

On 7 April the performance of the opera Khovanshchina will be dedicated to Boris Shtokolov, an outstanding singer of the Kirov-Mariinsky Opera.

“Shtokolov was a singer who united the company with millions of music lovers, people who love melodies and songs. That made him a true phenomenon at the theatre.”
Valery Gergiev

The outstanding Russian singer Boris Timofeyevich Shtokolov (1930-2005) was for over thirty years a lead soloist at the Kirov-Mariinsky Theatre and, in a wider sense, a symbol of musical culture in Leningrad-St Petersburg. The exceptional beauty of his voice, his skill and his charm also won him acclaim at theatres in the USA, France, the UK, Spain, Sweden, Germany and Finland among other countries where he became known as the 2Soviet Chaliapin”. Shtokolov was famed as a great recitalist and a brilliant performer of folk songs and Russian romances.
Starting in 1959, for three decades Shtokolov performed at the Kirov Theatre as Susanin, Godunov, Dosifei, the Demon, Ruslan, Galitsky and Gremin.
When, in 1969, the Chicago Lyric Opera invited him to take part in a production of Khovanshchina the designer and director Nicholas Benois (son of Alexandre Benois), who for many years worked at La Scala and has done a great deal for Russian opera internationally, heard Shtokolov at a rehearsal he said to him: “I’ve never hears such a Dosifei. Sing and act as you like.”
“He had an incredible feel for the music, an innate sense of art,” recalls composer Tikhon Khrennikov, “in opera he embodied that folk spirit and hero-like power with which Russian fairy-tales and bylinas are imbued. He didn’t just have a deep sense of what he was singing, he was able to convey to the audience the primordial character of the musical images he embodied, to involve, perturb and amaze the audience. His performances in operas were a king of “mono-performance”. I’d also point out his incredible sincerity, faith and the monologue-like character of his singing style, and that’s also a feature deeply rooted in the traditions of Russian song, the fairy-tale-song and the bylina-song.”
German Poplavsky

30.03.2015

Today, 30 March, maestro Gergiev will be conducting the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala at the illustrious theatre in Milan, the ensemble’s home stage

Today, 30 March, maestro Gergiev will be conducting the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala at the illustrious theatre in Milan, the ensemble’s home stage. The concert programme includes the introductions to Acts I and III of Richard Wagner’s opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Johannes Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto with Yefim Bronfman as the soloist and Alexander Scriabin’s Le Poème de l’extase.

Valery Gergiev regularly appears with the fabled Italian orchestra which has much in common with the Mariinsky Orchestra – both ensembles “emerged” from theatre orchestras. Developing on a new level thanks to their performances of symphony music, they began to appear in their own right in concerts and are currently among the most frequently touring orchestras in the world. In November 2010 the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala awarded maestro Gergiev the title of Honorary Orchestra Member.
2–4 April will see the Russian maestro and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra present a series of programmes in The Netherlands under the common title of A Musical Firework with Valery Gergiev and Leonidas Kavakos. The internationally acclaimed Greek musician, who regularly collaborates with maestro Gergiev, will perform the solo in Dmitry Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam (2 April) and the De Doelen concert hall in Rotterdam (4 April). The symphony music part of the tour features masterpieces by Wagner including highlights from the operas Parsifal, Götterdämmerung and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

Moreover, on 3 April in Amsterdam Valery Gergiev will run an open conducting master-class with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Dutch audiences will thus have the unique opportunity to hear not just the dazzling result but also the painstaking working process to achieve an ideal sound with a full symphony orchestra.

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