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All went extremely well Thursday in the pit, where American-born Gavriel Heine conducted the 64 members of the Mariinsky Orchestra in a large-scale, effortlessly brooding performance of the Prokofiev score, finding and sustaining the music’s pensive lyricism. It doesn’t get any better.
San Francisco Chronicle, October 2015
What you heard was Gavriel Heine leading the company orchestra in a sumptuous and often profound performance of the score.
Los Angeles Times, 11 October 2015
The Mariinsky Orchestra deserves special mention for magnificent playing. They elevated Glazunov’s serviceable music for Raymonda and powered the whole of Prokofiev’s expressive score with phenomenally detailed playing, making this easily the best music of any recent local dance performance in Los Angeles. Ratmansky is finely attuned to his scores. His choreography is as detailed as the music. But it was the orchestra and Gavriel Heine’s expressive conducting that gave us the clean edgy rhythms, color, and sweep that made it seem essential.
Bachtrack, 10 October 2015
Born in the United States, Gavriel Heine is currently а resident conductor at the Mariinsky Theatre and Music Director of Northern Lights Festival Opera in Minnesota, USA.
The first American in history to graduate from the Moscow Conservatory, Mr. Heine was one of Ilya Musin's last pupils at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory and follows a long line of conductors who were deeply influenced by the legendary professor. In 2007, Valery Gergiev invited Heine to make his debut at the Mariinsky Theatre, resulting in his appointment to the conducting roster. He has since led nearly 400 performances of opera, ballet and symphonic works with the company, where his repertoire includes the operas Le nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Macbeth, La Bohème, Tosca, Il Trittico, Pelléas et Mélisande, Jenůfa, L’heure Espagnole/Gianni Schicchi, Bluebeard’s Castle, Turn of the Screw, Pagliacci and La forza del destino, and special versions of The Tale of Tsar Saltan, A Love for Three Oranges and Wagner's Ring cycle. He conducts the ballets The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Sylvia, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Firebird, Rite of Spring, Apollo, Le Spectre de la rose, The Swan, “Paquita” Grand Pas, Jewels, Bambi/In the Jungle, Chopiniana, Carnaval, Schéhérazade, Cinderella and Raymonda. Premieres conducted at the Mariinsky include Robert Carsen's production of My Fair Lady (co-production with the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris), and Delibes/Ashton’s Sylvia.
Mr. Heine has conducted on the most recent Mariinsky Ballet tours to the United States and the United Kingdom, garnering unanimous praise from the critics. He led performances of Raymonda at the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, and Cinderella at both Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, also touring with the company to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (Swan Lake), The Kennedy Center (Rite of Spring/Paquita), and Covent Garden (Apollo/ A Midsummer Night's Dream). He has led the Mariinsky Orchestra in concert on tour at the Gergiev Festival in Mikkeli, Finland and conducted the Mariinsky Opera on tour to Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre (Bartok's Bluebeard’s Castle).
Heine has made guest appearances with the Sinfonieorchester Basel, La Verdi Orchestra of Milan, Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, The Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of New Russia, the St Petersburg State Cappella Orchestra, the Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra (Kazan, Russia), Samara Philharmonic Orchestra (Russia), Mikkeli Chamber Orchestra (Finland), and has led rehearsals as Assistant Conductor with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. He conducted the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra in a televised master class with Valery Gergiev in 2007, and was a featured conductor at the 2013 Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (Florida, USA).