On the world’s present-day “music and theatre map”, the Stars of the White Nights festival initiated by Valery Gergiev, Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre in 1993 is one of the most popular and vast music forums in terms of its ideas and its scale. Each year the festival brings together both outstanding musical ensembles and acclaimed soloists. The influence of the festival in world culture is borne out by the fact that last year the Stars of the White Nights Music Festival was included in the list of the world’s ten greatest arts festivals alongside those in Salzburg, Bayreuth, Bregenz, Lucerne and Aix-en-Provence.
Montblanc has been a partner of the White Nights Festival since 2007. This will be the fourth year in a row that it is supporting the New Names project. The aim of this project is to support talented young singers, presenting their art to opera lovers at large in Russia and abroad who can assist the furthering of the professional careers of the winners and award proper public praise at the outset of these performers’ careers. There is an awards ceremony each year at the festival at which Valery Gergiev reveals the names of the talented young vocalists who have been awarded the Montblanc New Names award as well as a gala concert with the prize-winners, which in line with tradition is preceded by the grand White Nights gala concert. Over the years of the festival’s history this award has been presented to British singer Katherine Jenkins (mezzo-soprano), Mariinsky Theatre soloists Anastasia Kalagina (soprano), Kristina Kapustinskaya (soprano) and Alexei Markov (baritone).
In the course of its long history, Montblanc has won a reputation as a patron of the arts and culture. The range of its charitable and sponsorship activities is incredibly broad, encompassing literature, ballet, music, the establishment of the Montblanc Cultural Foundation, the unique Philharmonia of the Nations and a joint project with UNICEF to fight against illiteracy to name but some spheres of activity.
The aim of all of Montblanc’s international sponsorship projects in opera, classical music, literature and fine arts is to support talented young people. Aiding the success of talented young performers could be best described by the philosophy of Montblanc, which states that the foundations for success lie, first and foremost, in knowledge, passion and enthusiasm.
Actively involved in many international cultural events, Montblanc is delighted to make its own contribution to the life of society today and the maintenance of cultural values.