classical music, opera, theatre

Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra

one interval
Béla Bartók National Concert Hall
  • Produced by Müpa Budapest

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Hailing from an Ossetian ethnic background, Valery Gergiev is one of the most sought-after star conductors of our era, and the orchestra he leads is not only one of the oldest music ensembles in his native Russia, it's also one of the best anywhere. They are bringing us an exciting programme that combines French music - from both the Romantic era and the fin de siècle period - with a Russian piece that is nevertheless strongly connected to the city of Paris. To add to the appeal, the piano concerto set for the middle of the programme offers a chance to encounter a brilliant new talent hardly past his 24th birthday as the soloist.

The Mariinsky Theatre and its orchestra were founded by Catherine the Great in 1783. Later, during the years of Stalinism, it became the Kirov Ballet, only reverting to its original name in 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. At the ensemble's helm is Valery Gergiev. Born in 1953, he conducts his musicians with enormous energy and ambition. His productions are evocative, with perfectionism the key element of his approach. Of the works included in the concert, Pierre Boulez considered Debussy's symphonic prelude Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune - inspired by a poem by Mallarmé - to be the start of modern music. The Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2 is so graceful and elegant, with music containing so many varied elements, that a critic wrote that it 'begins with Bach and ends with Offenbach.' Stravinsky's Petrushka, as the second member of Stravinsky's trinity of great Russian ballets, was first performed in Paris in 1911 by Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Alexandre Kantorow, the young French soloist performing the piano concerto, is regarded as an extraordinary talent. With grand directness, the critic from the American magazine Fanfare declared him 'Liszt reincarnated'.

Presented by: Müpa Budapest


  • piano
    Alexandre Kantorow

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