an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

Valery Gergiev: I conducted 18 concerts in 8 days

The maestro has just announced the following on his Facebook page:

Russian President Putin presents a Hero of Labour award to Mariinsky theatre director Gergiev during an awards ceremony in St. Petersburg



Valery Gergiev during the last eight days has conducted eighteen concerts (sic!) in twelve cities as part of the 12th Moscow Easter Festival that he founded in 2002. Festival events take place not only in Moscow but in many Russian regions. The Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra is a regular participant of the Festival. Travelling on board a special chartered train, Maestro Gergiev conducted concerts in Moscow (May 5, afternoon and evening), Smolensk (May 6, morning and afternoon), Bryansk (May 6, evening), Belgorod (May 7, morning), Kursk (May 7, afternoon), Oryol (May 7, evening), Tula (May 8, morning), Kaluga (May 8, evening), Moscow (May 9, afternoon and evening), Nizhny Novgorod (May 10, afternoon and evening), Kostroma (May 11, morning), Yaroslavl (May 11, evening), Vologda (May 12, afternoon) and Cherepovets (May 12, evening). Concerts from May 5 to 9 featured pianist Denis Matsuev, while the Mariinsky Opera Soloists and the Mariinsky Chorus joined the orchestra for a set of concerts from May 10 to 12 to perform oratorial works and operas. For the next couple nights Valery Gergiev conducts a double bill at the new Mariinsky Theatre (Mariinsky II) — Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps (world premiere choreographed by Sasha Waltz) and Sergei Prokofiev’s The Prodigal Son (choreographed by George Balanchine, 1929).

I’m not sure what kind of e ndurance record has been broken here, but I’m not sure it’s something to be proud of. Unless he’s out to prove that he really deserves the Hero of Labour Prize. In olden times, he would have been called a Stakhanovite.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. What is special is that the the music of the Moscow Easter Festival is not only performed in Moscow but shared much more widely. Is it bad for a nation’s best artists to a perform to a broader public during a special holiday period, even if it takes unusual energy and endurance and the government may be cheering him on?

  2. Mark Stratford says:

    Compare with Carlos Kleiber who did fewer and fewer concerts – but they were bloody good !
    Every one a great event.

    • harold braun says:

      You mean the 10 concerts he gave in 20 years?Yes,they were great,but to few for me to think him as great as many do.Just the same 7 pieces with the same 3 orchestras? That’s for me not enough to deserve the cult status he does.Gergiev certainly is a immensly charismatic conductor whom i never find boring.Fantastic sense of inner balance,orchestral colours and extremly versatile.For me he is one of the 5 top conductors in the world.and i am glad he goes to Munich,where I can easely travel to to see him more often.

      • Theodore McGuiver says:

        Give me quality over quantity ever time; Tour d’Argent v. MacDonalds. A good percentage of those works Carlos Kleiber conducted are considered by many to have found almost definitive interpretations under his direction, an achievement to which Gergiev and his and his professionally incontinent colleagues can lay no claim.

      • Michael Schaffer says:

        Kleiber’s reputation is more based on his work in the opera house, mainly in Stuttgart, Munich, Vienna, at La Scala and occasionally at Covent Garden, than on his all-too-few recordings of and appearances in symphonic repertoire.

  3. yeah but consider that conducting is easy: honestly: i conducted tons of concerts, and if the conductor makes a mistake in the concert… well… it’s inaudible!

    therefore i am switching to jazz right now, which uses an entirely different part of the brain ;)

    wondering where to go instead of slow motion perfectionism

  4. Gonout Backson says:

    I always suspected he has many identical siblings like Droopy in one of the Tex Avery cartoons.

  5. Fabio Fabrici says:

    If he thinks that’s an achievement it says a lot about him… He must have good genes though. Anybody else would have collapsed under his load many years ago.

  6. Quantity, or quality?

  7. This is not a record of which to boast! I’ve thought for some time that his interpretations have lacked depth, and now try to avoid any performance in which he is ‘conducting’. he was good when he first came to London…but he seems to have made a major dash for pelf.

  8. No wonder he has no time for a shower! Or a shave.

  9. Timon Wapenaar says:

    Mazeltov. Your genuine 90% tungsten “Hero of the Soviet Union 2.0″ award is in the post.

  10. Theodore McGuiver says:

    Did he really conduct all these concert or just do his usual trick of standing frowning in front a large body of musicians who then proceed to bail him out for the next two hours?

  11. Mark Stratford says:

    A good piece in The Economist, below. They call Gergiev “one of Putin’s more impressive friends” ;-)

  12. Seen from the experience with him conducting the Vienna Philharmonic (!) in Hanover last year, he definitely conducts too many concerts. Many other conductors would have done better than he did at that evening.

  13. Novagerio says:

    [redacted: legal] Media-hype apart, some people even say he’s more powerful than Putin. Well, good for him. I wouldn’t exactly dare say his name in the the same breath with a truly hard working obsessively fanatical perfectionist as Carlos Kleiber.

  14. Mark Stratford says:

    In a letter to Daily Telegraph, VG once made a correction :

    “… I am not the godfather of any of Mr Putin’s children, nor is he godfather to any of mine. …”

an ArtsJournal blog