And the honoured donor is…..
No, hang on, not a donor. A composer. A living one. Goodness, they must be living on a different planet.
At 7:15 pm on 26 June Valery Gergiev inaugurated the new Chamber Music Hall at the Mariinsky-II. The opening of the concert venue took place directly before the world premiere of the outstanding contemporary Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin’s opera The Lefthander, written especially for the opening of the Mariinsky-II; the Chamber Music Hall has been named in the composer’s honour.
As maestro Gergiev stated, the opening of the Shchedrin Hall is a token of respect to the Russian genius who shares a long and fruitful history of collaboration with the Mariinsky Theatre. Shchedrin’s music occupies a special position in the repertoire of the Mariinsky Theatre, which is pleased and proud to have staged his operas Dead Souls and The Enchanted Wanderer and his ballets Anna Karenina, The Little Humpbacked Horse and Carmen-Suite in addition to regular performances of the composer’s symphony and chamber music. On the initiative of Valery Gergiev, Russia and other countries often host festivals, the programmes of which consist entirely of works by Rodion Konstantinovich Shchedrin (such as a marathon of Shchedrin’s piano concerti and an international festival celebrating the composer’s eightieth birthday).
The programme for the opening of the Chamber Music Hall included vocal works by Russian and European composers and concluded with Varvara’s famous Ditties from Rodion Shchedrin’s opera Not Love Alone, performed by mezzo-sopranoEkaterina Semenchuk, a lead Mariinsky Opera soloist.