15.01.2018

From 17 to 21 January the Mariinsky Theatre (historic stage) will again host a tour by the ballet company of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre (Vladivostok)

From 17 to 21 January the Mariinsky Theatre (historic stage) will again host a tour by the ballet company of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre (Vladivostok). The playbill features the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre's production of Le Corsaire with choreography by Eldar Aliev, Giselle with choreography by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa and 2016-17 premieres of the Primorsky Stage - Alberto Alonso's Carmen-Suite and George Balanchine's Prodigal Son.

The tour opens with the St Petersburg premiere of the ballet Le Corsaire by Adolphe Adam using fragments of music by Cesare Pugni, Léo Delibes, Riccardo Drigo and Pyotr Oldenburgsky staged by Principal Choreographer of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre Eldar Aliev (using highlights of the choreography by Marius Petipa). The performances will take place on 17, 18 and 20 January at 19.30.

On 21 January at 14.00 and 19.30 audiences will see Adolphe Adam's fantasy ballet Giselle choreographed by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa, which proved a great success during the ballet company's first visit to St Petersburg in August 2017.

Ballet productions already familiar to St Petersburg audiences – Georges Bizet - Rodion Shchedrin's Carmen-Suite and Sergei Prokofiev's Prodigal Son with choreography by George Balanchine – will be presented on 19 January at 19.30 and on 20 January at 12.00.

The lead roles in the tour performances will be performed by lead soloists of the ballet company of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre: Anna Samostrelova, Irina Sapozhnikova, Kanat Nadyrbek and Sergei Umanets. Conducting the Mariinsky Orchestra will be Pavel Smelkov (Principal Conductor of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre) and Anton Torbeyev.

The last tour by the ballet company of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre to the historic stage of the Mariinsky Theatre in August 2017 was a great success. Over a week there were performances of the one-act ballets The Firebird with choreography by Eldar Aliev and George Balanchine's Apollo, as well as the ballet Giselle with choreography by Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot and Marius Petipa.

The ballet company of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre is an international ensemble comprising dancers from Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Moldavia, Japan, Brazil, the USA, Great Britain, Italy and Spain. The company's soloists and corps de ballet are diploma-recipients and prize-winners at international competitions and have won grants from major foundations. The ballet playbill of the Primorsky Stage includes productions from the classical repertoire: Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker by Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Giselle and Le Corsaire by Adolphe Adam. 20th and 21st century choreography is represented by Igor Stravinsky's The Firebird staged by Eldar Aliev, Alberto Alonso's Carmen-Suite to music by Georges Bizet – Rodion Shchedrin and George Balanchine's one-act ballets Apollo, Prodigal Son, Serenade and Scotch Symphony.

11.01.2018

From 11 to 16 January the Mariinsky Opera and Orchestra will be appearing at the Tchaikovsky Festival at the Auditorium Parco della Musica of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Italy). The festival is being held as part of the major cultural project Russian Seasons, which was initiated by the Government of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation

From 11 to 16 January the Mariinsky Opera and Orchestra will be appearing at the Tchaikovsky Festival at the Auditorium Parco della Musica of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Italy). The festival is being held as part of the major cultural project Russian Seasons, which was initiated by the Government of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.

On 11, 12 and 13 January there will be three concert performances of the opera Iolanta featuring the orchestra and chorus of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. The lead roles will be performed by Irina Churilova (Iolanta), Najmiddin Mavlyanov (Vaudémont), Alexei Markov (Robert), Stanislav Trofimov (King René) and Roman Burdenko (Ibn-Hakia). Valery Gergiev will be conducting.

On 14 January there will be the opening ceremony of the Russian Seasons festival with the participation of Deputy Chair of the Government of the Russian Federation Olga Golodets and Undersecretary of State to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic Maria Elena Boschi. Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra will present three programmes dedicated to the music of Pyotr Tchaikovsky. 14 January will see performances of the First and Sixth Symphonies, on 15 January there will be performances of the Second and Fifth Symphonies and on 16 January there will be Symphonies Nos 3 and 4.

Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra will subsequently continue their tour to Belgium. On 17 January works by Pyotr Tchaikovsky will be performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in Antwerp. The programme includes highlights from music for the ballet The Nutcracker, Symphony No 4 and Piano Concerto No 1 (soloist: Ivan Bessonov).

05.01.2018

On 5 January the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre will host a concert in memory of Yoko Nagae Ceschina, a harpist and patron of the arts, thanks to whom many Mariinsky Theatre projects have been realised

On 5 January the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre will host a concert in memory of Yoko Nagae Ceschina, a harpist and patron of the arts, thanks to whom many Mariinsky Theatre projects have been realised.

The Renaissance Percussion ensemble and soloists of the Mariinsky Orchestra Sofia Kiprskaya (harp) and Yuri Afonkin (viola) will perform the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquín Rodrigo (arranged by Vyacheslav Kruglik), highlights from Antonio Vivaldi's cycle The Seasons (arranged by Vladislav Ivanov), Alberto Ginastera's Harp Concerto (arranged by Vyacheslav Kruglik) and Deborah Henson-Conant's The Nightingale, as well as popular themes from films arranged for electric harp, percussion and viola.

The Mariinsky Theatre's annual Northern Lyre festival is also dedicated to Yoko Nagae Ceschina.

29.12.2017

On 31 December the Mariinsky Theatre concludes the calendar year with Rodion Shchedrin's opera A Christmas Tale under Valery Gergiev (Mariinsky II), the concert Encore! featuring participants of the International Piano Festival, a semi-staged performance of Engelbert Humperdinck's opera Hänsel und Gretel (Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre) and two performances of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker (the historic Mariinsky Theatre)

On 31 December the Mariinsky Theatre concludes the calendar year with Rodion Shchedrin's opera A Christmas Tale under Valery Gergiev (Mariinsky II), the concert Encore! featuring participants of the International Piano Festival, a semi-staged performance of Engelbert Humperdinck's opera Hänsel und Gretel (Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre) and two performances of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker (the historic Mariinsky Theatre). The ballet The Nutcracker will also be presented on 31 December at the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. In 2018 all Mariinsky Theatre venues in St Petersburg and Vladivostok re-open on 2 January, the branch in Vladivavkaz resuming performances on 3 January.

• There have been performances and concerts at eleven venues: the historic Mariinsky Theatre, the Concert Hall, the Mariinsky II and its four chamber halls, the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre (Great and Small Halls) and the stages of the branch in Vladikavkaz – the State Academic Philharmonic of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania and the National State Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania;
• Over 1,800 performances and concerts have been presented;
• Audiences have included visitors from ninety-eight countries including Australia, the USA, Canada, Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan and various countries in Europe, Africa and South America;
• Twenty-four opera and six ballet premieres;
• Thirteen festivals in St Petersburg, Vladivostok, Vladikavkaz and Samara, as well as the XVI Moscow Easter Festival which visited seventy-seven towns and cities in Russia;
• The programme The Mariinsky for Children saw over 100,000 young spectators attend various performances and educational projects run by the theatre.

Premieres of 2017
• Richard Strauss' opera Salome was presented at the Mariinsky II (directed by Marat Gatsalov, marking his debut as an opera director);
• Giuseppe Verdi's opera I vespri siciliani (directed by Arnaud Bernard) was performed by Ildar Abdrazakov, Maria Guleghina, Vladislav Sulimsky, Migran Agadzhanyan and Mariinsky Opera soloists;
• Francesco Cilea's opera Adriana Lecouvreur staged by Isabelle Partiot-Pieri was presented for the first time at the Mariinsky II as part of the XXV Stars of the White Nights festival. The lead roles were performed by Anna Netrebko, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Yusif Eyvasov and Alexei Markov;
• Following a lengthy absence, the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre revived Hector Berlioz' opera Benvenuto Cellini staged by Vasily Barkhatov (full revival of the 2007 production);
• Two operas for children and their parents were staged at the Concert Hall by Mstislav Pentkovsky: Hans Krása's Brundibár and Grigory Frid's The Diary of Anne Frank;
• Soloists of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers under Larisa Gergieva presented two stage premieres: Rodion Shchedrin's opera Not Love Alone staged by Alexander Kuzin and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera Der Schauspieldirektor staged and designed by Gleb Cherepanov. There was a world premiere (concert performance) of Boris Grabovsky's opera Woe from Wit and a St Petersburg premiere of Alexander Tchaikovsky's opera Chess King;
• The XVII Mariinsky international ballet festival opened with the premiere of Paquita to music by Édouard Deldevez, Ludwig Minkus and Riccardo Drigo in a production by Yuri Smekalov, with the reconstruction and staging of Marius Petipa's choreography (Act III Grand pas) by Yuri Burlaka;
• The Creative Workshop of Young Choreographers, held this year for the fifth time, has become an international project featuring works by international choreographers (Guilherme Maciel and Garrett Smith) as well as Russian ballet-masters (Olga Vasilieva, Maxim Petrov, Ilya Zhivoi and Vladimir Varnava). The workshop saw the launch of the project The Dreamers;
• Ballet premieres at the XXV Stars of the White Nights music festival included Ilya Zhivoi's The Four Seasons to music by Max Richter (after motifs of Antonio Vivaldi) and Vladimir Varnava's Yaroslavna. The Eclipse to music by Boris Tishchenko;
• In the 2017-18 season Vladimir Varnava staged a production of the ballet Pétrouchka, the premiere commemorating one hundred and thirty-five years since the birth of Igor Stravinsky;
• The chamber halls of the Mariinsky II hosted the premieres of operas for young audiences Adalmina's Pearl by Grayr Khanedanian, The Little Sweep by Benjamin Britten, ¬Wash'em Clean by Yuri Levitin, The Silly Little Mouse by Dmitry Shostakovich, The Treasures of the Magic Well by Svetlana Nesterova and Murych the Cat by Sergei Banevich;
• The subscription Short Operas for Adults saw productions of Diary of a Madman by Yuri Butsko, Zinaida by Leonid Klinichev, The Newlyweds by Grigory Korchmar, Expectation by Michael Tariverdiev and Van Gogh's Letters by Grigory Frid;
• The main premiere at the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre was Pyotr Tchaikovsky's ballet The Sleeping Beauty with choreography by Marius Petipa, revised by Konstantin Sergeyev (1952) and Eldar Aliev (2016). The first performances featured guest ballet dancers from Japan;
• At the National State Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania (the Mariinsky Theatre's branch in Vladikavkaz) there were premieres of Sergei Banevich's operas for children The Brave Hare, Murych the Cat and The Snow Queen, directed by Givi Valiev.

Festivals
In 2017 the Mariinsky Theatre's already-established traditional festivals saw the addition of new titles, among them the Northern Lyre harp festival, dedicated to the memory of Countess Yoko Nagae Ceschina (1 – 5 April) and the festival of musical theatre workshops The Mariinsky for Children: Children at the Mariinsky (1 – 7 May). The various venues of the branch of the Mariinsky Theatre in Vladikavkaz held the I International Caucasus Festival The Mariinsky – Vladikavkaz. The programme of the forum included key events featuring outstanding musicians and opera and ballet stars (23 – 29 September).

•20 – 26 February. The II International Choral Festival Maslenitsa in Song saw the participation of ensembles from Russia, Slovenia, Norway, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and France. One key event of the festival came with the premiere of Hans Krása's children's opera Brundibár staged by Mstislav Pentkovsky;
• 30 March – 9 April. The XVII Mariinsky international ballet festival presented stars from the Bolshoi Theatre, English National Ballet and the Dutch National Ballet. The festival's guest company was the Perm Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre;
• 16 April – 9 May. The XVI Moscow Easter Festival marked one hundred and thirty-five years since the birth of Igor Stravinsky and visited seventy-seven Russian towns and cities – there were one hundred and eighty-two concerts of symphony, choral, chamber and bell-ringing music in towns from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok;
• 1 – 22 May. The Mariinsky NEXT festival of children's and youth orchestras was held for the third time, featuring ensembles from nine music schools, arts lyceums and colleges;
• 26 May – 23 July. The anniversary XXV Stars of the White Nights festival of music ran for fifty-nine days and at the Mariinsky Theatre, the Mariinsky II and the Concert Hall brought together outstanding instrumentalists and stars of opera and ballet. During the festival there were two hundred and five events including two opera and two ballet premieres;
• 15 July – 13 August. Over the month of the II International Far East Festival Mariinsky there were more than forty performances and concerts at seven concert venues in the Far East: in Vladivostok, Ussuriysk and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, as well as in Pyeongchang and Tongyeong (South Korea) and Harbin (China);
• 16 – 29 September. The V International Organ Festival presented concerts by Thierry Escaich, Alexei Parshin, Thomas Trotter, Peter Kofler, Marina Väisä, Karol Mossakowski and David Cassan;
• 15 – 16 October. The programme of the X Music Festival To Mstislav Rostropovich, held on an annual basis in Samara, presented three concerts, one of them charitable;
• 1 – 23 October. At one of the venues of the Vladikavkaz branch of the Mariinsky Theatre – the National State Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania – came the XII International Arts Festival Visiting Larisa Gergieva;
• 14 – 30 December. On 30 December a concert by Sergei Bayayan, Mira Yevtich and Andrei Gugnin accompanied by the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev will close the XII International Piano Festival, which will have included over thirty concert programmes at Mariinsky Theatre venues in St Petersburg and Vladikavkaz.

Marking one hundred and thirty-five years since the birth of Igor Stravinsky ,br>At the Mariinsky Theatre, 2017 passed under the aegis of Igor Stravinsky. At Mariinsky Theatre venues in St Petersburg, Vladivostok and Vladikavkaz there were performances of his ballets and symphony music, and many of the composer's works were included in the Mariinsky Theatre's tour programmes. Igor Stravinsky's anniversary was marked by the XVI Moscow Easter Festival, the XXV Stars of the White Nights music festival and performances by the ballet company of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre (Vladivostok), which toured for the first time to the historic Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. The culmination of the Year of Stravinsky at the Mariinsky Theatre came with events surrounding the composer's birthday – on 17 June his music was performed at all Mariinsky Theatre venues in St Petersburg. Premieres commemorating one hundred and thirty-five years since the birth of Igor Stravinsky included L'Histoire du soldat with artistes from the Children's Studio of the Mariinsky Theatre and the ballet Pétrouchka choreographed by Vladimir Varnava.

Celebrating Rodion Shchedrin's 85th birthday
Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Theatre are continuing to celebrate the brilliant Russian composer and friend of the theatre – Rodion Konstantinovich Shchedrin, who turned eighty-five this year. Rodion Shchedrin's anniversary year was marked by special events in St Petersburg, Moscow, Tula, Vladivostok and Munich. On 16 December, the composer's actual birthday, celebratory events featuring performers from the Mariinsky Theatre took place not just in St Petersburg, but also at the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre (Vladivostok) and the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall (Moscow). For the composer's anniversary, the Mariinsky Theatre prepared the on-line exhibition Shchedrin at the Mariinsky, which allows visitors to follow the composer's artistic life at the Mariinsky Theatre: from the first production staged there – the opera Dead Souls (1978) – to the contemporary period of the maestro's collaboration with the Mariinsky Theatre. To visit the exhibition, please go to: mariinsky.ru/about/exhibitions/shchedrin

Educational projects
One of the most important directions of the Mariinsky Theatre's activities remains its cultural and educational projects. In 2017 the theatre successfully continued its free weekly concerts Open Wednesdays at the Mariinsky and Arts Schools Visiting the Mariinsky Theatre, the subscriptions The Academy of Young Theatre-Goers and Piccolo at the Mariinsky and the cultural-educational programmes A Lesson in Practical Theatre, Mariinsky Theatre - the Soul of St Petersburg, A Theatre Lesson at the Mariinsky and We Are an Orchestra. A strong accent of the playbill of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre lies with the project Holidays at the Mariinsky. The series of lecture programmes offered by the theatre include the free weekly meetings A Sunday Foreword and lectures dedicated to outstanding musicians and performers of the Mariinsky Theatre.

Mariinsky Theatre tours
The tour geography for this year includes appearances in over twenty countries, including major tours of towns and cities in the USA, Canada and the Asia-Pacific Region, as well as one hundred and eighty-two concerts at the Moscow Easter Festival in seventy-seven Russian towns and cities – from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok. In 2017 the Mariinsky Theatre toured to cities in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, China, The Netherlands, Serbia, Slovenia, the USA, Uzbekistan, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, South Korea and Japan. The ballet company of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre performed for the first time in Harbin (China), Seoul (South Korea) and St Petersburg (at the historic Mariinsky Theatre).

Over the course of the year, Valery Gergiev also toured with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Oxford Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scalla, the Esperanza Azteca Youth Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra, the combined youth orchestra of the Codarts University for the Arts and the Conservatorium in The Hague and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The Münchner Philharmoniker, which Valery Gergiev has directed since the start of the 2015-16 season, has appeared under the maestro in cities in Austria, Germany, China, Romania and the USA.

26.12.2017

On 30 December at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre the final concerts of the XII International Piano Festival will take place, having seen over thirty concert programmes at Mariinsky Theatre venues in St Petersburg and Vladikavkaz

On 30 December at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre the final concerts of the XII International Piano Festival will take place, having seen over thirty concert programmes at Mariinsky Theatre venues in St Petersburg and Vladikavkaz.

At the matinee on 30 December at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre there will be solo programmes featuring pianists of the next generation. Dmitry Masleev – recipient of the 1st prize and Gold Medal at the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition (2015) – will perform four sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, four impromptus by Franz Schubert and highlights from Pyotr Tchaikovsky's cycle Eighteen Pieces (concert starts at 12:00). One St Petersburg pianist who regularly performs with chamber ensembles and acclaimed musicians is Zarina Shimanskaya, who will present a programme of works by Maurice Ravel and Sergei Prokofiev (concert starts at 15:00).

At 20:00 the ХII International Piano Festival comes to a close with a gala concert featuring the brilliant pianist and regular guest at major Mariinsky Theatre festivals Sergei Babayan, co-founder of the International Piano Festival Mira Yevtich and prize-winner at numerous international competitions including the International Piano Competition in Sydney (Australia) Andrei Gugnin. Valery Gergiev will be conducting the Mariinsky Orchestra. The programme includes Dmitry Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No 1, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Concerto No 9 (Jenamy), Carl Vine's Piano Concerto No 2 and Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 3.

On 30 December at the Prokofiev Hall there will be the final concerts of the project A Composer and the Pianist. Graduate of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire Dmitry Kalashnikov will perform works by Frédéric Chopin, while Italian pianist Viviana Lasaracina will perform works by Enrique Granados.

Also included in the playbill of the XII International Piano Festival are appearances by young musicians. On 26 December the young pianists Ramon van Engelenhoven (The Netherlands) and Abisal Gergiev will present works by Sergei Prokofiev and Alexander Scriabin together with the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev. On 27 December Sergei Babayan's students from the Juilliard School and the Cleveland Institute of Music (USA) will appear with the Mariinsky Orchestra under Zaurbek Gugkaev.

As the festival approaches its conclusion, on 28 and 29 December there will be concerts by the outstanding French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who will present works by Claude Debussy in a recital and accompanied by the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev.

In addition to the main programme, pianists who have taken part in the International Piano Festival over the years will offer the audience a musical present – the concert Encore! (31 December, 14:00). The Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre will host Ramzi Yassa, Pavel Raikerus, Arseny Mun, Zarina Shimanskaya, Ilya Papoyan, Alexander Bolotin, Yelizaveta Ukrainskaya, Elena Kameko, Dmitry Kalashnikov and Nikita Kozhevnikov.

23.12.2017

Dear Patrons, amendments have been made to the playbill for 24 December. Due to the illness of the performers, instead of the Korolyov Duo comprising Yevgeny Korolyov and Ljupka Hadzigeorgieva, at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre at 20.00 there will be a recital by the pianist Ilya Rashkovsky.
Tickets remain valid

Dear Patrons, amendments have been made to the playbill for 24 December. Due to the illness of the performers, instead of the Korolyov Duo comprising Yevgeny Korolyov and Ljupka Hadzigeorgieva, at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre at 20.00 there will be a recital by the pianist Ilya Rashkovsky.
The concert programme includes Frédéric Chopin's Sonata No 2, Nocturne in C Minor and Ballade No 4 and Franz Liszt's Le Mal du pays from the cycle Années de pèlerinage and Sonata in B Minor.
Tickets remain valid.

22.12.2017

The International Piano Festival continues to introduce St Petersburg audiences to new names in the art of the piano. On 25 and 27 December, the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre will host debuts by young pianists – students of Sergei Babayan from the Juilliard School and the Cleveland Institute of Music (USA): Do-Hyun Kim, Ruoyu Huang, Sara Daneshpour, Ming Xie and Tomer Gewirtzman

The International Piano Festival continues to introduce St Petersburg audiences to new names in the art of the piano. On 25 and 27 December, the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre will host debuts by young pianists – students of Sergei Babayan from the Juilliard School and the Cleveland Institute of Music (USA): Do-Hyun Kim, Ruoyu Huang, Sara Daneshpour, Ming Xie and Tomer Gewirtzman.

On 25 December (20.00) the pianists will be performing solos. The concert programme includes works by Frédéric Chopin, Sergei Prokofiev, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Pierre Boulez, Johann Sebastian Bach, Gérard Pesson, Maurice Ravel, Felix Mendelssohn, John Corigliano, Nikolai Medtner and Alexander Scriabin. On 27 December (19.00) each of the five young musicians will perform a major piano opus accompanied by the Mariinsky Orchestra. These will include Nikolai Medtner's Piano Concerto No 2, Белы Бартока's Piano Concerto No 2, Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Concert Nos 2 and 3 and Sergei Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini. Zaurbek Gugkaev will be conducting.

Twenty-two year-old Korean pianist Do-Hyun Kim graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music (class of Sergei Babayan), to which he transferred from the University of Seoul in 2013. In South Korea, Do-Hyun Kim has won several prestigious music competitions including the Korean National Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition. Since the autumn of 2017 he has trained under Sergei Babayan for a master's degree at the Juilliard School. Significant engagements for the 2017-18 season include an appearance at the XXV Music Festival in Verbier.

The young Chinese pianist and composer Ruoyu Huang has attained a bachelor's deree from the Curtis Institute of Music and a master's degree from the Juilliard School. Over the years his teachers have included Yin Chengzong, Seymour Lipkin, Robert McDonald and Yoheved Kaplinsky. Currently the pianist is continuing his studies under Sergei Babayan. In 2013 Ruoyu Huang won the Frédéric Chopin Prize at the Cleveland International Piano Competition. Has appeared with such ensembles as the Chinese National Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.

The American Sara Daneshpour is known to Russian audiences for her participation in the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition and the Tchaikovsky Stars concert series (2013). Recent accolades include 3rd prize at the International Anton Rubinstein Piano Competition (2017) and a victory at the International Music Competition in Seoul (2014). Sara Daneshpour's teachers over the years have included Leon Fleisher, Yoheved Kaplinsky and Oleg Volkov. Since 2015 she has been a student at the Cleveland Institute of Music under Sergei Babayan. The pianist's extensive touring programme has seen performances in the USA, Canada, Germany, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Norway, Denmark, France, Sweden, Spain and Japan.

Chinese musician Ming Xie, whom the legendary Martha Argerich named "phenomenal", has won numerous international awards, among them 2nd prize at the Valsesia Musica international piano competition in Varallo (Italy), the Gold Medal, the Audience Award and the Prize for the Best Performance of a Sonata by Alberto Ginastera at the International Piano Competition in Panama (2016) and several special prizes at the International Piano Competition in Sydney (2016). Ming Xie presents concerts at such venues as the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, New York's Lincoln Center, Severance Hall in Cleveland and the Beijing Concert Hall. In summer 2017 the pianist took part in the II Far East Festival Mariinsky, appearing with the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev at the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre.

Tomer Gewirtzman is one of the most famous Israeli pianists of the next generation. Initially he trained under Professor Vadim Monastyrsky of the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance. He subsequently continued his studies at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music of the University of Tel Aviv (class of Arie Vardi) and the Juilliard School of Music (class of Sergei Babayan). Currently, Tomer Gewirtzman collaborates with many Israeli ensembles including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israel Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Chamber Orchestra and the New Haifa Symphony Orchestra. The pianist's recitals have taken place at London's Steinway Hall as well as concert venues in New York and Washington as part of the project Young Concert Artists.

20.12.2017

On 23 December (16:00) at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre the acclaimed Brazilian virtuoso pianist Nelson Freire will be appearing, accompanied by the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev

On 23 December (16:00) at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre the acclaimed Brazilian virtuoso pianist Nelson Freire will be appearing, accompanied by the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev. The musician will perform Ludwig van Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto, which has been part of his repertoire for a record sixty years – Nelson Freire first performed the Fifth Piano Concerto in 1957, at the age of twelve. The programme also includes Pyotr Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 1 (Winter Dreams).

Nelson Freire began to study the piano at the age of three under the tutelage of Nise Obino and Lúcia Branco, who in her time studied under one of Franz Liszt's pupils. At the age of twelve he received a grant from the President of Brazil Juscelino Kubitschek at the International Piano Competition in Rio de Janeiro and set out for Vienna, where he continued his studies under Bruno Seidlhofer, Friedrich Gulda's teacher. Four years later Nelson Freire's international career began to take off. In the course of his lengthy artistic life, the pianist has appeared with such ensembles as the Berlin, London, New York and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw Orchestra, Leipzig's Gewandhausorchester, the Mariinsky Orchestra and various other orchestras in Munich, Paris and Tokyo.

Currently, the musician tours throughout Europe, Central and South America, the USA, Japan and Israel. Engagements for the 2017-18 season include performances with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France under Bernard Labadie, the Rotterdam Philharmonic under James Conlon, the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev (St Petersburg, Valencia, Belin and Prague), tours to Australia, China and the USA and recitals in Paris, Lyon and at the Gstaad Festival.

Nelson Freire has collaborated with the recording companies Sony/CBS, Teldec, DGG, IPAM and London, and currently he is an exclusive Decca artist. The pianist's recordings have accumulated such awards as the Diapason d'Or, the Choc from the magazine Le Monde de la Musique, the Grand Prix of the Académie Charles-Cros, the Edison Award, the Latin Grammy award (for the album Brasileiro, 2012) and the ECHO Klassik prize (for a recording of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, 2016). Recent releases include a disc of Sonata No 3 and piano pieces by Johannes Brahms, on sale since August 2017.

20.12.2017

On 19 and 20 December Valery Gergiev and the Münchner Philharmoniker will give their final performances of 2017. At the Gasteig Philharmonie (Munich) there will be a performance of Rodion Shchedrin's opera The Enchanted Wanderer (in concert)

On 19 and 20 December Valery Gergiev and the Münchner Philharmoniker will give their final performances of 2017. At the Gasteig Philharmonie (Munich) there will be a performance of Rodion Shchedrin's opera The Enchanted Wanderer (in concert). The vocal parts are to be performed by Mariinsky Opera soloists Sergei Aleksashkin (Ivan Severyanovich Flyagin, the Storyteller), Andrei Popov (the Flogged Monk, the Prince, the Magnetiser, the Old Man in the Woods, the Storyteller) and Yekaterina Sergeyeva (Grusha the Gypsy, the Female Storyteller) with the Münchner Philharmoniker Chorus directed by Andreas Herrmann. Valery Gergiev will be conducting. The German ensemble is dedicating its performance of The Enchanted Wanderer to Rodion Shchedrin, who celebrated his 85th birthday on 16 December.

The first performances in 2018 by the Münchner Philharmoniker under Valery Gergiev are scheduled for January. From 20 to 27 January the orchestra will give three performances in Munich, in addition to a series of concerts at venues in Paris, Cologne, Amsterdam and Hamburg.

In 2017 Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Theatre widely commemorated Rodion Konstantinovich Shchedrin's 85th birthday. His anniversary year saw events take place in Moscow, Tula, St Petersburg, Vladivostok and Munich. On returning from Germany, Valery Gergiev will conduct two concerts marking Rodion Shchedrin's birthday together with the Mariinsky Orchestra at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall (21 and 22 December), before continuing the celebratory programme in St Petersburg – at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre (24 December). Moreover, the Mariinsky Theatre is dedicating productions from its repertoire to Rodion Shchedrin: the operas A Christmas Tale (23 and 31 December and 2 and 7 January, Mariinsky II) and The Lefthander (28 December and 30 January, Mariinsky II; production by Alexei Stepanyuk), and the ballets Carmen-Suite (21 December, Mariinsky II) and Anna Karenina (30 December at 14.00 and at 19.30, Mariinsky II).

19.12.2017

On 18 December (6 December, Old Style) 1892 the Mariinsky Theatre hosted the world premiere of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker. One hundred and twenty-five years later, the music of The Nutcracker has become a constant companion to Christmas and the New Year, not just in Russia but in many countries throughout the world, and productions of this ballet traditionally adorn the festive playbills of the world's greatest theatres

On 18 December (6 December, Old Style) 1892 the Mariinsky Theatre hosted the world premiere of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker. One hundred and twenty-five years later, the music of The Nutcracker has become a constant companion to Christmas and the New Year, not just in Russia but in many countries throughout the world, and productions of this ballet traditionally adorn the festive playbills of the world's greatest theatres.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky's music, composed following a stage plan by Marius Petipa for a fairytale ballet-féerie, was first performed in a production by Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa at the Mariinsky Theatre in 1892. The richly designed production matched the spirit of 19th century ballets – integrity of the plot dramaturgy was not among the choreographer's principal tasks; he focussed his attention on the wealth of the dance text. The avant-garde 1920s brought the Leningrad stage a new reading of The Nutcracker. The production mounted by Fyodor Lopukhov, the acrobatic supports, the splits and the melodeclamation were shaded by traditional variations and pas de deux. But the plastique experiments and the tragic essence of the score underlined by the choreographer were met with caution from the critics. And already in 1934 the Mariinsky Theatre's playbill listed a new Nutcracker – that of Vasily Vainonen.

Today the Mariinsky Theatre performs two versions of Pyotr Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker: alongside Vasily Vainonen's traditional dance version, which has adorned the stage for more than eighty years, at the Mariinsky II audiences can see the staging by Mihail Chemiakin from 2001. Vainonen's Nutcracker may be seen performed by both Mariinsky Ballet dancers (27, 28 and 31 December and 2, 4 and 5 January) and by students of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, who in December gave four performances. This version of The Nutcracker will also feature in the programme of the Mariinsky Theatre's traditional Christmas tour to Baden-Baden (Germany). Lead soloists of the Mariinsky Ballet will appear in it at the Festspielhaus (25 and 26 December).

Differing in spirit, The Nutcracker designed by Mihail Chemiakin, who rethought Marius Petipa's stage plan by referring back to E. T. A. Hoffmann's tale and created the sets and costumes, will be presented on 20 December and 8 January at the Mariinsky II.

At the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre (Vladivostok) the ballet The Nutcracker will form the basis of the Yuletide ballet repertoire and will be presented nine times before the end of 2017. Another series of performances will take place in January 2018. The Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre will present The Nutcracker with choreography by Eldar Aliev, Principal Choreographer of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre, accentuating Marius Petipa's stage plan.

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