TIDAL Classical: Valery Gergiev & The Mariinsky Orchestra
The Mariinsky Orchestra is one of worlds famous orchestras.
Founded in 1783, during the reign of Catherine the Great, it was known as the Russian Imperial Opera Orchestra before the revolution, changed to Kirov under the reign of Stalin, and finally back to Mariinsky in 1992 following the fall of the Soviet Union. With an amazing history that goes back several hundred years, the orchestra is one of the oldest musical institutions in Russia.
Today, their chief-conductor is Valery Gergiev, under whose tenure the Mariinsky has once again become one of the leading symphony orchestras in Russia and worldwide.
The Mariinsky is currently touring the U.S. and TIDAL Classical was lucky enough to talk with the maestro himself. Listen to Gergiev conducting the orchestra on this beautiful album while reading our brief chat.
What is it, in your opinion, that makes this grand, old orchestra so special?
Yes; it’s an old orchestra if you look at the history – 232 years old, but at the same time it’s also a young orchestra. It has many, very good and acomplished players, who also goes through a huge and versatile repertoire; opera, ballet as well as a substantial amount of concerts. And with a repertoire such as Mahler, Bruckner, Brahms, but also nearly all of the Russian repertiore. And I can very calmly say, that very few orchestras has grown over the lsat years, but the Mariinsky Orchestra has.
You are now touring with the orchestra in the U.S. and performing, among other things, Russian repertoire. What fascinates you about this particular repertoire?
On this tour we are bringing some of the most beautiful music by composers like Shostakovich and Prokofiev and it’s very easy to choose the specific pieces, as they are all so wonderful. We do though also play music by other composers and I’m looking immensely forward to this.
Being one of the most versatile and sought for conductors of today and having performed with leading orchestras of the world…Did you always want to be a conductor?
When I was 8 years old my piano-teacher told me, that it would be so great if I became a conductor. It sounded very funny to me then, but my teacher was a very wise lady, since she must have seen something at the time. And here I am conducting, as you say, the most distinguished orchestras of the world. I just wished that there was more time and maybe also finding a better balance between work and free time…!
I also find it very appealing to see, how many, children and young people are attending our concerts. This is something I think is very important; not only for the orchestra, but also for the beautiful world of classical music.
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