Half of the Tchaikovsky Competition to be held in St. Petersburg

The Moscow News

by Ayano Hodouchi
The recently closed Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory is already running into cash problems with its reconstruction, RIA Novosti reported last week. At a press conference for the 14th International Tchaikovsky Music Competition (June 14 to July 2, 2011), competition chairman Valery Gergiev said the hall might not reopen in time for the competition and moving half of the competition to St. Petersburg would be a good solution.

“Shalashov [of the Culture Ministry] informed us that there is no money for the project now,” he said. “Even if the money appears in December, please don’t think it’s possible to restore the hall within a few months without seriously damaging the acoustics.”
Bearing in mind his own experience with building the second stage of the Mariinsky Theatre, Gergiev also said that any project financed by the state budget could not be completed speedily.

“In St. Petersburg we have at least two amazing halls – the Philharmonia Hall and the concert hall of the Mariinsky Theatre, and we also have two orchestras,” he said. He denied that there were any plans to permanently move part of the competition to the northern capital, saying that this was just an emergency solution, because “a miracle must happen” to allow the competition to be held in Bolshoi Zal as it has always been.
The gala concert of winners would be held in both cities but in Moscow first, he added.