Maestro Gergiev set to bolster Tchaikovsky competition prestige

Moscow Times

The prominent Russian conductor Valery Gergiev says that he is related to Dresden in many ways; specifically it was in Dresden that he made one of the first most important moves when climbing his music career ladder. And now it is in Dresden of all cities that he has been proclaimed the winner of this year’s Saeculum German music prize. Saeculum has been instituted by the Dresden Music Festival. The Voice of Russia has more.

Valery Gergiev says it is his mission to support young musical talent. It is he who took such young Russian virtuoso players as pianist Yevgeny Kisin, violinists Vadim Repin and Maxim Vengerov to the world stage. He had quite a role to play in raising such operatic stars as Dmitry Khvorostovsky, Olga Borodina and Anna Netrebko. And he has repeatedly performed with international youth orchestras in Russia, Europe and America.

Valery Gergiev has said that he would use his prize of 25,000 Euros for the development of the Tchaikovsky International Competition. Despite his tight performance schedule, the Maestro has assumed the role of the chairman of the Competition’s Organizing Committee to restore the event’s currently sagging prestige. Valery Gergiev says that he was inspired and awed by the Tchaikovsky Competition from the moment the competition came into existence. Then he was still quite young and saw such performers as Van Cliburn, Vladimir Ashkenazi and Grigory Sokolov become musical legends in Moscow. He says he does not like the fact that it is the sporting, rather than creative, aspect of the event that has dominated the competition of late. Gergiev wants the competition to again generate the expectation of miraculous discoveries of new talent, rather than to serve as the place of fierce fighting for medals. Gergiev recalls his first impression of the performance by the currently famous musicians, - pianist Yevgeny Kisin, and violinists Vadim Repin and Maxim Vengerov. They were only 12 at the time. Those who will win the 2011 competition will grow just as famous if their performance proves comparable to those of Kisin, Repin and Vengerov. The future winner will enjoy an extremely rare opportunity to perform to the accompaniment of the Mariinsky Theatre orchestra, as well as the London, Chicago and New York Orchestras. The orchestras in question have already been warned that they will perform together with me and the future winners of the 2011 Tchaikovsky International Music Competition. Gergiev pledges that he will bend every effort to make the competition a highlight of the world musical scene, since this is the status the competition deserves. The Russian conductor will get his Saeculum prize when the Mariinsky Theatre orchestra performs during the Dresden Festival on the 25th of May.