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Gergiev promises Sergey Prokofiev’s 125th birth anniversary will be high-profile event

September 21, 2015, 13:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW
This is the genius who lived in the same epoch with us, Russia’s renowned conductor and artistic director of St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater Valery Gergiev says
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Artistic director of St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater Valery Gergiev

Artistic director of St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater Valery Gergiev

© TASS/Ruslan Shamukov

MOSCOW, September 21. /TASS/. Russia’s renowned conductor and artistic director of St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater Valery Gergiev has promised that he will do all he can to ensure that celebrations to mark 125 years since the birth of the world famous Russian composer Sergey Prokofiev in 2016 do not go unnoticed.

"Next year will mark 125 years since the birth of Sergey Prokofiev. I want this date to be noticed and celebrated. At least, I’ll do all I can for that," Gergiev said in an interview with TASS.

The maestro said a greater part of his creative life was passing "under the sign" of Sergey Prokofiev.

"This is the genius who lived in the same epoch with us! As a nine-year-old boy, I was learning his simplest etudes, instinctively feeling that I was being introduced to something great, although I could not formulate this clearly at the time," said Gergiev.

"Two decades later, in 1978, I directed an orchestra in the Kirov Theater for the first time and this was the War and Peace opera. Since then, I have never parted with Sergey Prokofiev and played actually all of his compositions. In the now distant year 1991, we held the Prokofiev festival in the Mariinsky Theater…," he said.

"You know, if some write that Gergiev has not done anything useful in his life and has ruined everything possible in the world but has returned much of undeservedly forgotten pieces from Prokofiev’s creative heritage back to music, I will agree to such an exchange," Gergiev said.

Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953) is one of the 20th Century's greatest and most popular composers. His works include such widely heard musical compositions as the March from The Love for Three Oranges, the suite Lieutenant Kije, the ballet Romeo and Juliet — from which Dance of the Knights is taken — and Peter and the Wolf. Of the established forms and genres in which he worked, he created — excluding juvenilia — seven completed operas, seven symphonies, eight ballets, five piano concertos, two violin concertos, a cello concerto, and nine completed piano sonatas.

The full text of TASS interview with Valery Gergiev is available at http://tass.ru/en/society/822350.

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