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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall

Mariinsky Orchestra

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 7 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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Valery Gergiev, Daniil Trifonov by Dario Acosta / DG
Daniil Trifonov made his Carnegie Hall debut in a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra. He reunites with them for another composer’s first concerto—his own. Trifonov’s Piano Concerto has pianistic flash, but also introspection and great tenderness. Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 6 looks inward too—especially in the anguished central Largo—but also excites with powerful outer movements. Strauss’s Don Juan is pure excitement: Sumptuously scored, brilliantly melodic, it’s the tone poem that propelled him to the front rank of composers.

Part of: Perspectives: Daniil Trifonov


Mariinsky Orchestra
Valery Gergiev, Music Director and Conductor
Daniil Trifonov, Piano


DANIIL TRIFONOV Piano Concerto (NY Premiere)
PROKOFIEV Symphony No. 6

PROKOFIEV Allegro precipitato from Sarcasms, Op. 17
STRAVINSKY Berceuse and Finale from The Firebird Suite (1919 version)

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two and one-half hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
Daniil Trifonov introduces his 2017–2018 Perspectives series

Perspectives: Daniil Trifonov

VTB Bank, Yoko Nagae Ceschina, and Sberbank are the Global Partners of the Mariinsky Theatre.

Mariinsky Foundation of America is the North American Sponsor.

VTB Bank, Yoko Nagae Ceschina, and Sberbank are the Global Partners of the Mariinsky Theatre.

Mariinsky Foundation of America is the North American Sponsor.

The Mariinsky Orchestra’s performance is supported by ALROSA.

At a Glance

Strauss’s Don Juan, a dramatic but tightly wrought evocation of the legendary lover, launched the composer’s career as the master of the Wagnerian tone poem, demonstrating an orchestral wizardry that few have equaled. Prokofiev’s Sixth Symphony, on the other hand, came near the end of his career and had a difficult reception. The Soviets, annoyed that Prokofiev was not following in the footsteps of his patriotic Fifth, launched a campaign against its alleged “formalist perversions” and drove it from the Russian repertory. The symphony does have lyrical and pastoral moments, but these struggle against Prokofiev’s darker, stormier impulses. The result is a work of great tension, excitement, and depth. Tonight’s program also features the New York premiere of pianist-composer Daniil Trifonov’s Piano Concerto in E-flat Minor, which—with influences from such iconic Russian composers as Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, and Prokofiev—revives the grand tradition of the virtuoso composer-performer that only faded in the latter part of the 20th century. 


Mariinsky Orchestra

The Mariinsky Orchestra enjoys a long and distinguished history as one of the oldest musical institutions in Russia. Its history dates back to the first orchestra of the St. Petersburg Imperial Opera Orchestra, covering a period of more than 200 years. Housed in St. Petersburg’s famed Mariinsky Theatre since 1860, the orchestra now also performs in its superb 21st-century Concert Hall (2006) and its second opera house, Mariinsky II (2013), built for modern stage technologies.

Following the orchestra’s “golden age” in the second half of the 19th century under the musical direction of Eduard Nápravník, numerous internationally famed musicians have conducted the orchestra, among them Hans von Bülow, Felix Mottl, Felix Weingartner, Alexander von Zemlinsky, Otto Nikisch, Hector Berlioz, Richard Wagner, Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg, Willem Mengelberg, Otto Klemperer, Bruno Walter, and Erich Kleiber.

Renamed the Kirov during the Soviet era, the orchestra continued to maintain its high artistic standards under the leadership of Yevgeny Mravinsky and Yuri Temirkanov. The leadership of Valery Gergiev and the success of the orchestra’s frequent tours have enabled the Mariinsky Theatre to forge important relationships for the Mariinsky Ballet and Opera to appear in the world’s greatest opera houses and theaters, among them the Metropolitan Opera; the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; the San Francisco Opera; the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris; the Salzburg Festival; and La Scala in Milan.

Since its US debut in 1992, the Mariinsky Orchestra has made 18 tours of North America, including a 2006 celebration of the complete Shostakovich symphonies; a cycle of Prokofiev’s stage works in 2008; Prokofiev’s complete piano concertos with Daniil Trifonov, George Li, Alexander Toradze, Sergei Redkin, and Sergei Babayan in February 2016; major works of Berlioz in February and March 2010; and a centennial Mahler cycle at Carnegie Hall in October 2010. In October 2011, the orchestra opened Carnegie Hall’s 120th season with a cycle of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies, which it also performed throughout the US and Canada.

Mr. Gergiev established the Mariinsky Label in 2009 and has since released more than 30 recordings that have received critical acclaim in Europe, Asia, and the US.

Valery Gergiev

Valery Gergiev is artistic and general director of the Mariinsky Theatre, principal conductor of the Munich Philharmonic and World Orchestra for Peace, chair of the organizing committee of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, honorary president of the Edinburgh International Festival, and dean of the Faculty of Arts at the St. Petersburg State University. In addition, he is founder and artistic director of such international festivals as Stars of the White Nights (St. Petersburg), Moscow Easter Festival, Rotterdam Philharmonic Gergiev Festival, Mikkeli Music Festival, and Munich’s 360 Degrees.

Mr. Gergiev has led numerous cycles of works by composers who include Berlioz, Brahms, Dutilleux, Mahler, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky in New York, London, Paris, and other international cities. He also has introduced audiences around the world to rarely performed Russian operas. He staged a production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen in the original German—the first such production in Russian history—and led that production in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Seoul, Tokyo, New York, and London. He also champions contemporary Russian composers, including Rodion Shchedrin, Boris Tishchenko, Sofia Gubaidulina, Alexander Raskatov, and Alexander Smelkov.

The Mariinsky Label, established in 2009, has released more than 30 discs and DVDs to date to worldwide acclaim. Recordings include symphonies and piano concertos by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich; operas by Wagner, Massenet, and Donizetti; and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella ballets, and The Gambler and Semyon Kotko operas. Recent releases include Shchedrin’s The Left-Hander (DVD), and Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker and Symphony No 4.

Principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) from 2007 to 2015, Mr. Gergiev has performed with the LSO, Mariinsky Orchestra, and Munich Philharmonic on extensive tours of Europe, North America, and Asia. He also collaborates with the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala, New York Philharmonic, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Since 2013, Mr. Gergiev has conducted the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America on two European tours, and regularly appears with the youth orchestras of the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Verbier Festival, and Pacific Music Festival in Japan.

Daniil Trifonov

Winner of Gramophone’s 2016 Artist of the Year award, Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov has made a spectacular ascent in the world of classical music as a solo artist, composer, champion of the concerto repertoire, and collaborator at the keyboard in chamber music and song. The Times (London) calls Mr. Trifonov “without question the most astounding pianist of our age.”

Focusing on Chopin during the 2017–2018 season, Mr. Trifonov releases Chopin Evocations—his fourth album as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist—marking his first foray into a new repertoire with works of 20th-century composers who were greatly influenced by the Polish master, including Samuel Barber and Frederic Mompou.

Mr. Trifonov gives more than 20 performances on this theme across the US, Europe, and Asia, including three as part of his self-curated, seven-concert Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall, which also includes a solo recital and two all-Chopin programs with Kremerata Baltica. Additional concerts in the series include collaborations with baritone Matthias Goerne and Mr. Trifonov’s teacher Sergei Babayan, the latter capping a US tour that includes the world premiere of a new work for two pianos by Mauro Lanza, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall; a performance of Mr. Trifonov’s own Piano Concerto with Valery Gergiev leading the Mariinsky Orchestra, culminating another US tour; and a solo recital in Zankel Hall that includes a seminal piece from each decade of the 20th century. Mr. Trifonov curates a similar series this season at Vienna’s Konzerthaus, as well as in San Francisco, concluding with a season-closing Rachmaninoff performance with the San Francisco Symphony.

Additional highlights of the 2017–2018 season include European tours with Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica, as well as with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala. Mr. Trifonov’s orchestral appearances include Strauss’s Burleske with the Orquesta Nacional de España and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Schumann’s Piano Concerto with Lisbon’s Gulbenkian Orchestra and the Berliner Philharmoniker; Scriabin’s Piano Concerto with the Seattle Symphony; a performance of his own Piano Concerto with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Prokofiev with the Mariinsky Orchestra and The Cleveland Orchestra; and Rachmaninoff with the Munich Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and The Philadelphia Orchestra. 

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