Winners of the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition

BICS 2015/16 –

Valery Gergiev conducts the Winners of the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition

Part of Birmingham International Concert Season 2015/16 Concert Package,
SoundBite, Birmingham International Concert Season 2015/16 and Competitions highlights

Wednesday 28th October

Symphony Hall

Mariinsky Orchestra
Valery Gergiev conductor
Lucas Debargue piano
Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar baritone
Clara-Jumi Kang violin
George Li piano
Yulia Matochkina mezzo soprano
Alexander Ramm cello

Debussy Prélude à l’après midi d’un faune 10’
Tchaikovsky Variations on a Roccoco Theme 18’
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor 28’
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No 1 (2nd Movement)
Verdi Overture to La forza del Destino 8’
Tchaikovsky Joan’s aria from Maid of Orleans 7’
Tchaikovsky Yeletsky’s aria from Queen of Spades 6’
Liszt Piano Concerto No 1 in E flat major 19’


Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra are bywords for energy, passion and the kind of red-blooded, life-or-death commitment that only Russian artists can deliver. And in Tchaikovsky’s anniversary year, the Competition named after him is still probably the world’s most prestigious music contest.

XV International Tchaikovsky Competition winners
The six winners that will be performing were announced in July 2015 from each of the following categories: piano, violin, cello, male voice, female voice and are as follows:

Exclusive:The artist Norman Perryman, whose paintings of conductors and soloists (including Valery Gergiev) are displayed throughout Symphony Hall, has a new book, which is currently on sale at the Symphony Hall shop. Norman will be signing copies as well as prints from the shop before and after this concert. For more on this click here.


Review by Ivan Hewett, Telegraph:

Click here for full review

…     “French pianist Lucas Debargue only managed 4th prize, but seized everyone’s attention at the competition, and his sensational performance here of Scarbo from Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit showed why. He portrayed the sinister apparitions of the magic dwarf Scarbo with a fevered intensity that made one’s skin prickle.

Just as impressive in a different way was Clara-Jumi Kang, a German violinist of Korean parentage. Like Debargue she won only 4th prize, a decision which seems even more mystifying in the light of her performance last night of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. To capture this work’s impetuous energy and undercurrent of sadness, all within a tone of relaxed seraphic grace is a feat very few violinists can manage, but she is certainly one of them.

To see the final rounds of this year’s Tchaikovsky Competition, visit

Valery Gergiev and the Mariinksy Stradivarius Ensemble

Part of Birmingham International Concert Season 2014/15 Concert Package,

SoundBite, Birmingham International Concert Season 2014/15 and Orchestral Music

Friday 7th November

Town Hall

Mariinsky Stradivarius Ensemble
Valery Gergiev conductor

Elgar Introduction and Allegro 14’
R Strauss Metamorphosen, Study for 23 solo strings 26’
Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings 28’


The Mariinsky Stradivarius Ensemble really is what it says it is – the cream of the Mariinsky’s string players performing on a magnificent collection of historic instruments by Amati, Guarneri and, of course, Stradivari himself.

With Valery Gergiev conducting in the intimate surroundings of Town Hall, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime evening of string playing without compare.

Presented in association with Mariinsky Theatre Trust.



Gergiev conducts Parsifal

Good Friday: Gergiev Conducts Parsifal

Birmingham International Concert Season 2011/12

Friday 6th April 2012

Symphony Hall

Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg
Valery Gergiev conductor

Avgust Amonov Parsifal
Larisa Gogolevskaya Kundry
Yury Vorobiev Gurnemanz
Evgeny Nikitin Amfortas
Alexey Tanovitsky Titurel
Viktoria Yastrebova
Oksana Shilova
Liudmila Dudinova
Anastasia Kalagina
Zhanna Dombrovskaya
Anna Kiknadze


This concert has a running time of c. 5 hours 30 minutes including two intervals.

Mariinsky UK tour supported by BP.

Another landmark experience in Symphony Hall’s 21st Anniversary Festival. Three years since their last visit, Valery Gergiev and the chorus and orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre take us on the ultimate quest for the Holy Grail: an epic story whose final scenes fittingly unfold on Good Friday with music of overwhelming potency.

‘Mesmerising. A landmark for Gergiev.’ The Observer on Gergiev and Mariinsky’s Parsifal recording

Concert performance sung in German with English surtitles. Please note surtitles may not be visible from every seat. Please check when booking.

One of a series of Wagner’s greatest operas, performed in the space of 6 months as part of Symphony Hall’s 21st Anniversary Festival.
The Royal Opera: Die Meistersinger – Wednesday 11 January
Tristan und Isolde – Saturday 3 March
Wagner’s Ring: Die Walküre – Saturday 30 June

Review by Diane Parkes, BehindtheArras:

Click here for full review

…     “Presented as a concert performance there were some strong performances from the cast. Yury Vorobiev was a powerful Gurnemanz, the wise knight who acts as a conduit for the action and holds much of the plot together.

Avgust Amonov was a placid Parsifal who would have benefited from a little more gusto while Larisa Gogolevskaya attempted to be beguiling as Kundry, the woman who mocked Jesus on the cross and is cursed for ever more.     […]

[…]     At five hours 45 minutes including intervals Parsifal was a bum-numbing experience but one I would sit through all over again given the chance.”

Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:

Click here for full review

…     “Larisa Gogolevskaya was absolutely stunning as the Mary Magdalene-like Kundry, deploying a gamut of voices to convey a range of tormented emotions, and leaving the stage looking understandably drained. The sonorously-voiced Yuri Vorobiev was a totally authoritative, constantly involved Gurnemanz, pleasingly less of the major-domo fusspot he can appear onstage, Yevgeny Nikitin played the mortally-sinful Amfortas as less of a whinger, more of a bitter repentant, and Nikolay Putilin was genuinely fear-evoking as the self-castrated sorcerer Klingsor.”     …


Gergiev Conducts Mahler 7

Gergiev Conducts Mahler 7

Birmingham International Concert Season 2010/11

Fri 25 Mar 7:30pm at Symphony Hall

London Symphony Orchestra
Valery Gergiev conductor

Mahler Symphony No 7    78’

The combination of Valery Gergiev, the London Symphony Orchestra and Mahler have wowed audiences and had critics reaching for superlatives. ‘Raw energy and white hot climaxes’ is how The Guardian described their revelatory performances. Tonight Gergiev turns his attention to the Seventh Symphony: an epic journey from darkness to overwhelming joyous affirmation, taking in two eerie and fantastical night-music movements along the way.

6.15pm Pre-concert talk. Composer John Joubert discusses the music of Mahler with Lyndon Jenkins

Part of The Birmingham Mahler Cycle

Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:

…   “Despite its vast orchestral demands, this is a chamber music-textured composition, and its demanding solo contributions were beautifully delivered, not least by the violin and viola principals.

Balances were instinctively judged, as were tempi. Gergiev wrought magic here.”

Rating * * * * *


Wednesday 14 October 2009 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Valery Gergiev  conductor
Sergei Semishkur  tenor
Orchestra and Chorus of the Mariinsky Theatre   
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and CBSO Chorus  

Prokofiev: Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution 47′
Berlioz: Grande Messe des Mortes (Requiem) 78′

A giant name – and a giant concert. Valery Gergiev is an artist whose sheer force of personality electrifies everything he conducts. So we’re thrilled that he’s bringing his legendary Mariinsky Theatre forces to join the CBSO and the CBSO Chorus in Europe’s greatest concert hall for two truly spectacular masterpieces – Prokofiev’s rousing commemoration of the 1917 revolution and Berlioz’s vast, roof-raising Requiem. With its huge chorus, four brass bands and massive orchestra, every performance of the Requiem is a special occasion – even when it isn’t being directed by one of the world’s greatest living conductors!

Absolutely awesome!

Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:

“Choral projection in both works was exemplary, the collaboration between two great orchestras was totally without ego, and the CD-set of the Berlioz immediately on sale afterwards will preserve for all time this fabulous enterprise.”

Review by Richard Morrison, Times:

“I am still reeling. Squashed on the stage were 200 players and even more singers. Offstage bands blasted out from the upper tier. And the ensemble also included air-raid sirens, a team of accordions, gunfire and a man with a megaphone shouting speeches by Stalin.”

Review by Andrew Clements, Guardian:

“The music is effectively bombastic but thin, yet it’s the sort of challenge Gergiev enjoys, and he marshalled its excesses so magnificently, that one almost believed it could be a piece worth cherishing.”

Review from John Quinn, MusicWeb International:

“This was a great occasion. It was a long evening but one that was very worthwhile and which showed that there’s nothing to beat the thrill of live music making. The Prokofiev performance was an interesting experience; the Berlioz was an unforgettable one.”

Review from Steve Beauchampé (Cantata) and Gary Whitehouse (Requiem), The Stirrer:

“It’s fervent, patriotic stuff, even if composed with seditious intent. As the final movement (The Constitution) reaches its rousing, intense climax, Gergiev stretches out his arms in celebration, soaking up the choral crescendo, and the rousing C Major chord with which Prokofiev tells us unequivocally: ‘It is over. It is done.’”

“I was hooked. Do not be mistaken. This is a work of spiritual depth and power that far transcends our mere mortality to present us with a profound vision of the Day of Judgement. It is dark, mysterious and vast.

…”Flawless and flowing, almost supernatural in its quality, its beauty was almost unbearable.”