Gergiev to support Japan with concerts

The Artistic Director of the Mariinsky Theater, maestro Valery Gergiev, is planning to give a series of charity concerts in support of Japanese people who have suffered from the earthquake and tsunami.

The maestro also shared his plans to organize another charitable concert in Moscow,“probably, within the Easter Festival”.

“Our press-conference comes as the people of Japan face grave challenges, and I am considering organizing a concert together with our Japanese friends. It is clear that it won’t bring back those who suffered, and won’t ease the pain of those who have lost their relatives…” Gergiev said at a media-conference dedicated to the 10th annual Moscow Easter Festival, which will open on April 24 and run until May 9. Maestro believes it is not in the nature of Russians to ignore other people’s sufferings.

Gergiev reminded the journalists about Japan’s move in support of the Beslan victims’ families. In October 2004, when the conductor, together with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, were on tour in Tokyo several weeks after the Beslan school massacre which resulted in 335 deaths, including 186 children, Japanese organizers offered him the opportunity to dedicate one of the concerts to the victims.

“I could never ask either the Japanese public, or the organizers, for their help, however they suggested giving a concert in support of Beslan families in Japan’s main hall. In spite of the fact that the concert was announced with only 24 hours notice, the hall was full. We collected a considerable sum of money and transferred it to the victims’ families through the Russian embassy in Japan. We shouldn’t forget about it,” he added.

Gergiev also dedicated the performance of Verdi’s Requiem in St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Concert Hall to the victims of the Japanese tragedy.

The Mariinsky Theater’s relations with Japan have become very closeafter some 18-19 years of collaboration, and hundreds of Mariinsky theater tours of Japan.

Gergiev is not the only prominentRussian public figure who has started helping Japan.On Friday March 18 one of the oldest Russian rock-bands, Mashina Vremeni , or Time Machine, gave a concert in Moscow. All money collected from the gig has been transferred to the Japanese embassy.

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