R17 Patron Marks Russian Revolution Centenary With Unique Wales Event

One of the world’s most sought-after conductors, Valery Gergiev, visited Wales on Tuesday October 10 as part of the commemorative arts season: R17. 

The artistic and general director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg delivered an exclusive masterclass to String students at Cardiff’s Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, and they watched as he rehearsed with the Mariinsky Stradivarius Ensemble, ahead of the evening’s performance at the intimate Dora Stoutzker Hall. 

R17 (or “Russia 17”) marks 100 years since the Russian revolution, and Wales’ unique relationship with the emerging Soviet Union of the time, through a year-long season of artistic events. 

Described as the “world’s busiest conductor”, Russian Valery Gergiev is the R17 season Patron together with Welsh actor Michael Sheen. 

Valery Gergiev said: “As head of one of the great icons of Russian culture, the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, I am touched that the major cultural institutions of Wales are joining together to celebrate the artistic riches of my country, which have inspired so many. The Centenary of the Russian Revolution is a time for reflection and the arts provide an ideal vehicle to explore this momentous historical event. I have many happy memories of conducting the Mariinsky Opera, Ballet and Orchestra in Wales. I am delighted to be Patron of the Russia 17 Season in Wales.”

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