Renowned Russian conductor will speak at a special event for Music Humanities students at Miller Theater from 11 to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7. The event, part of the University’s World Leaders Forum, is sponsored by the Center for the Core Curriculum, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Miller Theatre. It is geared towards Music Humanities students, but is also open to the greater Columbia College and University community.
Gergiev is the Director of the Maryinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, home to the Kirov Opera and Ballet. Under his leadership, the Kirov Opera has come to be recognized as one of the great opera companies of the present day. Gergiev is also Principal Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Principal Guest Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera.
“Valery Gergiev is a towering figure in the world of opera, ballet, and orchestral music,” said Elaine Sisman, Anne Parsons Bender Professor of Music and Chair of Music Humanities. “His passionate style and advocacy of works by Russian composers have made his performances and recordings into genuine events.”
Gergiev was born in Moscow in 1953 and studied conducting at the Leningrad Conservatoire. In 1977, at the age of 24, he was appointed assistant conductor at the Kirov Opera. He later served as artistic director and principal conductor of the Opera before becoming director of the Maryinsky Theatre in 1996. He has appeared with all the leading orchestras of the former Soviet Union and has conducted most of the world’s major orchestras.
Music Humanities has been a required part of the Core Curriculum for Columbia College students since 1947. The course introduces students to music of the Western world and engages them in the debates about the character and purposes of music that have occupied composers and musical thinkers since ancient times. The richness of music life in New York is a key component of Music Humanities, and instructors encourage students in the course to attend concerts and opera.
Professor Sisman said Gergiev’s lecture would also contribute to the course.
“Concert and opera attendance is a rich part of the Music Humanities experience, so for students to hear such a vivid musician and personality, and to be able to ask him questions, is an exceptional opportunity,” she said.
The discussion will take place at 11 a.m. at Miller Theater, and will include a question and answer session with the audience. A reception will follow at Faculty House. Online registration is required and seating is limited. To register for the event, click here. For more information about Valery Gergiev, click here.