In 2017 the Mariinsky Theatre is widely celebrating the eighty-fifth birthday of Rodion Konstantinovich Shchedrin. Mariinsky Theatre concerts and performances in St Petersburg, Vladivostok and Vladikavkaz have been dedicated to his jubilee. In December and January there will be special events to mark Rodion Shchedrin's birthday in St Petersburg, Moscow, Tula, Vladivostok and Munich.
At Mariinsky Theatre venues in St Petersburg Rodion Shchedrin's works will be performed for a record number of times: the operas Not Love Alone directed by Alexander Kuzin (5 December, Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre), A Christmas Tale (10, 23 and 31 December and 2 and 7 January, Mariinsky II) and The Lefthander (28 December and 30 January, Mariinsky II) staged by Alexei Stepanyuk, Boyarina Morozova (15 December, Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre) and the ballets Carmen-Suite (9 and 21 December, Mariinsky II), The Little Humpbacked Horse (14, 16 and 17 December, Mariinsky II) and Anna Karenina (30 December at 14:00 and 19:30, Mariinsky II).
One particular accent of the celebratory programme will be the concert Marking Rodion Shchedrin's Birthday as part of the XII International Piano Festival. On 24 December at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre pianists Denis Matsuev, Alexei Volodin and Sergei Redkin and cellist Alexander Ramm will appear with the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev. The programme includes: Piano Concerto No 1, the Double Concerto for Cello and Piano A Romantic Offering, Piano Concerto No 4 (Sharp Tonalities) and Piano Concerto No 2.
At the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre (Vladivostok) Rodion Shchedrin's eighty-fifth birthday will be marked by a premiere. On the composer's birthday at the Great Hall of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre there will be a first performance of a stage version of the Russian choral opera Boyarina Morozova (16 December). The production has been staged by the Krasnoyarsk choral ensemble We Sing to Thee directed by Konstantin Yakobson, Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation, who that evening will be conducting the Symphony Orchestra of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre.
On 15 December, the eve of the composer's birthday, the Mariinsky Orchestra will be appearing in Tula – Rodion Shchedrin's father's home town. At the Tula Regional Mikhailovsky Philharmonic there will be a performance of Concerto dolce for viola, strings and harp, the concerto for violin and strings Concerto cantabile and Carmen-Suite by Georges Bizet – Rodion Shchedrin. The soloists are Yuri Afonkin (viola), Sofia Kiprskaya (harp) and Olga Volkova (violin). The Mariinsky Orchestra will then depart for Moscow, where from 16 to 22 December it will present three varied programmes of the composer's works at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall.
On 16 December, Rodion Shchedrin's actual birthday, the Mariinsky Orchestra will perform Carmen-Suite by Georges Bizet – Rodion Shchedrin, Orchestral Concerto No 1 Naughty Limericks and highlights from the opera-féerie A Christmas Tale, which was commissioned by and dedicated to Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Theatre. The concert will also feature soloists of the Mariinsky Opera and the Mariinsky Chorus as well as the State Academic Sveshnikov Russian Chorus (Artistic Director – Yevgeny Volkov).
The programme for the concert on 21 December includes Symphonic Diptych, the concerto for violin and strings Concerto cantabile (soloist – Olga Volkova), the Double Concerto for Cello and Piano A Romantic Offering with soloists Alexander Ramm (cello) and Sergei Redkin (piano), the oratorio for soloists, mixed chorus and orchestra set to folk texts Lenin in the Heart of the People featuring soloists of the Mariinsky Theatre Pelageya Kurennaya (soprano) and Andrei Serov (bass), the ensemble of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers and the Mariinsky Chorus. The Voice of the People will be performed by Natalia Boriskova.
On 22 December at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Rodion Shchedrin's opera Not Love Alone directed by Alexander Kuzin will be performed for the first time. The lead roles will be performed by soloists and the ensemble of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers directed by Larisa Gergieva. Valery Gergiev will be conducting the Mariinsky Orchestra on all three evenings.
The Münchner Philharmoniker will also be dedicating its December performances to Rodion Shchedrin. On 19 and 20 December at the Gasteig Philharmonie (Munich) under Valery Gergiev there will be a concert performance of the opera The Enchanted Wanderer featuring the Philharmonischer Chor München and soloists of the Mariinsky Opera Sergei Aleksashkin (Ivan Severyanovich Flyagin, the Narrator), Andrei Popov (Flogged Monk, Prince, Magnetiser, Old Man in the Woods, Narrator) and Yekaterina Sergeyeva (Grusha the Gypsy, Narrator).