The Glenn Gould Foundation is pleased to announce
that the famed Mariinsky Orchestra will open its
235th season in St. Petersburg, Russia on
September 30 with a concert


In Memory of Glenn Gould


Famed conductor Valery Gergiev, a dedicated admirer of Glenn Gould seized this occasion to pay tribute to the 60th anniversary of Glenn Gould’s historic 1957 tour of the Soviet Union, which made a profound impact on Russian audiences. Maestro Gergiev is also using this occasion to honour Gould as an artist and a man, scheduling the concert in collaboration with The Glenn Gould Foundation at the midway point between the 85th anniversary of Glenn Gould’s birth (September 25, 2017) and the 35th anniversary of his passing (October 4, 2017). Future commemorative events will be announced at the time of the performance.


“There hasn’t been a foreign pianist who has caused such a stir since Glenn Gould’s arrival in Moscow in the midst of the Cold War, or Van Cliburn’s victory at the Tchaikovsky Competition.”

- Olivier Bellamy, Le Huffington Post


Gould became the first Western artist to perform in the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War, and is credited with ushering in a tradition of cultural diplomacy in which Canada has excelled ever since. Though he gave only eight appearances, divided between Moscow and Leningrad (St. Petersburg), the impression he made was profound. Speaking many years later, one of the attendees, legendary pianist Mstislav Rostropovich, stated: “There is God, who suddenly marks one person . . . this person is from Canada, from Toronto, and changes the musical climate throughout the world. . . “ (Glenn Gould, The Russian Journey). To this day, Gould is a revered figure in Russia. On one of his visits to Toronto with the Mariinsky Orchestra, Valery Gergiev is reputed to have visited Mount Pleasant Cemetery accompanied by Glenn Gould’s original manager, Walter Homberger, to lay a wreath at Gould’s grave.


The soloist for this special concert will be the 26 year-old French piano sensation Lucas Debargue who won the Audience Prize at the 2015 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, whose jury was chaired by Gergiev. Hailed as a phenomenon, Debargue was largely self-taught and only began formal piano training at the age of 20. He has earned wildly enthusiastic responses from critics and audiences the world over.

Mariinsky Concert Hall, Saturday, September 30, 7:00 p.m.

The Mariinsky Orchestra

The Mariinsky Orchestra is part of The State Academic Mariinsky Theatre, one of the world’s great performing arts organizations.

Tracing its origins back to the Imperial Court Theatre of Catherine the Great. It incorporates the Mariinsky Opera, Mariinsky Ballet (formerly the Kirov) and Mariinsky Orchestra, and maintains four major performing venues and its own record label. Since 1988, Valery Gergiev has been the Mariinsky’s General Director.

The Mariinsky Theatre hosted the premieres of many of the greatest works in Russian musical history including operas by Mikhail Glinka, Modest Mussorgsky and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and such ballet masterpieces as Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and the Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, to name but a few.

Valery Gergiev is one of the most celebrated and active conductors of our time. In addition to his responsibilities a the Mariinsky, he is curently Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic, and has been past principal conductor of the London Symphony, principal guest conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, and leads many international festivals including the St. Petersburg’s famed Stars of the White Nights. He has made more than 150 recordings and has been featured on numerous video releases. Valery Gergiev maintains an extremely active schedule conducting opera and orchestral performances in Russia and around the world, and is the recipient of numerous awards.

In expressing the wish to honour Glenn Gould, the Mariinsky stated:

“For Russian musicians and musical audiences, Glenn Gould is an inspirational and even legendary figure who excites great interest - a cultural ambassador who remains, even three decades after his death, an eloquent spokesperson for Canadian culture and artistic achievement. As such, we are pleased and genuinely excited to have this opportunity to present homage to Gould, as one of the 20th century’s powerful musical voices and an artist of singular vision whose impact remains with us to this day."

For more information on the Mariinsky and their tribute to Glenn Gould, click here.