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Valery Gergiev: The erection of a monument to Tchaikovsky in the Mariinsky Theater requires a whole new ensemble

The project to erect a monument to composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, which was announced in 2019, will require the formation of an entire ensemble in terms of architecture and landscaping. This was shared before TASS by the artistic director of the theater Valery Gergiev.

“I’m not worried about the speed with which this project is progressing, and in the end what we will leave for generations. There is no way to redo it every five years. This is not just one monument, but a whole ensemble “, says Gergiev.”

According to him, the time of implementation and funding opportunities of the project were significantly affected by the pandemic, which forced the theater to close its doors completely for several months, cancel its tour and subsequently operate under quantitative restrictions on the sale of tickets.

Gergiev also recalled the old idea of ​​erecting a monument to Marius Petipa at the Mariinsky Theater.

“We shared the idea of ​​a monument to Petipa. This is the greatest choreographer of all time, a Frenchman, but it was here that he was affectionately called Marius Ivanovich. He is not a foreigner for us, this is our Petipa “, he said, recalling that Petipa had been the ballet troupe’s chief choreographer in St. Petersburg for several decades.

“This is a very responsible decision that will require a lot of money.” Gergiev added.

The three-dimensional project of Viktor Gavrilov – one of the two finalists in the competition

In September 2019, an international architectural competition for the design of a monument to Tchaikovsky was announced, organized by the City Committee for Urban Planning and Architecture.

In September last year, two winners were announced: in the project of the young sculptor Ekaterina Pilnikova, the composer is in full growth, holding the score in his hand; the project of Viktor Gavrilov and his colleagues is a three-dimensional model of Tchaikovsky’s head, made of parallel horizontal plates. Gergiev then expressed hope that both projects would be implemented in St. Petersburg.

Ekaterina Pilnikova in front of her work – the sculpture of Tchaikovsky, who is one of the two finalists in the competition for the design of a monument to the Russian composer at the Mariinsky Theater

“In fact, the choice was between two monuments: one was classic and the other looked more modern. But it doesn’t matter, “said Semyon Mihajlovski, a member of the competition’s jury and rector of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. Pilnikova’s sculpture, in his opinion, is “in a classical spirit, made with great skill and feeling.”

“I strongly support this decision – not only because Pilnikova is a student at the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg. I have high hopes for her because she represents the new generation of classical sculptors. “ he added.