Hard times demand good music, conductor says

Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:48am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Michael Roddy

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - It's better to tackle tough times with a song in your heart -- especially a tune from the classical repertoire, Russian conductor Valery Gergiev says.

About to embark on a two-week tour of Japan at the head of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), Gergiev said that while classical music may be expensive, it's not a luxury.

"We have to talk about when people need culture rather than when people have to worry about the economy," he told Reuters on Thursday.

"And I think when things are looking less safe, the public and people in general need music ... they may even enjoy it more than before because if they don't enjoy the economic story, they will certainly have a chance to come and enjoy great music.

"Music doesn't lose its share price ... it doesn't lose its value."

Gergiev made the comments following a press luncheon to discuss the LSO's upcoming Japanese tour, sponsored by Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical Company.

Beginning on Nov 27 in Sapporo and ending on Dec 10 in Miyazaki, Kyushu island, it is the LSO's 20th tour of Japan but its first with Gergiev, who became principal conductor in 2007.

A champion of the Russian repertoire, Gergiev will treat Japanese audiences to an all-Russian diet of Rachmaninov and Prokofiev, including all seven Prokofiev symphonies, his violin and piano concertos and the children's piece Peter and the Wolf.   Continued...