24 May – 28 July 2013
The Stars of the White Nights Festival is considered among the ten best music festivals in the world today, and among the most popular and diverse musical events in Russia. Created in 1993 by General and Artistic Director of the Mariinsky Theatre, Maestro Valery Gergiev, the Festival’s mission was to serve as “a musical gift to the city [of St. Petersburg] from the Mariinsky Theatre’s performers and soloists,” who agreed to participate. Over 20 years, the length of the Stars of the White Nights Festival increased from 10 days to 3 months.
Each year, the Festival presents the best opera and ballet performances of the Mariinsky Theatre, the full range of symphonic repertoire, masterpieces of chamber music, and theatrical premieres. Over many years the program of the Festival has featured cycles of works of the great composers, such as the symphonies of Sergei Prokofiev; concerti of Ludwig van Beethoven; and the operas, ballets, and symphonic music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky; as well as the complete symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich and Gustav Mahler. Each year the Mariinsky Theatre expands the horizons of the Festival, presenting in Moscow and the cities of the northwestern region of Russia, in addition to giving open-air concerts.
Thanks to the Festival, the St. Petersburg public has had the opportunity to experience performances by outstanding artists such as Anna Netrebko, Natalie Dessay, Maria Guleghina, Olga Borodina, Violeta Urmana, Susan Foster, Elena Zhidkova, Vladimir Galouzine, Willard White, Bryn Terfel, Rene Pape, Ildar Abdrazakov, Gary Lehman, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Ulyana Lopatkina, Diana Vishneva, Denis Matsuev, Vadim Repin, Leonidas Kavakos, Nikolaj Znaider, Yuri Bashmet, Arcadi Volodos and many others; and by the leading orchestras of the world led by the most prominent conductors, such as Christoph Eschenbach, Myung-Whun Chung, Christian Thielemann, Gustavo Dudamel, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.