Monday, May 23, 2005

World domination at the Barbican?

Big news from the LSO: they have signed Valery Gergiev to be their new principal conductor to succeed Sir Colin Davis. Press conference today with both maestri present, during which Sir Colin declared that he's very happy to be 'kicked upstairs' to become president of the orchestra instead (and Clive Gillinson added that he is absolutely not retiring). Gergiev, who is a Very Busy Person Indeed, did admit, when questioned, that he would eventually be scaling down some of his other activities to make room for his commitment to the LSO. Among his regular outlets are the Maryinsky in St Petersburg, the Met in New York, a "special relationship" with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the World Orchestra for Peace and no doubt a few more too. Are we talking world domination here?

Then again, there could be worse options for world domination. Given that Gergiev is simply head and shoulders above most other conductors of his generation (even if he does take his tempi a bit fast sometimes) it will be fantastic for both the LSO and London to have him permanently on board.