Top Russian Conductor Selects 16 Year Old Hackney-Born Pianist for Performance of a Lifetime

World-renowned Russian conductor Valery Gergiev has invited young British pianist George Harliono to perform with him on 5th August in Vladivostok, Russia along with his Mariinsky Orchestra.

Gergiev, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of The Mariinsky Orchestra and former principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, is set to mark the 135 years since the birth of Igor Stravinsky with a series of performances for the II International Mariinsky Far East Festival in Vladivostok.
Two days of the 30-day festival are devoted to Sergei Rachmaninoff’s most famous compositions, and Gergiev asked Harliono to play Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.2 with the Mariinsky Orchestra on the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. Harliono will be featured in the festival along with some of the world’s highest acclaimed performers including Covent Garden’s prima ballerina Natalia Osipova and Russian soprano Albina Shagimuratova.

Harliono, 16, who was born in Hackney, East London now lives in Fen Ditton near Cambridge and studies with Professor Vanessa Latarche, Chair of International Keyboard Studies and Head of Keyboard at the Royal College of Music in London. He also travels regularly to Switzerland to work with his mentor, renowned pianist professor Vovka Ashkenazy and his father Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Of the surprise opportunity Harliono said ‘It is such an honour for me to have been asked to perform with Maestro Gergiev, he really is a world class conductor and I can’t wait to meet him.’

Harliono began studying piano at age six and performed his first one-hour-long solo recital at age nine. Since then he as performed in some of the world’s best known classical music venues including The Royal Albert Hall in London, The Chicago Symphony Centre in the U.S., and The Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in Russia.

Harliono has been accepted to enter The Royal College of Music for a BMUS degree on a full four-year scholarship commencing in September. At 16, he will be one of the youngest students to be accepted onto this course.

The young man is really making a name for himself on the international stage and has a busy schedule with upcoming engagements that include performances with the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Fedoseyev, the Carolina Philharmonic in North Carolina, USA conducted by David Michael Wolff and Orquesta Provincial de Santa Fe in Argentina conducted by Walter Hilgers.

(Source: press release)

1 Comment

  1. I hope this boy has the guts to refuse. Gyergyev has used his position as a world-famous conductor to promote Putin’s agenda of violent Russian expansionism by signing a letter in 2014 in support of the Kremlin’s policies for the Crimea and Ukraine.

    Following this I cleared my CD and DVD collection of all recordings by this man.

    For those who say art and politics do not mix, I remind them that a penny to Gyergyev the conductor is a penny to Gyergyev the terrorist supporter.

    And he is not Russian: he is Ossetian.

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