Mariinsky Orchestra performs “Prayer for Palmyra” in Syria

Posted on: May 6, 2016

“The Mariinsky Orchestra … staged a concert on Thursday in the Roman amphitheater in Syria’s Palmyra, weeks after Russian air power helped free the city from Islamic State rule that had turned the ancient stage into a venue for executions,” writes Henry Meyer in Thursday’s (5/5) Chicago Tribune. Mariinsky Artistic Director Valery Gergiev “conducted the event entitled ‘A Prayer for Palmyra.’ [President Vladimir] Putin’s classical musician friend Sergey Roldugin, who was at the center of allegations in the so-called Panama Papers last month regarding $2 billion in offshore transactions linked to Russia, was among performers at the concert. Members of the Russian military made up half the audience…. Gergiev and the members of the orchestra, all dressed in black, performed music from composers including Johann Sebastian Bach and Sergei Prokofiev. The concert [was] broadcast live on Russian state television…. Islamic State, which seized control of Palmyra in May last year, razed some temples and ruins in the UNESCO-listed area, while leaving the amphitheater intact… The Russian military led an operation to clear the area of landmines planted by Islamic State after the city was recaptured by Syrian government forces and allies in March.”

Posted May 6, 2016