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Monday, April 25, 2011
Trouble with Tchaikovsky!
As San Antonio prepares for a Tchaikovsky Festival getting underway this week, there is a dispute about an orchestra with a claim of Tchaikovsky:
The Web site photograph depicted an elegant array of orchestra musicians in a glowing hall. A video clip showed an earnest young conductor leading players in a Tchaikovsky symphony. Below the picture, an official biography described the “Tschaikowski” St. Petersburg State Orchestra as “an ensemble with unlimited musical possibilities.”
But according to one of Russia’s best-known conductors, Yuri Temirkanov, there is a problem: The images depicted were of orchestras unrelated to the Tchaikovsky. The photograph was of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, and the video showed the St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra. Both were playing in the city’s Philharmonic Hall, where the Tchaikovsky orchestra does not perform.
The materials appeared on the site of Columbia Artists Management in advance of a major American tour planned for next year.
“This Tchaikovsky orchestra doesn’t exist,” said Mr. Temirkanov, the music director of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, a storied orchestra that recently finished its own American tour. “Nobody knows who plays there. Maybe they got some sort of band. Maybe students. But they put the word ‘state.’ But there is no such orchestra, neither private or state.”