Vladimir Putin attended a gala concert of the 19th Arts Square International Winter Festival marking the birthday of the artistic director of the Dmitry Shostakovich St Petersburg Academic Philharmonia Yury Temirkanov.
The conductor turned 80 on December 10.
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Speech at the gala concert
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: It is a great pleasure for me to be within these walls and a great honour to wish the maestro a happy birthday from this stage, in this outstanding hall, without any exaggeration one of the best musical venues in Europe and the world.
World’s top stars have performed here, and Yury Temirkanov unquestionably falls in that category. Mr Temirkhanov, we heartily and sincerely wish you a happy birthday.
Thanks to Mr Temirkhanov and other people of his magnitude, we – and I am going to say this on behalf of all music philistines, all those who are not specialists or musicians – thanks to him we become immersed in the boundless magical world of music, we perceive its depth and the all-encompassing scale. Thanks to Mr Temirkhanov, we experience such vivid emotions that defy any description. Thank you very much for this, Mr Temirkhanov, from hundreds of thousands and millions of music fans.
Mr Temirkhanov is a many-faceted person and he has many talents: he is a lecturer, a philanthropist, and a volunteer since it is due to his efforts and initiatives that a great number of festivals have been launched – and this gala is a part of one of them – as well as grants and other tools of support for young talents. All this was made possible by him because as he was working with the world’s top-class orchestras, he always focused on supporting and developing our school of music and the Honoured Ensemble of Russia, and he considered it to be his home. And of course, our music world, the world of Russian arts, will always be happy if it has such people in it as Mr Temirkanov.
We did not notice – or maybe I failed to notice – that Mr Temirkanov has been leading the Honoured Ensemble of Russia since 1988, that is for 30 years already. But your brilliant predecessor, maestro Mravinsky worked here much longer. I want to express the hope that you will continue bringing joy with your art to your audiences and to all of us for many more years to come.