This evening I attended a wonderful concert by the brilliant Kirov Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev. The program included Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina Prelude, the Sibelius Violin Concerto (featuring Leonidas Kavakos) and Borodin’s Symphony No. 2 in B minor. The orchestra displayed spirited, dynamic intonation and pacing and virtuoso playing by the woodwinds and brass (French horn for example in the Borodin). The Orchestra also performed two delightful encores: excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Snow Maiden, which Gergiev dedicated to the Pope.

Sartorially, I noticed that the soloist Leonidas Kavakos and Valery Gergiev were similarly attired. They both wore an all-black ensemble with a jacket that looked like a simplified frock coat. It’s a rather formal and severe look – perhaps too rectangular and orthagonal for most men’s body types I would say.

In contrast, I remember that Yuri Temirkanov, the conductor of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, dressed in traditional white tie and tails when he performed last fall in Disney Hall. Disney Hall, by the way, is an absolutely stunning piece of architecture with wonderfully resonant acoustics.

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