Sokhiev, 36, is a gifted musician who became music director at Welsh National Opera too soon, at 24, and has spent time recovering from that precocious mismatch. He is one of those who divides opinion in orchestras between passionate admirers and stony-faced sceptics.
The Bolshoi is desperately in need of clear-sighted musical leadership.
We are pleased to announce that Russian conductor Tugan Sokhiev has been appointed the new Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre with immediate effect for an initial term of four years. The announcement was made this morning by Mr Vladimir Urin, General Director of the Bolshoi Theatre, at a press conference in Moscow. Mr Sokhiev, 36, succeeds Vassily Sinaisky and will also continue as Music Director of both Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse (ONCT) and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester (DSO) Berlin.
“I have had the opportunity to hear Maestro Sokhiev on numerous occasions,” said Mr Urin, “… conducting opera at the Mariinsky Theatre and in symphonic programmes both with ONCT and the Philharmonia Orchestra. To my mind he is a highly gifted musician […] I was also struck by his willingness and passion to build a Musical Theatre according to his belief of what should it be today. As a result of our intensive discussions, I was delighted to conclude that despite our considerable age gap we share a similar vision. All of this was instrumental in guiding my decision to invite Maestro Tugan Sokhiev to take the position of Musical Director and Chief Conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre–and we are thrilled to welcome him.”
Mr Sokhiev commented: “I am delighted to become Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre–one of the highest honours for any conductor. The Bolshoi has such a rich heritage and is one of the most prestigious Theatres in the world. Together with my ongoing plans with my orchestras in Toulouse and Berlin, I look forward to working with my new colleagues in Moscow and to many wonderful music experiences in the years to come.”
Alongside his new commitments at the Bolshoi, forthcoming highlights include his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boris Godunov in concert at Salle Pleyel in Paris with ONCT and concerts with DSO Berlin at the Musikverein, as well as returning to both the Berliner Philharmoniker and Philharmonia Orchestra.