A British spy at the Mariinsky

A British spy at the Mariinsky


norman lebrecht

May 01, 2017

The Times today exposes the identity of a British spy at the Mariinsky Theatre.

Pual Dukes, from Bridgewater in Somerset, went to Russia just before the First World War to study music and get work as a pianist. But he was recruited by the Secret Intelligence Service to infiltrate the Communist movement.

The Times report, cobbled together from press material for a British Library exhibition, inspires little confidence once it informs us that Dukes went to Moscow to work at the Mariinsky.

More reliable accounts can be found here and, fascinatingly, here. Dukes once told the BBC he wanted to be an orchestral conductor and had worked for two years as assistant to the Mariinsky’s chief conductor Albert Coates.


  • Alexander says:

    …. still waiting for Mr. Gergiev’s comments 😉 or, at least his PR chief’s … Happy May first ( or May -Mother Theresa First ‘s 😉