Gergiev pal is awarded Kremlin prize

Gergiev pal is awarded Kremlin prize


norman lebrecht

June 11, 2019

The Russian state prize for ‘outstanding achievements in the field of humanitarian activities’ has been awarded by the Kremlin to the ‘People’s Artist of the Soviet Union, composer Rodion Shchedrin’.

The composer, 86, is a close personal friend of Valery Gergiev and Denis Matsuev, Putin’s twin musical henchmen.

A further state prize has been given to the pianist Nikolai Lugansky for his work at the Rachmaninov Museum in the village of Ivanovka.




  • Harry Collier says:

    “Henchmen”? Are they not good conductors or pianists? Or are they not the right race, political persuasion, sexual orientation, or whatever?

    • Dennis says:

      Indeed. Funny how the celebrity musicians who fawned over Obama, such as Renee Fleming (who blasphemously changed Christmas song lyrics to celebrate Obama’s election as if it were the second coming of the Nativity and Incarnation), are never described as his “henchmen” or “henchwomen”. The irrational hatred of so many in the US and Western Europe of all things Russian is just tiresome at this point.

      And Shchedrin is a fine composer (I especially like his Stikhira, The Sealed Angel, and his works for cello). To reduce him to just a “Gergiev pal” is a slap in the face.

    • Ned Keene says:

      It’s all part of the assiduous gaslighting campaign that this site – along with The Guardian, and the Arse Desk – pursues – in order to persuade you, (by insinuation) that hardworking, talented and tenacious performers are actually loathsome individuals bent on the destruction of society as we know it. For daring to take high-end opera to remote locations where there is no provision. For daring to compose music. Or perform it.

      None of this is accidental. It’s all carefully organised.

    • Jaime Herrera says:

      Indeed. You are quite right. These three musicians are brilliant. There is no need to malign them using selective (pejorative) adjectives. Just report the FACTS.

  • esfir ross says:

    Rodion Shchedrin’s greatest contemporary composer , premier Russian composer, widow of greatest ballerina Maya Plisetskaya. Norman belittle RS just to VG pal. VG’s greatest conductor. not just V.Putin that appreciate deserved musicians.

  • Robert Groen says:

    You’ve sunk to an all-time low here, Norman.

  • Alonso Alegría says:

    “Henchmen” is out of place. They may be, but they are also world-class musicians. Don’t make them look like their only merit is being Putin’s friends.

  • Paul says:

    Disgusting racist article.

  • Markabq says:

    Folks with ridiculous political agendas have tried for years to drag Shchedrin through the mud, just as they have Shostakovich and von Dohnanyi and many others throughout history. Shchedrin’s bonafides as a composer and a humanitarian need no defense: they’re obvious. Shchedrin is a great musician, not a friend of Putin’s, no matter what Putin tries to claim

  • Branimir says:

    It’s an old story already, but can’t resist to note how sad it is to see on a supposedly cultural/musical website such a poor propaganda and bias. Reducing Gergiev to Putin’s anything and Schedrin to Gergiev’s pal is mean, stupid and shameful.