This event will feature a discussion with renowned Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, Director of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, home to the Kirov Opera and Ballet. Valery Gergiev is also the principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.
Maestro Valery Gergiev’s visit to Columbia as part of the World Leaders Forum program brings a unique and dynamic perspective to our students, staff, and faculty. His personal and professional experience in Russia has spanned decades and his influence socially and most notably, culturally, is recognized throughout the Western world. His musical style and teachings have greatly enhanced orchestral and operatic performances and have encouraged students of music to appreciate the global presence of music in New York.
Part of the Core Curriculum since 1947, Masterpieces of Western Music or “Music Humanities’’ aims to instill in students a basic comprehension of the many forms of the Western musical imagination. Its specific goals are to awaken and encourage active, critical, and comparative listening practices, to help students learn to respond intelligently to a variety of musical idioms, and to engage them in the issues of various debates about the character and purposes of music that have occupied composers and musical thinkers since ancient times. The extraordinary richness of musical life in New York is an integral part of the course. Although not a history of Western music, the course is taught in a chronological format and includes masterpieces by Josquin des Prez, Monteverdi, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Berlioz, Verdi, Wagner, Schoenberg, and Stravinsky, among others. Since 2004, the works of jazz composers and improvisers, such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Charlie Parker, have been added to the list of masterpieces to be studied in this class.