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Birthday Presents for Valery Gergiev

On the occasion of Valery Gergiev's 50th birthday (2 May 2002), the Rotterdam Gergiev Festival has programmed a concert during which two commissioned works by Sofia Gubaidulina and Giya Kancheli will be performed.

Gubaidulina has written a short orchestral work entitled "The Rider on the White Horse" for large orchestra and organ. This work is an orchestral extract from "St. John Easter," the "Intermedium" of which is incorporated as the work's middle section.

Kancheli's birthday work bears the title "Warzone" for orchestra. Warzone sounds the same as the Ossetian word for "love." Gergiev is of Ossetian origins; the Ossetians are, like the Georgians, a Caucasian people. In view of the Caucasian peoples' fights - involving heavy losses - to achieve a questionable independence, the Ossetian Gergiev embodies, according to Kancheli, the goodness and truthfulness of his people as their musical world ambassador.