September 29 2021
I’ve mentioned my concert on March 20, 2020 more than once. It was the day when I went on the stage of the empty Tchaikovsky Hall to play for 4 million online listeners. I will never forget this experience: the hectic concert schedule, planned for years ahead with performances almost every day, collapsed overnight. Everything stopped dead. We, the musicians, were deprived of the meaning of existence – co-creation on stage together with a live audience. And in order to support music lovers around the world, to give hope that music is stronger than all obstacles and sorrows, the Moscow Philharmonic Society and I decided to organize that unique in every sense concert. As a result, it was one of the most difficult concerts in my life. I assumed in advance that the task was not easy, but the lack of live energy of the audience made a crushing impression, devastated me and plunged into despair. The only thought that supported me that evening was that people need music, no less than air. But I remember how horrified I was at the prospect of this kind of concerts in the future. This is not an experience that I would like to repeat. Now we can already say that, compared to the rest of the world, Russia was deprived of live concerts not for as long as Europe or the United States, for example.
On August 7, 2020, a concert with the Russian National Youth Symphony Orchestra took place in the same Tchaikovsky Hall and the hall was half full. It was the first timid step towards returning to a normal concert life. A great hope for all of us, especially if we take into account the fact that the rest of the world had not lifted the ban on live concerts indoors by that time.
And today there will be another historical milestone for me. This will be the first officially authorized concert in a year and a half with a 100% occupancy rate. We are doing this with the Moscow House of Music. Tickets are already sold out. It should be emphasized separately that this opportunity has appeared thanks to the system of admission to the concert by a qr-code. All over the world, the format of covid-free concerts is becoming generally accepted, this is our new reality, in which we will have to exist for some time yet. But it is a great happiness that we can now perform safely for public live concerts with a full hall. I hope that today, both organizationally and technically, everything will be held at the highest level. I am thrilled and anticipating at the same time the moment when I see a full concert hall here in Moscow. The program includes two Beethoven sonatas No. 23 and No. 32, Sonata by Liszt and many different surprises.
I'm looking forward to see all of you. It will definitely be a very special concert.