An orchestra at peace

The World Orchestra for Peace, symbolizing unity and harmony and led by renowned Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, is set to give a rare concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

The internationally staffed orchestra which Gergiev has worked with for the past 13 years has been granted the title of UNESCO artist for peace.

In a recent interview with the Daily Telegraph, Gergiev was quoted as saying that despite the quite obvious fact that the musicians of the World Orchestra for Peace cannot bring peace, they can, however, make a statement. “We can show the world that people from many different cultures, who have never met, can work together. Don’t forget these concerts are televised, so people all round the world can see this.”

Created in 1995 by the legendary Hungarian conductor Sir Georg Solti, the World Orchestra for Peace was formed at the behest of the United Nations to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding.

In fact, the one-off, multi-national orchestra pays no attention to the status of the musicians, who do not receive any fees for their work in the Orchestra: their seating positions rotate, and so do the section leaders.

The Orchestra, headed by the indefatigable leader of the Mariinsky Orchestra – Gergiev – will perform Gustav Mahler’s Symphonies No. 4 and 5, after which it will head to the Salzburg Festival in Austria.

The concerts are broadcasted live and on demand on the BBC website. You can also check audio broadcast on BBC radio 3.