A wind from the Urals filled Geneva’s Grand Théâtre on Wednesday 3 October 2012, on the occasion of the annual gala organised by the Dr Henri Dubois-Ferrière Dinu Lipatti Foundation to raise funds for research on leukaemia and other blood diseases. Valery Gergiev and the Stradivari Ensemble of the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra of St. Petersburg regaled the 800 music lovers, friends of the Foundation, and donors in attendance with a demonstration of Russian musical virtuosity and excellence. Under the maestro’s baton, the 15 violins, violas and cellos brilliantly interpreted Grieg’s “Holberg” Suite Opus 40 and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings. Oboist Alexei Ogrintchouk, a former laureate of the Concours de Genève, accompanied by Silvie Barberi at the piano, charmed the audience with Kalliwoda’s “Morceau de Salon”. Denis Matsuev’s virtuosic rendition of Chostakovitch’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra brought the evening to a dazzling close.
The generosity of the gala attendees allowed the Dr Henri Dubois-Ferrière Dinu Lipatti Foundation to raise 500,000 Swiss francs, which will go to supporting the creation of a cord blood bank to provide much-needed stem cells for patients with leukaemia.
The Gala continued after the musical pyrotechnics with a cocktail dinner hosted and catered by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The veritable edible symphony offered by classical music enthusiasts Mr and Mrs Torriani offered a suitably elegant conclusion to the evening.