Since the beginning of September this year the Vladikavkaz opera theare and its orchestra have been part of the "Mariinsky brand". This is the town where Valery Gergiev spent his childhood, and that's why he has emotional ties to the city. And I think that is the main reason behind this theatre becoming a filial of the Mariinsky Theatre. I had the pleasure to travel to this beautiful part of Russia and conduct my debut there. It all happened very fast. Just two weeks prior I was asked if I am available for an "all Mozart concert" and the final confirmation came just one week before.

The orchestra performs symphonic concerts in a former catholic church which has been renovated and made into a concert hall which seats approximately 300 people. Their opera theatre has also undergone a recent renovation, but I had no time to check it out. Our program was "Impresario" overture, violin concerto No. 3 with a local young soloist Ilya Bekoev, and symphony No. 39. The theatre did a great job on advertising, there were big posters all around town, and the hall was full of enthusiastic public (I even gave autographs after the concert). The day after the concert I had some free time and could go out of town to see the Caucasus mountains a bit closer by. I hope to visit this beautiful region many more times.