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Russian baritone Sergei Leiferkus, who was born in 1946 in Leningrad, studied at the conservatory of his native city and began his career in 1971 as a prize winner in the Mikhail Glinka Vocal Competition in Vilnius. He had his first permanent engagement in 1972 at the Maly Theater in Leningrad, and he made his debut in 1977 in Prokofiev’s War and Peace at the Mariinsky Theater; in 1979 he became a member of this acclaimed company’s ensemble. Leiferkus won recognition in the West when he made his debut in 1983 with the Berlin Philharmonic. Regular engagements at the leading stages in Western Europe and America soon followed. Since 1988 Leiferkus has been a regular guest artist at the Royal Opera House in London and, since 1992, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York; he has performed at the Paris National Opera, the Vienna Staatsoper, and La Scala in Milan, as well as at the Salzburg, Edinburgh, Glyndebourne, Tanglewood, and Ravinia festivals. The baritone’s repertoire includes 50 different roles in a spectrum ranging from Mozart (the Count in Figaro and Don Giovanni), Verdi (Nabucco, Macbeth, and Simon Boccanegra), and Puccini (Scarpia in Tosca) to Richard Wagner, including his performance as Alberich in Robert Wilson’s production of the Ring in Paris. Leiferkus is moreover an internationally sought-after performer of Russian operas and is equally at home singing roles by Borodin, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich. Sergei Leiferkus has worked with many leading conductors, including Claudio Abbado, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Kent Nagano, and Georg Solti. His discography includes 40 CDs, and his recording of the complete songs of Modest Mussorgsky won the Cannes Classical Award, the Diapason d’Or, and a Grammy nomination.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 17 August 2004 in Shostakovich’s Fourteenth Symphony in a concert with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Daniel Harding.