St. Petersburg's Mikhailovsky Theatre Appoints First Female Musical Director

Russian conductor Alevtina Ioffe will take on the role, effective immediately

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She makes history in that she will be the first woman to hold this position at a major Russian performing arts institution.

Ioffe currently serves as Music Director of The Moscow State Opera and Ballet Theatre for Young Audience, also known as the Natalia Sats Children’s Musical Theatre. She also holds the post of Principal Guest Conductor of the Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Saha, in the Republic of Yakutia, Russia.

In the past few years, she has made debuts with the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Bayerische Staatsoper.

At Mikhailovsky, she will serve alongside Artistic Director Vladimir Kekhman.

“It is incredibly difficult for a woman to pursue a career as a conductor in Russia," Ioffe said in a statement. "For me, it is a great honor and responsibility to work at a theatre with such rich traditions. Another reason why I agreed to work here is Vladimir Kekhman’s willingness to experiment, as it is very important for me to be able to realize my creative ideas, of which there are a lot."

"For the first time in our history, we will have a female conductor as our Musical Director," Vladimir Kekhman added. "We count on this young, energetic, inventive musician. Alevtina Ioffe’s career is a breakthrough in the Russian ‘male’ world of music. Today the Mikhailovsky Theatre faces an important task of both preserving the classical repertoire and creating experimental productions. A bright and original conductor like Alevtina Ioffe is a perfect fit for us. Her prior experience in the same position at the children’s musical theatre is highly relevant, as raising the children’s audience that will cherish our cultural traditions is an important task for me."