Valery Gergiev, who is originally from North Ossetia, where the dreadful Beslan hostage crisis came to a bloody end on Friday, was visibly moved while conducting the concert in Vienna's Musikverein. Despite the tragic events back home, he had decided that he would still conduct - not least because it was a charity concert for SOS Children's Villages.
The Golden Hall of the Musikverein was sold out and many prominent guests were there both to enjoy the music and do good. The enthusiastic audience were treated to five pieces by Johann Strauss and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.6 "Pathétique", all played by the Vienna Philharmonic with its customary virtuosity.
The concert raised a large sum of money for the first urban SOS Children's Village in Vienna (see also Hot News Three Urban SOS Children's Villages of 6 September 2004). SOS Children's Village President Helmut Kutin received a cheque for 390,000 Euros and gave a few words of special thanks to Gergiev, expressing his deep sympathy in the face of the Beslan tragedy.