It is impossible to reconcile oneself with the idea that a performer has died who for many was a symbol of an entire era, an era of great talents and skill. Handsome, stately, with a unique voice, innate artistry and a natural charisma – that is how he was known and loved throughout the world by audiences, fellow musicians and friends. His death is a tremendous loss. An international soloist who never lost his links with Russia, hard-working and always curious, he dedicated his entire life to art, never waning in his charm and talent.
"It was always a tremendous pleasure to work with him: in a concert performance of The Tsar's Bride with Olga Borodina, in the opera The Queen of Spades and in a series of Mariinsky Theatre concerts in the 1990s, in Don Carlo, War and Peace and Eugene Onegin at the Metropolitan Opera and at the Mikkeli Festival, where we appeared on a regular basis. Together with Philips Classics and the Rotterdam Philharmonic we recorded Tchaikovsky & Verdi Arias. Then came co-recordings with the Mariinsky Theatre – Musorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death, Tchaikovsky's Iolanta, three unforgettable arias from Rubinstein's The Demon and Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tsar's Bride.
"We were friends for many years and, knowing his SIberian character, I was sure that he would not give in and would do everything to conquer this disease. The courage and dignity that Dimitri retained throughout his battle with his severe ailment make us think of him with respect, and the concerts he performed in his closing months make us admire his sheer will-power.
"All at the Mariinsky Theatre will share my thoughts at this sad time."