Sergei Roldugin

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Sergei Roldugin
Sergei Roldugin in Palmyra.jpg
Roldugin in Palmyra, May 2016
Born Sergei Pavlovich Roldugin
(1951-09-28) September 28, 1951 (age 66)
Sakhalin, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, USSR
Residence St Petersburg, Russia
Occupation Cellist and businessman
Known for "Vladimir Putin's best friend", Panama Papers
Spouse(s) 1.Irina Nikitina, 2.Elena Mirtova

Sergei Pavlovich Roldugin (Russian: Сергей Павлович Ролдугин, born September 28, 1951 Sakhalin[1][2]) is a Russian cellist and businessman, based in St Petersburg.

He was awarded the 1980 Prague Spring International Music Festival Competition's 3rd prize. In 1984 Roldugin was appointed the Kirov Opera Theatre Orchestra's principal cellist. He subsequently held a professorship at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, where he served as the institution's rector from 2002-05. The Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra's Guest Conductor, he has been named a People's Artist of Russia.

Since 1990s, Roldugin has been engaged in the oil and media business.[3] He is known for having initiated the renovation of the decayed Alexis Palace as a music school and for having performed at the ruins of Palmyra a month after the site was reconquered from the ISIL.[4] Roldugin plays the Stuart cello made by Antonio Stradivari in 1732; the instrument cost him $12 mln.[5]

Sergei Roldugin is a godfather to Maria Putina, Vladimir Putin's daughter.[6] He has been friends with the Putin since the late 1970s.[7] In March 2016 The Guardian described Roldugin as "Putin's best friend". It was Roldugin who introduced Putin to Lyudmila, his future wife. Roldugin's brother Yevgeny was at KGB training school with Putin.[8]

In connection with the Panama Papers, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project described Roldugin as the "secret caretaker" of Putin's hidden wealth through his participation in transactions between various offshore companies.[9][10][11][12][13]

Roldugin's first spouse was Irina Nikitina, President of the Musical Olympus Foundation.[14][15][16][17] His current spouse is Elena Mirtova (opera singer, soprano).[18]


  1. ^ "Sergey Roldugin - Saint Petersburg Music House". Retrieved 29 July 2017. 
  2. ^ "Сергей Ролдугин". Retrieved 29 July 2017. 
  3. ^ What Do We Know About Sergei Roldugin? (in Russian)
  4. ^ Kramer, Andrew E.; Higgins, Andrew (5 May 2016). "In Syria, Russia Plays Bach Where ISIS Executed 25". Retrieved 29 July 2017. 
  5. ^ "Аукционный дом удалил информацию о виолончели, купленной Ролдугиным". Радио Свобода. Retrieved 29 July 2017. 
  6. ^ Luke Harding (April 3, 2016). "Revealed: the $2bn offshore trail that leads to Vladimir Putin". The Guardian. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Офшоры друга Путина. Главное: Что нужно знать про расследование о миллиардах Сергея Ролдугина". Meduza. 2016-03-30. Retrieved 2016-04-04. 
  8. ^ "Sergei Roldugin, the cellist who holds the key to tracing Putin's hidden fortune". The Guardian. April 3, 2016. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  9. ^ Anin, Roman (April 3, 2016). "The Secret Caretaker - The Panama Papers". OCCRP. Retrieved April 7, 2016. 
  10. ^ Kroll, Luisa. "Billionaires, Former Billionaires Outed For Offshore Wealth By The Panama Papers". Retrieved 29 July 2017. 
  11. ^ "Sergei Roldugin, the cellist who holds the key to tracing Putin's hidden fortune". 3 April 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2017 – via The Guardian. 
  12. ^ Shuster, Simon. "Meet the Russian Cellist Behind Putin's Alleged Offshore Fortune". Time. Retrieved 29 July 2017. 
  13. ^ "Putin's best friend is at the heart of Panama Papers scandal". 4 April 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2017 – via LA Times. 
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-11. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  15. ^ Олимп, Фонд Музыкальный. "About". Retrieved 29 July 2017. 
  16. ^ "White Nights Bright Days; The Musical Olympus Festival". 26 August 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2017. 
  17. ^ "Musical Olympus Festival Back on the Stage of Carnegie Hall". Retrieved 29 July 2017. 
  18. ^ "Elena Mirtova - Saint Petersburg Music House". Retrieved 29 July 2017. 

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