Valery Gergiev is a vivid representative of the St. Petersburg Conservatory conducting school, where he studied with Ilya Musin. His Mariinsky Theatre debut in 1978, in which he led Prokofiev’s War and Peace, was at the invitation of music director Yuri Temirkanov. In 1988 Mr. Gergiev was appointed Temirkanov’s successor, and in 1996 he became the Mariinsky Theatre’s artistic and general director, a position he still holds today.
In 1993 Ms. Gergiev organized the first Stars of White Nights International Festival, one of the most prestigious festivals in the world today; in 2002 he founded the Moscow Easter Festival, a three-week festival that takes the Mariinsky throughout and across Russia. Through Mr. Gergiev’s efforts, the Mariinsky Theatre has revived the Ring and other Wagner operas, as well as numerous previously unheralded Russian operas.
Under Mr. Gergiev’s direction, the Mariinsky Theatre has become one of the great global theater and concert centers. In addition to its iconic 1860 opera and ballet theater, the Concert Hall was opened in 2006, followed in 2013 by the theater’s second stage, Mariinsky II, and, beginning in January 2016, the Mariinsky Theatre’s branch in Vladivostok, the Primorsky Stage. The Mariinsky label was launched in 2009, and to date has released more than 30 discs in both CD and DVD formats.
Valery Gergiev’s international activities are no less intensive. He successfully collaborates with the world’s great opera houses and has led world-renowned orchestras such as World Orchestra for Peace (succeeding Georg Solti in 1997); the philharmonic orchestras of Berlin, Paris, Vienna, New York, and Los Angeles; the Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, and San Francisco symphony orchestras; Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; and many other ensembles. He previously served as principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (1995–2008) and the London Symphony Orchestra (2007–15). Currently, Mr. Gergiev heads the Munich Philharmonic.
Valery Gergiev’s musical and public activities have brought him the prestigious state awards of Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, France, Armenia, and Bulgaria. His other awards include Hero of Labor (2013), the Order of Alexander Nevsky (2016), and the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense Arts and Culture Award (2017). Since 2011 he has directed the organizational committee of the International Tchaikovsky Competition.
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