Valery Gergiev

Russian conductor (born 1953 in Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia, Russian Federation)

Valery Gergiev is one of the most charismatic conductors of our times. He began his musical education by learning to play the piano, then studied conducting at the Leningrad conservatoire (St Petersburg) with the celebrated teacher Ilya Musin. After making his conducting debut at the Kirov Opera (now the Mariinsky Theatre), he was appointed assistant conductor to Yuri Temirkanov. Shortly afterwards, he began an international career that quickly gathered momentum and took him to the world's most prestigious venues, including London, New York, Vienna and Paris.

Since 1988, when he was only 35 years old, he has been at the head of the Mariinsky Theatre. He has considerably broadened and modernised its repertoire, which now includes not only the standards of the opera repertoire (Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Richard Strauss and Britten) but also new works and standards in the Russian repertoire (Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Prokofiev), and key twentieth-century composers (Messiaen, Dutilleux, Gubaidulina and Giya Kancheli).

Valery Gergiev continues to conduct over 200 concerts a year, in addition to festivals in Russia and abroad (Stars of the White Nights in St Petersburg). He also sits on a variety of competition juries and is actively involved in helping young performers and composers. He enjoys extensive media coverage. He was made a UNESCO Artist for Peace and has taken a stand on political conflicts (the conflict between Russia and South Ossetia). He is also involved in various music-related outreach projects (such as Building on Excellence: Orchestras for the 21st century in the United Kingdom). He has received numerous awards for his lifetime achievement.

Website of the Mariinsky Foundation of America: http://mariinsky.us/

Six landmark dates in the life of Valery Gergiev:

• 1988: appointed principal conductor of the Mariinsky Theatre
• 1995: appointed musical director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
• 1998: appointed artistic and general director of the Mariinsky Theatre
• 2003: conducted the first production of Wagner's Ring Cycle in German in the history of the Mariinsky
• 2006: inaugurated the Mariinsky II concert hall, built at his initiative
• 2007: succeeded Sir Colin Davis at the head of the London Symphony Orchestra

Six key recordings with Valery Gergiev:

• Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition, Night On The Bare Mountain
 Wiener Philharmoniker
 DECCA 2002

• Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring - Scriabin: The Poem of Ecstasy
Kirov Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre
Philips 2001

• Prokofiev: The Complete Symphonies
London Symphony Orchestra
LSO

• DVD Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin
Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Renée Fleming, Ramon Vargas,
Metropolitan Opera, 2007

• Shostakovich: The Nose
Mariinsky Soloists, Orchestra, and Chorus
Mariinsky Label 2010

• Tchaikovsky: Variations on a rococo theme - Prokofiev: Sinfonia concertante
Gautier Capuçon
Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra
Virgin 2010