Valery Gergiev’s inspired leadership as Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre has brought universal acclaim to this legendary institution. In addition to conducting the Kirov Orchestra, Opera and Ballet in over forty-five countries, Maestro Gergiev has been a guest conductor of many great institutions. He is currently Principal Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Principal Guest Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and, as of January 2007, Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. He is Founder and Artistic Director of the Gergiev Rotterdam Festival, the Mikkeli International Festival, the Moscow Easter Festival and the Stars of the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Born in Moscow, Mr. Gergiev studied conducting with Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatory. At age 24, he was the winner of the Herbert von Karajan Conductors’ Competition in Berlin. He made his Kirov Opera debut one year later, in 1978, conducting Prokofiev’s War and Peace and was appointed Artistic Director and Principal Conductor in 1988.
Maestro Gergiev is the recipient of numerous awards. He was the 2006 winner of the Karajan Prize (Germany) and the Polar Prize (Sweden) for outstanding international performance and leadership. He has recorded extensively, especially the Russian repertoire, mainly for Decca (Universal Classics), but he also appears on the Philips and DG labels.