Since his sensational success at the Herbert von Karajan Competition in Berlin in 1976, Valery Gergiev has set new standards in orchestral culture and music management – as chief conductor, general director and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, which he has led back to being one of the top opera houses in the world. The Russian maestro has been a frequent guest with the Berliner Philharmoniker since his debut in 1993.
Valery Gergiev studied under Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatory before winning First Prize at the 1975 All-Union Competition in Moscow. In 1978, he became assistant to Yuri Temirkanov at the Kirov Opera, now the Mariinsky Theatre, where he made his debut with Prokofiev’s opera [War and Peace]. He has now directed the Mariinsky Theatre for more than two decades, making it one of the largest cultural complexes in the world with the opening of a second new opera house in 2013. With the Mariinsky Ensemble, Gergiev has made guest appearances in Japan, China, Israel, the USA and many European music centres. In addition to his work at this house, the artist, who has received numerous international awards, is chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic, music director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra and honorary president of the Edinburgh International Festival. Valery Gergiev is the founder and artistic director of the Gergiev Rotterdam Festival, the Mikkeli International Festival, the Moscow Easter Festival and the St. Petersburg festival Stars of the White Nights. He has been principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Metropolitan Opera New York.