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Valery Gergiev’s inspired leadership as Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre during the past twenty years has brought universal acclaim to this legendary institution, which recently celebrated its 225th Anniversary.
Maestro Gergiev is also Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, and Conductor of the World Orchestra for Peace (founded by Sir Georg Solti in 1995). He is Founder and Artistic Director of the Stars of the White Nights Festival, the Moscow Easter Festival, the Gergiev Rotterdam Festival, the Mikkeli International Festival, the Red Sea Festival and the New Horizons Festival, the latter of which is a contemporary music festival in the Mariinsky Theatre’s new Concert Hall.

Born in Moscow to Ossetian parents, Maestro Gergiev studied conducting with Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatory. At age twenty-four, he was the winner of the Herbert von Karajan Conductors’ Competition in Berlin and made his Kirov Opera debut one year later in 1978 conducting Prokofiev’s War and Peace. In 2003 he led St. Petersburg’s 300th anniversary celebration, and opened the Carnegie Hall season with the Kirov Orchestra, the first Russian conductor to do so since Tchaikovsky conducted the first-ever concert in Carnegie Hall.

Maestro Gergiev’s 2008/09 season includes a Prokofiev cycle of staged works (Kirov Orchestra) and the complete symphonies (Lso) at Lincoln Center in New York and a cycle of Prokofiev symphonies and concerti with the Lso in Paris and Tokyo.

He has taken Mariinsky Ensembles to forty-five countries presenting the best of Russian opera and ballets as well as the complete Shostakovich and Prokofiev Symphonies and Richard Wagner’s Ring. He was the subject of Carnegie Hall’s 2007/08 Perspectives: Valery Gergiev, in which he gave concerts with the Kirov, Vienna Philharmonic and Met Orchestras. In the same season he conducted productions of Prokofiev’s War and Peace and The Gambler at the Met.

Maestro Gergiev is the recipient of a Grammy Award, the Dmitri Shostakovich Award, Golden Mask Award, People’s Artist of Russia Award, the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award, Sweden’s Polar Music Prize, Netherlands’s Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion, Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun, Valencia’s (Spain) Silver Medal, the Herbert von Karajan prize and France’s Royal Order of the Legion of Honor.

He has recorded exclusively for Decca (Universal Classics), but appears also on Philips and Ddd labels and Lso Live.

His vast discography includes many Russian operas, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky Symphonies among many others. His Mahler Symphony no. 6 was released on Lso Live in April 2008, the first of a Mahler cycle with the Lso.

He performed at Stresa Festival in 1999, 2000 and 2001.