Artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre and Principal Conductor of London Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev is one of the world’s most renowned conductors of the present day. He is specialised in recording operatic and symphonic works, particularly by Russian composers:Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and Glinka. He has also made sensational recordings of the symphonic works of various other composers: Mahler's complete symphonies, Brahms' complete symphonies and Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé and Bolero.
In an interview with Gramophone Magazine in 2010, he revealed "Conducting Mahler’sSymphony No 7 was for me the scariest project of all. Listening to historical recordings of this piece 20 or even 30 years ago did not inspire me to think I wanted to conduct it."
Valery Gergiev studied at the Ordzhonikidze Music College in Ossetia where he grew up, and at the Leningrad Conservatory. Have gave his début at the Kirov Opera, Leningrad (now Mariinsky, St. Petersburg) conductingProkofiev’s War and Peace. He became chief conductor and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre in 1988. In the same year, he first conducted theLondon Symphony Orchestra as a guest conductor.
He made his New York Metropolitan début in 1992 with Verdi’s Otello.
In the Netherlands, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Gergiev Festival is an annual event which comprises five concerts conducted by Gergiev in three days, including a late-night marathon programme. The festival began in 1996. It is the lasting legacy from the years in which Gergiev was the Rotterdam Philharmonic’s principal conductor. (1995-2008)
As of 2007, Gergiev was principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra , with whom he won the BBC Music Magazine Award for hisRomeo and Juliet by Prokofiev, recorded by the orchestra’s in-house label LSO Live.
Gergiev is chairman of the International Tchaikovsky Competition. He has remarked enthusiastically: ‘Thanks to this competition, the world has been introduced to some exceptional talents. Nowadays, audiences are ready to join us via the internet, TV broadcasts, or any other form of media communication that one might only imagine. This audience truly wishes to be part of this musical adventure.'
Small Photograph Courtesy of the telegraph.co.uk Header Photograph by Fred Toulet