Gergiev is considered one of the world’s leading conductors to date, and best orchestras and opera houses want to work with him. Gergiev’s art of conducting is characterized by vivid emotionality and individuality of reading scores.
Valery Gergiev graduated from the Leningrad State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire in symphony conducting under Professor IlyaMusin. At the age of twenty-three he won the Herbert von Karajan Conducting Competition in Berlin and, while still a student at the Conservatoire, was invited to join the Kirov Theatre (now the Mariinsky). At the age of thirty-five, Valery Gergiev was appointed Artistic Director of the Opera Company, and since 1996 he has been Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre. Here Gergiev has fostered a plethora of world-class singers, but his main artistic achievement is expanding and renewing the theatre’s opera and ballet repertoire, in particular, the works of Russian classics, that sets him apart from a number of XXI century conductors.
Since the early 1990s, the conductor o?ten performs abroad. He has been Principal Guest Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in New York from 1997. This position was created for Valery Gergiev for the first time in the history of this theatre. From 1995 to 2008 he was the Principal Guest Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. On January 1st, 2007 Gergiev became the Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.
Valery Gergiev is the founder and artistic director of many world-class international festivals, such as the Gergiev Festival Mikkeli (Finland), Rotterdam Philarmonic Gergiev Festival (the Netherlands), Red Sea Classical Music Festival in Eilat, the Kirov Philharmonic (London), and the Moscow Easter Festival. Since 1993, the maestro is the head of the annual «Stars of the White Nights” festival in St. Petersburg, which in 2009 was named one of the world’s ten greatest music festivals. He also directs four international festivals held at the Mariinsky Theatre and the Concert Hall – «New Horizons», «Maslenitsa», «Brass Evenings at the Mariinsky» and the Mariinsky Ballet Festival.
The maestro’s artistic achievements were marked by numerous awards. Gergiev is People’s Artist of Russia (1996), the laureate of the State Prize of Russia (1993, 1994, 1998, 2001), the laureate of the President of the Russian Federation Award for Literature and the Arts (2001). He was awarded the Order of Friendship (2000), «For Merit to the Fatherland» III degree (2003), «For Merit to the Fatherland» IV Degree (2008), Hero of Labour of the Russian Federation (2013) – for the special labour merits before the state and the people. Valery Gergiev was the recipient of numerous prizes. The maestro repeatedly received Russia’s most prestigious theatre prize – the «Golden Mask» (1996-2000) and «Golden Soffit» award (1997, 1998, 2000) as Conductor of the Year. In 1998, Philips Electronics awarded him a special prize for his outstanding contribution to music, which he donated to the development of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Singers. Valery Gergiev is the laureate of the Polar Music Prize by the Swedish Royal Academy of Music (1998), European Glashutte Original Music Festival Prize (2010), etc.
In 2011, the President of Kazakhstan NursultanNazarbayev has awarded Valery Gergiev with the honorary title «Honored Worker of the Republic of Kazakhstan» on stage of the Central Concert Hall «Kazakhstan», where within the framework of the X Moscow Easter Festival the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra concert was held.Valery Gergiev is the principal guest conductor of Astana Opera House since 2014.