Valery Gergiev Valery Gergiev © Marco Borggreve
Born in Moscow in 1953, Valery Gergiev studied at the Leningrad Conservatory with Ilya Musin and rose to international prominence in 1977 as a prize-winner at the Karajan Competition in Berlin. In the following year, he began his association with the Kirov Opera, now the Mariinsky Theater, where he debuted with Prokofiev’s War and Peace. Gergiev was appointed its Artistic Director in 1988 and, in 1996, General Director; associated with this post is also directorship of the Stars of the White Nights and New Horizons festivals. He has given guest performances with the Mariinsky ensemble in Japan, China, Israel, the USA, and many European music centers. In 2006, he inaugurated a new concert hall in St. Petersburg built especially for the Mariinsky Orchestra; a second new opera house was opened in 2013. Valery Gergiev made his debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 1994, which engaged him as Principal Guest Conductor from 1997 to 2008. During this period he also helmed the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, from 1995 to 2007, and from 2007 to 2015 he held the principal position with the London Symphony Orchestra. Since 2015, Gergiev has served as Principal Conductor of the Munich Philharmonic, with which he made a recording of the complete Bruckner symphonies, which was released in 2020. As a guest conductor, he has led the Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco Symphonies; the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras; the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics; and the Royal Concertgebouworkest. He made his Bayreuth Festival debut in 2019 with Wagner’s Tannhäuser. Gergiev is chairman of the International Tchaikovsky Competition and director of the Moscow Easter Festival. In his home country, he has been awarded the Shostakovich Prize and the title Russian People’s Artist. He has been a UNESCO Artist for Peace since 2003 and in 2006 received the Polar Music Prize and the Karajan Music Prize.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 20 August 1999 with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in works by Kancheli and Beethoven.