Valery Gergiev

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Valery Gergiev

Valeri Abisálovich Guérguiev (oscillating: Гергиты Абисалы фырт Валери; Russian: Валерий Абисалович Гергиев Valériy Abisálovich Guérguiev; May 2, 1953) is an orchestra conductor and artistic director of Russian opera. He is the general director of the Mariinski Theater and also associated with the Metropolitan Opera, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic.

Valery Gergiev’s Biography

He was born in Moscow to Ossetian parents and settled in Vladikavkaz in his native North Ossetia in the Caucasus. Without being a child prodigy, he began to learn piano in high school and then traveled to St. Petersburg, then Leningrad, to study at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where as a teenager he decided to devote himself to orchestra conducting, so who started taking direction classes with Ilya Musin

In 1975, while still a student, he won the Contest of Orchestra Directors of the Soviet Union. The following year, he won the Herbert von Karajan Orchestra Directors Contest in Berlin

In 1977, she became an assistant at the Kirov Opera, today Opera del Mariinski, directed by Yuri Temirkánov; There he made his debut directing Guerra y Paz by Sergei Prokofiev, a composer who since then would become his touchstone. From 1981, Gergiev was named principal conductor of the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, relieving David Khanjian and remaining in office until 1985. During this period, his popularity grew throughout the Soviet Union as he was required to act as a guest for the most important formations of the USSR.

In 1988 Gergiev was elected by voting principal and artistic director of the Kirov Theater, whose level improves in a substantial way and since 1996 he is artistic director and general director of the institution. The company started a series of international tours in several countries and also collaborated in joint productions with some of the main theaters in the world, such as the San Francisco Opera and Covent Garden.

In 1988 Gergiev made his debut as guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and a year later was appointed principal guest conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, an entity he later became its titular conductor. Already in the decade of the nineties, Gergiev carried out numerous initiatives in the Kirov Theater, renamed with its original name of Mariinsky Theater since 1992, and also founded the so-called Festival of White Nights of St. Petersburg in 1993, the same year in which he made his debut at Covent Garden and at the Metropolitan in New York.

Two years later, the Mariinski Theater company was very successful at the Edinburgh Festival, which made it easier for the Russian government to give Gergiev full responsibility for the overall direction of the theater. From 1997, Gergiev began to collaborate regularly as a guest conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and as one of the Metropolitan’s principal directors until 2002. With this, his worldwide fame was consolidated and since then his presence was constantly required by the main formations of the world.

In 1991, Guérguiev directed for the first time an opera company of Western Europe: the Bavarian State Opera in a function of Borís Godunov of Modest Mussorgski in Munich. The same year he made his American debut, directing War and Peace with the San Francisco Opera.

Guérguiev is associated with numerous musical festivals, including the White Nights festival in Saint Petersburg. He became the principal and artistic director of Mariinski in 1988, and absolute director of the company, then renamed Mariinski, appointed by the Russian government, in 1996. In 1995 he became the principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, (1995 -2008) relieving Jeffrey Tate and in 1997, principal guest conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

In 2003 he started and directed at the Mariinski Theater the first complete cycle of Wagner’s El Anillo del Nibelungo to be played in Russia in 90 years. The design and concept of the production reflected many aspects of the Ossetian culture. Guérguiev directed this production abroad in Cardiff in 2006 (at the Millennium Center in Wales), in Costa Mesa, California (October 2006, Orange County Performing Arts Center) and in New York in 2007.

The international awards were added and, in this way, Gergiev won the Russian Presidency Award that same year for his contribution to the development of the arts and the title of UNESCO World Artist.

In 2005 he was appointed as the 15th principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, replacing Sir Colin Davis from January 1, 2007. In 2017 he is replaced by Simon Rattle at the head of the group.

In 2006 he was awarded the Polar Music Prize with Led Zeppelin and the prestigious Herbert von Karajan Musical Award, given by the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden.

In January 2013, Guérguiev was appointed director of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, a post he will hold from 2015 to 2020.

It has been noted that his debut at the Bayreuth Festival for 2019 is likely to be directed by Tannhäuser.

Guérguiev has been a constant support in the pacification in the Caucasus, particularly in the conflict between the central government of Georgia and South Ossetia.

The annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation

On March 11, 2014, Gergiev signed an open letter entitled “World figures of Russian culture, in support of President Vladimir Putin’s position on Ukraine and Crimea.” The letter says that “In the days of that the fate of Crimea and our compatriots was decided, cultural figures of Russia could not remain indifferent, nor be cold-observers. Our history and common roots, our culture and our spiritual sources, our fundamental values ​​and language have always united us. We want the common of our peoples and our cultures to have a great future. This is the reason why we strongly declare our support for the position of the President of the Russian Federation, with regard to Ukraine and Crimea. “In total, 511 Russian artists have signed the open letter, which provoked an immediate indignation between the main figures of the world of culture in Ukraine and Russia The Minister of Culture of Ukraine boycotted Gergiev, to prevent him from acting or presenting himself in Ukraine.

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