The Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre enjoys a long and distinguished history as one of
the oldest musical institutions in Russia. Founded in the 18th century during the reign of
Peter the Great and housed in St. Petersburg's famed Mariinsky Theatre since 1860, the
orchestra entered its "golden age" in the second half of the 19th century under the musical
direction of Eduard Nápravník, whose leadership for more than a half-century (1863-1916)
secured its reputation as one of the finest in Europe.
Numerous internationally famed musicians have conducted the orchestra, among them Hans von
Bülow, Felix Mottl, Felix Weingartner, Alexander von Zemlinsky, Otto Nikisch, Willem
Mengelberg, Otto Klemperer, Bruno Walter, Erich Kleiber, Hector Berlioz, Richard Wagner,
Gustav Mahler, and Arnold Schoenberg.
Renamed the Kirov during the Soviet era, the orchestra continued to maintain its high
artistic standards under the leadership of Yevgeny Mravinsky and Yuri Temirkanov. The
leadership of Valery Gergiev has enabled the Mariinsky Theatre to forge important
relationships for the Mariinsky Ballet and Opera to appear in the world's greatest opera
houses and theaters, among them the Metropolitan Opera; the Kennedy Center in Washington,
DC; the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; San Francisco Opera; Théâtre du Châtelet in
Paris; the Salzburg Festival; and La Scala in Milan.
The success of the orchestra's frequent tours has created the reputation of what one
journalist referred to as "the world's first global orchestra." Since
its US debut in 1992, the orchestra has made 15 tours of North America, including a 2006
celebration of the complete Shostakovich symphonies, a cycle of Prokofiev's stage works in
2008, major works of Hector Berlioz in February and March 2010, and a centennial Mahler
cycle at Carnegie Hall in October 2010. The following year, the Mariinsky Orchestra opened
Carnegie Hall's 2011-2012 season with a cycle of Tchaikovsky symphonies, which the ensemble
also performed on tour throughout the US and in Canada.
Maestro Gergiev established the Mariinsky Label in 2009 and has since released more than
15 CDs, including Shostakovich's piano concertos nos. 1 and 2; symphonies nos. 1, 2, 3, 10,
11, and 15; and The Nose. The orchestra has also recorded Rachmaninoff's Piano
Concerto No. 3 and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini; Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture;
Shchedrin's The Enchanted Wanderer and Piano Concerto No. 5; Stravinsky's
Oedipus Rex and Les noces; Wagner's Parsifal; and
Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor; as well as DVDs/Blu-rays of Tchaikovsky's
symphonies nos. 4, 5, and 6 and George Balanchine's ballet Jewels. Releases for
2012 include Massenet's Don Quichotte.
A prominent figure in all the world's major concert halls, Mr. Gergiev is the artistic and
general director of the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, and since 1988 has taken the
Mariinsky ballet, opera, and orchestra ensembles to more than 45 countries, garnishing
universal acclaim. The Mariinsky Concert Hall opened in 2006, and the new Mariinsky Theatre
is scheduled to open in 2013, alongside the classic Mariinsky Theatre.
Principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra since 2007, Mr. Gergiev performs with
the LSO at the Barbican Centre, BBC Proms, and Edinburgh International Festival, as well as
on extensive tours of Europe, North America, and Asia. He is also founder and artistic
director of the Stars of the White Nights Festival and New Horizons Festival in St.
Petersburg, Moscow Easter Festival, Rotterdam Philharmonic Gergiev Festival, Mikkeli Music
Festival, and Red Sea Classical Music Festival in Eilat, Israel.
His record releases with the Mariinsky and London Symphony orchestras continually win
awards in Europe, Asia, and America. Recent releases include a Mahler symphonic cycle,
Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, Massenet's Don Quichotte, Rodion
Shchedrin's The Enchanted Wanderer, and Wagner's Parsifal to name
but a few.
Mr. Gergiev has led numerous concert cycles in New York, London, and other international
cities focused on the works of single composers, including Berlioz, Brahms, Dutilleux,
Mahler, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner, and he has introduced
audiences around the world to several rarely performed Russian operas.
Mr. Gergiev's many awards include the Dmitri Shostakovich Award, Netherlands' Knight of
the Order of the Dutch Lion, Japan's Order of the Rising Sun, and the French Ordre national
de la Légion d'honneur.