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 17 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, Valery 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. Maestro Gergiev's 25 years of leadership have also resulted in the
building of the Mariinsky Concert Hall (2006) and the new Mariinsky II theater (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. In July 2013, he led the inaugural
international tour of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, an
orchestra founded by Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute. In 2016, he will assume the
post of principal conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. He also is founder and
artistic director of the Stars of the White Nights Festival and the New Horizons Festival
in St. Petersburg, the Moscow Easter Festival, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Gergiev Festival,
the Mikkeli Music Festival, and the Red Sea Classical Music Festival in Israel, as well as
principal conductor of the World Orchestra for Peace.
Mr. Gergiev's record releases with the Mariinsky Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra
continually win awards in Europe, Asia, and America. Recent releases include a Mahler
symphony cycle, Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, Massenet's Don Quichotte, Shchedrin's The
Enchanted Wanderer, Wagner's Parsifal and Die Walküre, and Shostakovich's Symphony No.
Mr. Gergiev has led numerous composer-centered concert cycles in New York, London, and
other international cities, including ones focused on Berlioz, Brahms, Dutilleux, Mahler,
Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner. He has introduced audiences
around the world to several rarely performed Russian operas.
Mr. Gergiev's many awards include the Dmitri Shostakovich Award, the 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.