The Mariinsky Orchestra 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 now also performs in its superb
21st-century concert hall (2006) and its second opera house (2013), built with modern stage
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.
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 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 20 recordings that have received
critical acclaim in Europe, Asia, and the United States.
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 nearly 50 countries. His 25 years of leadership have also resulted in the building of
the Mariinsky Concert Hall (2006), the founding of the Mariinsky Label (2009), and the new
Mariinsky II (2013) theater 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 debut
international tour of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, an
orchestra founded by Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute, and in the fall of 2016, he
assumes the post of principal conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Gergiev
is also 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 Tchaikovsky's
Piano Concertos nos. 1 and 2; Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3, Symphony No. 5, and
Romeo and Juliet; Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, Night on
Bald Mountain, and Songs and Dances of Death; Brahms's Ein deutsches
Requiem; and Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, Harold en Italie, and
La mort de Cléopâtre.
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.
His 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.