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Valery Gergiev

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Valery Abisalovich Gergiev (Ossetic: Гергиты Абисалы фырт Валери; Russian: Вале́рий Абиса́лович Ге́ргиев) (born 2 May 1953) is a Russian conductor and opera company director. He is general director and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre, principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, and principal guest conductor of the Metropolitan Opera. Valery Gergiev is the artistic director of the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg.


Biography

Gergiev, born in Moscow, is the son of Tamara Tatarkanovna and Abisal Zaurbekovich.[1] He and his siblings were raised in Vladikavkaz in their native North Ossetia in the Caucasus. While not a child prodigy, he began piano at secondary school, before going on to study at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Leningrad from 1972 to 1977. His principal conducting teacher was Prof. Ilya Musin (Илья Мусин), one of the greatest conductor-makers in Russian musical history. His sister, Larissa Gergieva, is the director of the Mariinsky’s singers’ academy.[2]

In 1978, he became assistant conductor at the Kirov Opera, now the Mariinsky Opera, under Yuri Temirkanov, where he made his debut conducting Sergei Prokofiev’s War and Peace. He was chief conductor of the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra from 1981 until 1985 - the year he made his debut in the United Kingdom, along with pianist Evgeny Kissin, and violinists Maxim Vengerov and Vadim Repin, at The Lichfield Festival.

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