Valéry Gergiev (Conductor)
Valery Gergiev (b. 1953) is a Russian conductor and opera company director of huge international repute. He is general director of the Mariinsky Theatre and also associated with the Metropolitan Opera, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Gergiev is particularly renowned for his passionate, almost abrasive, conducting style, and tendency to grunt at the podium. He is a driven conductor who produces his best in pieces of great drama.
Gergiev was elected Artistic Director of the Mariinsky opera company in 1988 at the age of 35, and in 1996 the Russian government gave him complete control over the orchestra, opera and ballet. His ‘mission’ has been to make the Mariinsky companies the best in the world. He is considered today as one of the leading conductors, in demand at virtually all the world’s best orchestras and opera companies; but his main motivation always remains the same: to give people pride in St Petersburg and the Mariinsky (he sees their paths as inextricably intertwined).
Further Reading: Valéry Gergiev
The Russian pianist is by turns balletic, poetic and dramatic in solo works by Stravinsky and Prokofiev, whilst the Mariinsky Orchestra match his precision and imagination in concertos by the the latter composer and Scriabin.
Recording of the Week,
Münchner Philharmoniker launch their own label with music by Bruckner and Mahler
James introduces the Münchner Philharmoniker's new label with a double-bill of stirring Romantic masterworks conducted by Valery Gergiev.