Show One is proud to present:
Valery Gergiev, the charismatic Russian conductor, is one of the most sought-after musicians in the world today.
He will lead the Mariinsky Orchestra from Saint Petersburg, one of the finest orchestras on the planet and which he has been conducting for more than twenty years.
“One of the most sought-after conductors in the world today” – Legendary Maestro Valery Gergiev in his debut with Mariinsky Orchestra in Montreal with the piano soloist Denis Matsuev!
“The gripping performances these musicians from St. Petersburg offered had such intensity, character and insight that it was hard to imagine the music played with more authority.”
– New York Times
“The Kirov (Mariinsky) Orchestra is a perfectly balanced, impeccably blended virtuoso instrument, and Gergiev plays it with masterly élan.”
– Los Angeles Times
“The orchestra, under musical director Valery Gergiev, moves as if with a single mind and always with purposeful passion.”
– London Times
Pianist Denis Matsuev, Winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998, performs with the most prestigious orchestras.
“He is a virtuoso in the grandest of Russian traditions…He literally possesses the sort of technique which begins where others end.” Gramophone 2008
V A L E R Y G E R G I E V
Valery Gergiev’s inspired leadership as Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre during the past twenty years has brought universal acclaim to this legendary institution, which recently celebrated its 225th Anniversary.
Maestro Gergiev is also Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, and Conductor of the World Orchestra for Peace (founded by Sir Georg Solti in 1995). He is Founder and Artistic Director of the Stars of the White Nights Festival, the Moscow Easter Festival, the Gergiev Rotterdam Festival, the Mikkeli International Festival, the Red Sea Festival and the New Horizons Festival, the latter of which is a contemporary music festival in the Mariinsky Theatre’s new Concert Hall.
Born in Moscow to Ossetian parents, Maestro Gergiev studied conducting with Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatory. At age 24, he was the winner of the Herbert von Karajan Conductors’ Competition in Berlin and made his Kirov Opera debut one year later in 1978 conducting Prokofiev’s War and Peace. In 2003 he led St. Petersburg’s 300th anniversary celebration, and opened the Carnegie Hall season with the Kirov Orchestra, the first Russian conductor to do so since Tchaikovsky conducted the first-ever concert in Carnegie Hall.
Maestro Gergiev’s 2008-09 season includes a Prokofiev cycle of concert performances of ballet, oratorio and operatic works (Kirov Orchestra) and the complete symphonies (LSO) at Lincoln Center in New York and a cycle of Prokofiev symphonies and concerti with the LSO in Paris and Tokyo.
He has taken Mariinsky Ensembles to forty-five countries presenting the best of Russian opera and ballets as well as the complete Shostakovich and Prokofiev Symphonies and Richard Wagner’s Ring. He was the subject of Carnegie Hall’s 2007-08 Perspectives: Valery Gergiev, in which he gave concerts with the Kirov, Vienna Philharmonic and MET Orchestras. In the same season he conducted productions of Prokofiev’s War and Peace and The Gambler at the MET.
Maestro Gergiev is the recipient of a Grammy Award, the Dmitri Shostakovich Award, Golden Mask Award, People’s Artist of Russia Award, the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award, Sweden’s Polar Music Prize, Netherlands’s Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion, Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun, Valencia’s (Italy) Silver Medal, the Herbert von Karajan prize and France’s Royal Order of the Legion of Honor.
He has recorded exclusively for Decca (Universal Classics), but appears also on Philips and DG labels and LSO Live.
M A R I I N S K Y O R C H E S T R A
The Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre (celebrating the Mariinsky Theatre’s 225th Anniversary in 2008) 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 (named in honour of Maria, wife of Emperor Alexander II), the Orchestra entered its “golden age” in the second half of the 19th century under the musical direction of Eduard Napravnik. Napravnik single-handedly ruled the Theatre for more than half a century (from 1863-1916) and under his leadership, the Mariinsky Orchestra was recognised as one of the finest in Europe.
The Mariinsky Theatre was also the birthplace of numerous operas and ballets which are regarded as masterpieces of the 19th and 20th centuries and presented world premiere performances of works by Glinka, Borodin, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Khachaturian.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was closely associated with the Mariinsky Theatre, not only conducting the Orchestra but also premiering his Fifth Symphony, the Hamlet fantasy overture and the Sixth Symphony. Sergei Rachmaninov conducted the Orchestra on numerous occasions, including premieres of his Spring Cantata and the symphonic poem The Bells. The Orchestra also premiered music by the young Igor Stravinsky, such as his Scherzo Fantastique and the ballet The Firebird.
Throughout its history, the Mariinsky Theatre has presented works by Europe’s leading opera composers: the world premiere of Verdi’s La forza del destino, the first Russian performances of the complete Ring cycle, Tristan und Isolde, Die Meistersinger, Parsifal, the first Russian performances of Richard Strauss’ Elektra, Salome, Der Rosenkavalier and Berg’s Wozzeck.
Numerous internationally famed musicians have conducted the Orchestra, among them Hans von Bulow, 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. Now known as the “Mariinsky” in all the world except the USA, the leadership of Valery Gergiev has enabled the Theatre to forge important relationships with the world’s greatest opera houses, among them the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the San Francisco Opera, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and La Scala in Milan as it has entered into it’s second “golden age”. Besides extensive touring with the Opera and Ballet Companies, the Orchestra has performed throughout the world, and has been acknowledged in the London press as one of the ten best orchestras in the world. 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”.
In 1998, the Orchestra made its debut tour of China, a historic first, with a performance in the Great Hall in Beijing that was broadcast to fifty million people in the presence of President Jiang Zemin. It was the first time in forty years that a Russian orchestra had played in China. Its fourth visit to China took place in December 2007 as the Opera and Orchestra became the first foreign artists to appear in the new opera house and concert hall in Beijing.
Under the baton of Valery Gergiev, the Orchestra has recorded exclusively for Universal Phillips and Decca Classics since 1989. Since 1992 the orchestra has made 13 tours of North America including a 2006 celebration of the complete Shostakovich symphonies and it returns to America for its Cycle of Stage Works of Prokofiev in 2008.
November 2006 marked the grand opening of the Orchestra’s new home at the Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall. The only theatre and concert venue of its kind in Russia, the Concert Hall is on the site of the historic Set Workshop that had served the Mariinsky for over a century and created some of its most famous productions. The Concert Hall’s acoustics, the work of Yasuhisa Toyota, have brought accolades ranking it alongside the world’s finest modern concert venues such as Lucerne, Sapporo, Berlin’s Philharmonie, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus and Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles.