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
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
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
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. 7.
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.