27 Facts About Valery Gergiev


Valery Abisalovich Gergiev is a Russian conductor and opera company director.

FactSnippet No. 766,760

Valery Gergiev was chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic from September 2015 until he was dismissed on 1 March 2022.

FactSnippet No. 766,761

Valery Gergiev is the son of Tamara Timofeevna Lagkueva and Abisal Zaurbekovich Gergiev, both of Ossetian origin.

FactSnippet No. 766,762

Valery Gergiev had his first piano lessons in secondary school before going on to study at the Leningrad Conservatory from 1972 to 1977.

FactSnippet No. 766,763

Valery Gergiev's sister, Larissa, is a pianist and director of the Mariinsky's singers' academy.

FactSnippet No. 766,764

In 1978, Valery Gergiev 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.

FactSnippet No. 766,765

Valery Gergiev 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.

FactSnippet No. 766,766

In 1988, Valery Gergiev guest-conducted the London Symphony Orchestra for the first time.

FactSnippet No. 766,767

In 1991, Valery Gergiev conducted a western European opera company for the first time, leading the Bavarian State Opera in a performance of Modest Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov in Munich.

FactSnippet No. 766,768

Valery Gergiev participates in numerous music festivals, including the White Nights in St Petersburg.

FactSnippet No. 766,769

Valery Gergiev became chief conductor and artistic director of the Mariinsky in 1988, and overall director of the company, appointed by the Russian government, in 1996.

FactSnippet No. 766,770

In 1998, Valery Gergiev conducted the American Russian Young Artists Orchestra at the Moscow Youth Olympics.

FactSnippet No. 766,771

Valery Gergiev conducted concerts to commemorate the victims of the massacre.

FactSnippet No. 766,772

Valery Gergiev came to Tskhinvali and conducted a concert near the ruined building of the South Ossetian Parliament as tribute to the victims of the war.

FactSnippet No. 766,773

In June 2011, Valery Gergiev joined the International Tchaikovsky Competition and introduced reforms to the organisation.

FactSnippet No. 766,774

In 2015 Valery Gergiev became chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic, but his contract was terminated in March 2022 after he refused to condemn the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

FactSnippet No. 766,775

In March 2016, Valery Gergiev conducted the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on a South American tour.

FactSnippet No. 766,776

On 5 May 2016, Valery Gergiev performed at the Roman Theatre of Palmyra at a concert event called Praying for PalmyraMusic revives ancient ruins.

FactSnippet No. 766,777

Valery Gergiev has been, according to Alex Ross in The New Yorker, "a prominent supporter of the current Russian regime" of Vladimir Putin.

FactSnippet No. 766,778

In December 2012, Valery Gergiev sided with the Putin administration against the members of Russian band Pussy Riot and suggested that their motivation was commercial.

FactSnippet No. 766,779

However, in September 2015, as he became chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic, Valery Gergiev said that he did not really sign the letter to Putin, but only had a phone conversation about it with Vladimir Medinsky.

FactSnippet No. 766,780

The article specifically mentioned Valery Gergiev, who faced protests in New York City while performing.

FactSnippet No. 766,781

Milan's La Scala sent a letter to Valery Gergiev asking him to declare his support for a peaceful resolution in Ukraine or he would not be permitted to complete his engagement conducting Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades.

FactSnippet No. 766,782

In 1999, Valery Gergiev married musician Natalya Dzebisova—a teenager at the time, 27 years his junior, and of Ossetian descent.

FactSnippet No. 766,783

From time to time, Valery Gergiev has been reported to be a friend of Putin; they have been said to be godfathers to each other's children, but in a letter to The Daily Telegraph Valery Gergiev rejected this notion.

FactSnippet No. 766,784

Valery Gergiev has focused on recording Russian composers' works, both operatic and symphonic, including Mikhail Glinka, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Alexander Borodin, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich, Igor Stravinsky and Rodion Shchedrin.

FactSnippet No. 766,785

Valery Gergiev's recording of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet with London Symphony Orchestra on LSO Live in 2010 was voted the winner of the Orchestral category and the Disc of the Year for the 2011 BBC Music Magazine Awards.

FactSnippet No. 766,786