Valery Gergiev graduated from the Leningrad State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire in symphony conducting under Professor Ilya Musin. At the age of twenty-three he won the Herbert von Karajan Conducting Competition in Berlin and, while still a student at the Conservatoire, was invited to join the Kirov Theatre (now the Mariinsky). At the age of thirty-five, Valery Gergiev was appointed Artistic Director of the Opera Company, and since 1996 he has been Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre.
Since 2007 Valery Gergiev has been Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and he also collaborates with the Wiener Philharmoniker, the orchestra of La Scala and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. Valery Gergiev, Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre, is one of the world’s leading conductors and the recipient of numerous awards and prizes. One of the maestro’s most recent awards was the prize of Great Britain’s Royal Society of Music as Conductor of the Year (2009).