Valery Gergiev, Artistic & General Director
The Mariinsky Orchestra enjoys a long and distinguished history as one of the oldest musical institutions in Russia. Its history dates back to the first orchestra of the St. Petersburg Imperial Opera Orchestra, covering a period of more than 200 years. Housed in St. Petersburg's famed Mariinsky Theatre since 1860, the orchestra now also performs in its superb 21st-century Concert Hall (2006) and its second opera house, Mariinsky II (2013), built for modern stage technologies.
Following the orchestra's "golden age" in the second half of the 19th century under the musical direction of Eduard Nápravník, numerous internationally famed musicians have conducted the orchestra, among them Hans von Bülow, Felix Mottl, Felix Weingartner, Alexander von Zemlinsky, Otto Nikisch, Hector Berlioz, Richard Wagner, Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg, Willem Mengelberg, Otto Klemperer, Bruno Walter, and Erich Kleiber.
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 and the success of the orchestra's frequent tours have 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; the San Francisco Opera; the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris; the Salzburg Festival; and La Scala in Milan.
Mr. Gergiev established the Mariinsky Label in 2009 and has since released more than 30 recordings that have received critical acclaim in Europe, Asia, and the US. Four of their recordings have been issued on Vinyl and fifteen of their operas and ballets released on Blu Ray-DVD.
Since the orchestras US debut appearances in 1992 which resulted in extraordinary critical accolades the Mariinsky has made regular tours in North America including ‘festival’ appearances of cycles of works by Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, plus Maestro Gergiev leading the Mariinsky Ring at the Met and a three-week Stravinsky Festival with the New York Philharmonic.