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Valery Gergiev

Although he was born in Moscow, Valery Gergiev was brought up in Vladikavkaz, in Ossetia, located in the Caucasus region of Russia. He entered the Vladikavkaz Music School (now the Valery Gergiev Music Academy) in 1961, soon showing great ability as a pianist, and between the years 1972 and 1977 was a student at the Leningrad Conservatory, where he studied conducting under the legendary teacher Ilya Musin. Having won the All-Soviet Conducting Prize in 1976 and the Herbert von Karajan Conducting Competition in Berlin the following year, Gergiev was immediately appointed as an assistant to the chief conductor of the Kirov Theatre in Leningrad, Yuri Temirkanov, and made his début there conducting Prokofiev’s War and Peace in 1978; this was followed by productions of Mazeppa, Prince Igor and Lohengrin. Between 1981 and 1985 Gergiev was chief conductor of the Armenian State Orchestra, and was subsequently a frequent conductor of many of the major orchestras of the Soviet Union.



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