Valery Gergiev
Director of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia

Since he burst onto the international scene just a few years ago, Valery Gergiev has become one of the most sought after conductors in the world. He is currently the Director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg , home to the Kirov Opera and Ballet. Under his leadership, the Kirov Opera has become recognized as one of the great opera companies of the present day. He is also Principal Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Principal Guest Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera.

Gergiev has guest conducted most of the world's major orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw, London's Royal Philharmonic, Rome's Santa Cecilia, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Tokyo's NHK Symphony, and the Berlin Philharmonic.

Maestro Gergiev is also the organizer of St. Petersburg ’s annual "White Nights Festival," the "Rotterdam Philharmonic/Gergiev Festival," and is director and founder of the Mikkeli International Festival in Finland , the Peace to the Caucasus Festival, and the Red Sea International Music Festival in Eilat , Israel .

In addition to being one of the world's leading conductors, Gergiev is among Russia's most powerful and prominent cultural figures. Gergiev is Russia's de facto musical ambassador. He has brought worldwide attention to often neglected works by Russian composers and introduced many now prominent Russian artists to Western audiences. People often describe Gergiev as a force of nature. His intense, visceral style of conducting makes him one of the most dynamic performers at work today.

Source: Information provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of Valery Gergiev