|Gergiev Valerii Abisalovich
The artistic director and the leading conductor of Mariinskii Theater. Born on May 2, 1953 in Moscow. In 1977 graduated from Rimskij-Korsakov Conservatory in Leningrad. In 1977 comes to work at the Mariinskii Theater. In 1988 Valerii Gergiev becomes its leading conductor. Since August of 1996 he is also the artistic director of the theater. Under his direction the theater has realized a number of new productions, which have earned worldwide critical acclaim. He also performs with major symphonic orchestras in famous concert halls of the world. In 1995 he was the lead conductor of Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1997 he was invited as a visiting artist to direct the orchestra of Metropolitan Opera in New York. He is one of the founders and artistic directors of the yearly "Stars of White Nights" festival. In 1997 and 1998 he was awarded the Golden Sophit prize, and in 1997 was named the best conductor of the Golden Mask Awards. Also holds the title of the best conductor in USA in 1995. Gergiev is an honored citizen of Toulouse and Lyon since 1994. He is a member of the Academy of Ecology and Safety of Humans and Nature.