Valery Gergiev

Valery Abisalovich Gergiev PAR (Russian: Валерий Абисалович Гергиев, Ossetic: Гергиты Абисалы фырт Валери/Gergity Abisaly Fyrt Valeri; born 2 May 1953) is a Russian conductor and opera company director. He is general director and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre, principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, and artistic director of the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg. Gergiev, born in Moscow, is the son of Tamara Tatarkanovna and Abisal Zaurbekovich. He and his siblings were raised in Vladikavkaz in their native North Ossetia in the Caucasus. He began piano at secondary school, before going on to study at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Leningrad from 1972 to 1977. His principal conducting teacher was Prof. Ilya Musin (Илья Мусин), one of the greatest conductor-makers in Russian musical history. His sister, Larissa Gergieva, is a pianist and director of the Mariinsky's singers' academy. In 1978, he became assistant conductor at the Kirov Opera, now the Mariinsky Opera, under Yuri Temirkanov, where he made his debut conducting Sergei Prokofiev's War and Peace.

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