General director and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre and Sochi 2014 Ambassador
“I think that everybody who can make a contribution to the Sochi 2014 Games should do so, strongly and unsparingly. We are not constructors nor designers, but we can work alongside the organizers of the Games to contribute to the reputation of Sochi 2014.”
Valery Gergiev was appointed Artistic Director of the Mariinsky Opera Company at age 35. He has served as Artistic Director and Manager of the Mariinsky Theater since 1996.
Valery Gergiev has founded and directed numerous international music festivals, including the Mikkeli Fest in Finland, Red Sea Fest in Eilat, Israel, the Rotterdam Philharmonic-Gergiev Fest (Holland), and the Moscow Easter Festival.
Valery Gergiev has been acclaimed as one of the preeminent music conductors in the world. He works with some of the premier international musicians.
Valery Gergiev’s talent and achievements have been celebrated with numerous awards, decorations and titles. He was honored with the title of People’s Artist of Russia in 1996, and won the Russian National Prize in 1994 and 1999. The jury of International Classical Music Awards voted Gergiev Conductor of the Year in 1994. He was a repeat winner of the Russian national Golden Mask theater awards as Conductor of the Year from 1996 to 2000. In 1998, Philips Electronics rewarded Gergiev with a special cash prize for outstanding contribution to music, which he donated to the Mariinsky’s Young Vocalists’ Academy. Valery Gergiev is also a winner of several national awards: Germany’s Merit Cross First Class, Italy’s Grand Ufficiale and France’s L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He was awarded the Russian Presidential Prize for Outstanding Contribution to the Advancement of the Arts in 2002, and the title of UNESCO World Artist in March 2003.
Valery Gergiev was awarded the Order for Service to the Homeland 3rd Class in 2003. The Russian Orthodox Church awarded him the Order of the Holy Virtuous Prince Daniil of Moscow, 3rd Class, for his contribution to the humanitarian and cultural projects of the Russian Orthodox Church the same year. Valery Gergiev was awarded a 300th Anniversary of St. Petersburg commemorative medal in 2003. In 2004, Valery Gergiev received a Crystal Prize from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and was nominated People’s Artist of Ukraine in April of the same year. The government of Kyrgyzstan conferred the Danaker Order on Gergiev the same year. Beatrix the Queen of the Netherlands made Gergiev a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion in 2005. He won the Polar Music Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music the same year. In 2006, Valery Gergiev won the Japanese Record Academy Award for recording all of Prokofiev’s symphonies with the London Symphony Orchestra.
In 2006, the Maestro won the Herbert von Karajan Music Prize at the Baden-Baden Music Festival and a prize from the Russian-American Cultural Cooperation Foundation for his contribution to promoting cultural ties between Russia and the US. In November 2006, the Emperor of Japan decorated Valery Gergiev with one of the highest national awards of Japan: the Order of the Rising Sun. France gave Valery Gergiev its top award — the Order of the Legion of Honor — in April 2007. In May of the same year, Gergiev was awarded the Academie du disque lyrique prize for his recording of Russian operas, and was made an Honorary
Most recently, Valery Gergiev was decorated with the Palau de la Musica medal from Valencia, Spain.