Valery Gergiev, who succeeds Sir Colin Davis to become the LSOís fifteenth Principal Conductor on an initial three-year contract, made his London debut conducting the LSO in May 1988 introducing the young violinist Vadim Repin as soloist in the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and performing and recording for RCA/BMG the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 with the teenage pianist Evgeny Kissin, the first international recording for both Mr. Gergiev and Mr. Kissin.
Mr. Gergiev recently extended his Principal Guest Conductor contract with the Metropolitan Opera through 2007-08, and his Music Director contract with the Rotterdam Philharmonic through the same season. Going forward his concentrated activities will include his responsibilities to the Mariinsky Theatre in a dynamic period in which the original Mariinsky will be renovated, a second Mariinsky theatre will be built and a new concert hall will be created within the historical Mariinsky workshop that burned in the fall of 2003; his appointment to the London Symphony; his Vienna, Salzburg and touring concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic; new productions at the Metropolitan Opera; and his four international festivals.
Valery Gergiev will direct twelve programmes each year with the LSO performing in the Orchestraís home, the Barbican Centre, and will undertake a major international tour every year and projects in Europe. In the 2005ñ2006 season, Valery Gergiev will conduct four different orchestras at the Barbican Centre performing all fifteen Shostakovich Symphonies during the composerís centennial celebration: Mariinsky Orchestra, London Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic.
In 2007, Gergiev will bring a wide selection of repertoire to LSO audiences including some works which are unknown, or rarely performed in London. An all-Stravinsky programme in March 2007 will feature the cantata The King of the Stars, and programmes in May 2007 will include Shostakovichís Age of Gold Suite and Jewish Folk Poetry. A concert performance of Glinkaís Ruslan and Ludmilla Act I, featuring Mariinsky Theatre singers, will be a highlight of June 2007. Valery Gergiev has been a powerful force in the revival of some of Russiaís great theatre and musical traditions and is equally committed to contemporary music.
Sir Colin Davis becomes President of the London Symphony Orchestra in 2007 and will continue to work with the Orchestra for ten weeks each year. Daniel Harding becomes Principal Guest Conductor alongside Michael Tilson Thomas in the 2006/2007 season.
Valery Gergiev on his appointment:
I remember with excitement my London debut as a young conductor with two of Russiaís extraordinary instrumentalists also making their debuts seventeen years ago this month. In the meantime I have led many concerts here with my own orchestra and opera company and I have happily conducted many orchestras around the world, but uniquely I have felt a special relationship developing between the LSO musicians and me.Clive Gillinson, Managing Director, LSO:
Surely last springís collaboration performing all seven Prokofiev Symphonies demonstrated a wonderful music-making atmosphere in which music became exciting for all.
I am pleased to join the LSO, and especially pleased to be in an organization whose president is such a deeply respected and distinguished colleague. I look forward to working with Sir Colin Davis, Kathryn McDowell, Lennie McKenzie and the musicians of the LSO, and I especially thank Clive Gillinson who worked diligently to make this happen.
From the time that the LSO gave Valery Gergiev his London debut in 1988, we have all marvelled at his truly inspirational music-making, which, alongside his totally unbelievable energy, passion for music, and great qualities of friendship and idealism, have forged him a unique place in the world of music. His Prokofiev Symphony cycle with the LSO, as a central part of the orchestra's Centenary celebrations, ensured that the only place that we wanted to see Valery was at the heart of the LSO's future. We are all therefore truly honoured that he has agreed to succeed Sir Colin as the LSO's next Principal Conductor, so that London can now become home to his remarkable performances.