Born in Moscow, Valery Gergiev initially studied conducting under Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatory. While still a student, he won the Herbert von Karajan conducting competition in Berlin. In 1978, aged 24, Valery Gergiev became assistant conductor of Yuri Temirkanov at the Mariinsky Opera, where he made his debut conducting Sergei Prokofiev’s adaptation of Tolstoy’s »War and Peace«. More than two decades ago, he assumed his current position as director of the legendary Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, which has since become a cornerstone of operatic culture in Russia.
Valery Gergiev’s close cooperation with the Munich Philharmonic began in the 2011-12 season. Since then, he has performed all symphonies by Dmitri Shostakovich and a cycle of works by Igor Stravinsky with both the Philharmonic and the Mariinsky Orchestra. Since the 2015-16 season, Valery Gergiev is chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic. As »Maestro der Stadt« (The City’s Maestro) he reaches out to Munich concert audiences with subscription concerts and performances for young people, public final rehearsals, an open-air concert series on Odeonsplatz, and the »MPHIL 360°«-festival, while reaching an international audience with regular live streams and television broadcasts from the Philharmonie im Gasteig.
In September 2016, the first CD recordings under the orchestra’s own label »MPHIL« and which document the conductor’s work with the Munich Philharmonic were released. Further recordings focussing on Anton Bruckner’s symphonies, are in preparation. Travels with Valery Gergiev have taken the Munich Philharmonic to numerous European cities as well as Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan.
Münchner Philharmoniker Kammerorchester
A festive concert in 1988 on the occasion of the 75th birthday of Benjamin Britten which took place in the Great Concert Hall of the Munich University of Music is today regarded as the birth of the Munich Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. The top-class ensemble comprises members of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and has subsequently been able to maintain its place not only at home but has also achieved an excellent reputation during numerous guest performances throughout Germany and other parts of Europe.
For a magnificent concert at the Baroque Evening Festival in Varazdin, one of the most significant concert events in Croatia, the orchestra was awarded the First Prize and thus laid the foundation stone for its further success.
Ever since, the Munich Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra has held regular concerts throughout Germany and abroad and made tremendously successful debut performances at renowned festivals, such as Schwetzingen, Belgrade, Brescia and Santander.
In the summer of 2004 the First Concertmaster of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Lorenz Nasturica-Herschcowici, became the overall artistic director of the Munich Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. Two eminent concerts featuring the world-famous pianist Hélène Grimaud under the direction of Lorenz Nasturica-Herschcowici as Concertmaster in March 2007 in the Munich Philharmonic Hall and in Stuttgart’s Liederhalle presenting piano concerts by Robert Schumann and Ludwig van Beethoven confirmed the exceptional reputation of this orchestra.
In July of 2008 the ensemble gave two acclaimed concerts featuring Anne-Sophie Mutter and Nikolaj Znaider to an audience of several thousand listeners at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern festivals.
Sold-out concerts in the fall of 2009 during the prestigious George Enescu Festival in Bucharest and in the Munich Philharmonic Hall together with the emerging German pianist Martin Stadtfeld brought the Munich Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra increasingly into the focus of national and international attention. In 2012 the successful cooperation with Martin Stadtfeld continued during a joint Germany tour which also produced CD recordings for Sony.
In addition to several world premieres, the Munich Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra has presented several remarkable CDs in the course of the years, which also featured works by contemporary artists.
“The enjoyment provided by this evening could not only be linked to Herschcowici but was generally attributable to the outstanding quality of the ensemble which accompanied him: The Munich Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra excelled with a soft, smooth sound as well as through the technical expertise of the individual string players and the musically elaborated interpretation of the presented works.” (SZ newspaper, October 20, 2010)