The 2015 National Award of the Russian Federation for Outstanding Achievements in Humanitarian Workwas awarded to Valery Gergiev.
Valery Gergiev was born in Moscow on May 2, 1953. He is the general director and artistic director of the State Mariinsky Theatre. People’s Artist of the Russian Federation, 1996. Hero of Labour of the Russian Federation, 2013. Orders of Merit to the Fatherland, III degree, 2003, and IV degree, 2008. Order of Friendship, 2000. National Award of the Russian Federation for Literature and the Arts, 2002. Russian Federation Government Award for Culture, 2015. Government awards of Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Japan. UNESCO Artist for Peace.
Invited to the Kirov, now Mariinsky, Theatre as a student of the Leningrad Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory. Headed its opera company, 1988, and the entire theatre, 1996.
The present-day Mariinsky Theatre is a theatre and concert centre unrivalled in Russia. Its world-renowned company has up to 760 performances a year.
The foremost international music festivals are held on Valery Gergiev’s initiative and under his permanent leadership. Examples include the Moscow Easter Festival, Stars of the White Nights in St Petersburg, festivals in Samara, and outside Russia in Finland, Israel and the Netherlands.
The conductor has chaired the All-Russian Choral Society since 2013. The Combined Children’s Choir of Russia was established on his initiative in 2014.
Valery Gergiev is known for community activism. Easter Festival charity concerts at military bases, retirement homes, hospitals, orphanages and music schools help those who cannot visit concert halls to hear performances by stars of world renown. Charity concerts in remembrance of the victims of Beslan, the earthquake in Japan and the Kuban flood, and requiem concerts in Tskhinval and Palmyra echoed worldwide.