VALERY GERGIEV is one of the most important conductors in the world. He is a representative of the famous St. Petersburg school of conductors and a student of the legendary Ilya Musin. Several important competition victories brought him to the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre as assistant to the chief conductor, where he made his debut in 1978 with Prokofiev's War and Peace. In 1988 he became music director of this theatre, and in 1996 artistic general director. In addition to cultivating a broad repertoire, he was also intensively committed to the works of Richard Wagner. Parallel to his work at this house, which he led to new splendour, he became an indispensable guest at all major international opera houses, at the central festivals and on the most important concert stages. Currently, the much honoured conductor conducts opera productions such as Aida, Prince Igor, Benvenuto Cellini, Les Troyens, Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Maid of Orleans, Tannhäuser, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Die Zauberflöte, Macbeth, Simon Boccanegra, Khovanshchina, Rigoletto, La Damnation de Faust, Turandot, among others. He made his debut at the Vienna State Opera in 2004.