MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has signed an executive order appointing Valery Gergiev, a world-famous conductor and the artistic director of St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater, as director general of Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater for a term of five years.
According to the Russian government’s Telegram channel, the Bolshoi’s previous director, Vladimir Urin, has been dismissed at his own request.
Gergiev was born in Moscow in 1953. He graduated from the Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory and joined the Leningrad S.M. Kirov State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet (now the State Academic Mariinsky Theater) in 1977. In 1988, he was appointed the theater’s chief conductor as well as artistic director of its opera company.
He gives more than 300 performances in Russia and abroad every year. Often credited with popularizing the Mariinsky Theater’s White Nights Festival worldwide, he also opened the theater’s branches in Vladivostok in the Russian Far East and Vladikavkaz in the North Caucasus.
Urin was born in Kirov in 1947. In 1985, he graduated from the theater studies department at the State Lunacharsky Institute of Theatrical Arts (now GITIS). After serving in the army, he became director of the Kirov Youth Theater company, ultimately ascending to the post of the theater’s director.
In 1981, he moved to Moscow and was appointed director of the children’s and puppet theaters department of the USSR Theatrical Society (now Russian Union of Theater Workers). In 1995, he became director general of the Moscow Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater. Since July 2013, Urin has been director general of the Bolshoi Theater.
After the premiere of The Mandarin's Son. Le Rossignol on November 30, he announced he was leaving as Bolshoi director in a final goodbye to the company.
Urin is a distinguished Honored Arts Worker and was awarded Russia’s Order of Honor, the National Order of the Legion of Honor (France), and the Order of the Rising Sun (japan).