Munich city council today voted to appoint Valery Gergiev, the director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, as chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra for a five-year term beginning in 2015.
Gergiev will succeed Lorin Maazel, whose contract expires in two years, the Munich Philharmonic said in a statement. Gergiev, 59, conducted the orchestra in a series of concerts of the composer Dmitri Shostakovich in 2011 and 2012. He described it as a “fantastic orchestra” in the statement.
“Valery Gergiev is indisputably one of the most important, influential and effective conductors of our time,” said Hans-Georg Kueppers, Munich’s chief culture official. He was the city’s first choice, Kueppers said.
Moscow-born Gergiev has led the Mariinsky for 20 years, is also the chief conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and has founded festivals in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Rotterdam. Maazel turns 83 this year.
Gergiev’s appointment was approved by the city council with a “big majority,” according to the statement.
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