The Man Who Saved The Kirov

“In 1988, conductor Valery Gergiev emerged as a “poster-boy for Gorbachev’s perestroika, an intense young man chosen at the tender age of 34 to lead Leningrad’s Kirov Opera. Today, everything has changed: Leningrad is once again St. Petersburg, and the Kirov Theatre has reverted to its czarist name, the Mariinsky (although its ensembles – the opera, the ballet, the orchestra and chorus — still tour under the name Kirov). The one factor that has remained constant is Gergiev. He’s no longer quite so young – his shaggy hairstyle disguises a combed-over bald spot – yet he has lost none of his intensity.”