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Larissa Gergieva

Larissa Gergieva was born in Beltsy, in Moldova. When she was seven, the family moved to Vladikavkas, in Ossetia where she began to study music along with her brother Valery Gergiev, now chief conductor and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg. Their teacher throughout their school career and at the Academy of Musical Arts in Vladikavkaz was Zarama Lolaeva. Gergieva continued her piano studies at Rostov-on-Don with Emilia Serebrennikova.

Her first appointment was as teacher of Piano Studies at the Academy of Musical Arts in Vladikavkaz but she was soon invited to be repetiteur at the Vladikavkaz Opera. While there, she prepared singers for productions of Tosca, Madam Butterfly, I Pagliacci and Carmen as well as many Russian operas. She also prepared Verdi's Otello for her brother, Valery, to conduct at the Vladikavkaz Opera.

In 1987 she was appointed repetiteur at the Tchaikovsky Opera House, in Perm where she also prepared singers for entry in national and international singing competitions. She now holds master classes in Perm in which both national and international singers participate.

She received first prize as well as a diploma for her piano playing in the Chaliapin (Kazan) and Georg Gotz (Tallin) National Competitions and in the Perm and Rimsky-Korsakov (St Petersburg) International Competitions. She is now general director of the biennial Rimsky-Korsakov Competition for Singers in St Petersburg.

In Russia and the former Soviet Union she has played for recitals in the Yerevan Opera House, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Glinka Halls and Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and the Maly Hall in St Petersburg.

Her pianistic gifts and musical insight are much in demand. She has given recitals in Russia and the West with Nikolai Otkhotnikov, Irina Bogacheva, Galina Gorchakova, Vassily Gerello, Larissa Diadkova, Velantina Tsedipova and Grair Hanedanian, her husband, who is principal tenor at the Perm Opera House, has worked in all the major houses in Russia and has recently partnered singers in recitals in La Scala, Milan, Santa Caecilia Roma, Hamburg, Leipzig, Dresden, Zwickau, Kansas, San Francisco, New York, The Queen's Hall in Edinburgh and the Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.

Larissa Gergieva is in great demand throughout the world as a coach. She has visited San Francisco Opera on numerous occasions in this capacity and in the summer of 1997 coached the principals in the Salzburg Festival's production of Boris Godunov and La Scala's The Fiery Angel.

In 1998, Miss Gergieva was appointed by her brother, Valery Gergiev, artistic director of the Kirov Opera, to be a director of the newly formed Mariinsky Academy which was established to nurture young Russian talent.

In the 1999/2000 season she is appearing in a Russian song series at St John Smith Square where she will accompany Galina Gorchakova, Elena Obraztsova, Nikolai Putilin, Vassily Gerello and Ludmilla Semciuk.