The Mariinsky Theatre Trust is grateful to BP for its ten-year support of the Mariinsky UK touring programme. This partnership builds on the strong relationship already established between BP Russia and the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg and forms part of BP's cultural programme in the UK.


The Mariinsky Theatre Trust


  • The Mariinsky Theatre Trust has been ground-breaking in the world of arts support organisations.


    Created in 1993 by Valery Gergiev, the Trust combines practical assistance for the Mariinsky Theatre’s work in Russia with active promotion of its most innovative programming in the UK.


Lady Solti after receiving the Pushkin Medal, 3rd March 2020 at the Mariinsky Academy of Young Singers Recital, Goldsmiths’ Hall, London

Lady Solti    1937-2021


The Mariinsky Theatre Trust family joins the Solti family in mourning the loss of its Chairman, friend and inspiration, Lady Valerie Solti, who died on March 31, 2021, at home in London. She was eighty-three.

Lady Solti had been closely involved with the Mariinsky Theatre, Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Theatre Trust since the mid-1990s during which time Sir Georg Solti and Valery Gergiev developed a warm friendship and mutual artistic respect. The Soltis attended a Mariinsky Young Singers’ recital in London in February 1997 and from then on Lady Solti became a passionate and life-long supporter of the young artists of the Mariinsky Theatre, inspiring several generations with her encouragement, sound practical advice and, above all, her warmth, humour and friendship.

In November 1997 Lady Solti and HRH The Prince of Wales were the guests of honour at a Mariinsky Opera gala performance of Boris Godunov conducted by Valery Gergiev at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. This performance, presented by the Mariinsky Theatre Trust, was dedicated to the memory of Sir Georg, who had passed away that September.

In 1998 Lady Solti joined the board of the Mariinsky Theatre Trust and was appointed Chairman in 2001, a post she held, with only one short break in 2006-7, until her death. In March 2020 she was awarded the Russian Federation’s prestigious Pushkin Medal in recognition of her enormous contribution to Anglo-Russian cultural relations. She was a tireless and charismatic champion of the arts and an inspiration to everyone who met her.

Lady Solti with Valery Gergiev

Born in Leeds, England on August 19, 1937, Valerie Pitts studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She was an actress before going to work for television in the 1960s, first at Granada, and later at the BBC, presenting and producing many programmes. As a freelance broadcaster and writer, she later contributed to BBC Radio 3, BBC Music Magazine, Classic FM, Classic FM Magazine, LBC in the United Kingdom, and WFMT and WTTW in the United States.

In 1964, she was an arts journalist for the BBC magazine programme Town and Around when she met Georg Solti, then Music Director of The Royal Opera, Covent Garden. They married on November 11, 1967. Georg Solti was knighted by H. M. The Queen in March 1972.

Together with her daughters, Valerie Solti created The Solti Foundation to assist young professional musicians at the start of their careers, and she was founder and chairperson of the Georg Solti Accademia and patron of the World Orchestra for Peace, an ensemble founded by Sir Georg Solti. She was an honorary trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and honorary chair of the Solti Foundation US.

Lady Solti is survived by her daughters Gabrielle (Frederic Dupas) and Claudia (Gary Ross) and grandchildren George, Amelie, Luna, and Mo.