St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater is one of the most important musical institutions in the world, thanks in part to the work of Maestro Valery Gergiev. Gergiev combines extraordinary artistry with great managerial flair, matching energy with efficiency, and tradition with innovation. Collaboration between the Zegna group and Maestro Gergiev started in 1997 when Ermenegildo Zegna founded the “Zegna and Mariinskjiy New Talent Awards”, providing four annual scholarships for talented young artists. In 1999, Gildo Zegna became a member of the Advisory Board of the Association of Friends of the Kirov, which enjoys the support of the Prince of Wales, and initiated a series of projects to finance the Theater. The 2008 “Zegna – Mariinsky New Talents Awards” took place in London, where Anna Zegna, President of Fondazione Zegna, and Maestro Valery Gergiev, director of the Mariinsky Theater, officially handed over scholarships to four young talents to pursue their studies in music, singing and ballet.