Valery Maisky was born in 1942 in Riga in the former Soviet Union. He started his musical education on the violin, but later he switched to organ, harpsichord and musicology. From 1960 he studied at the Leningrad Conservatory, where he finished his studies with the degree of PhD. His reputation as a brilliant organist and harpsichord player has led him to give concerts in Moscow, Leningrad, Riga, Vilno, Novosibirsk and many other places.
In 1973 he emigrated to Israel. There he was working with the most important Israeli orchestras under the direction of (amongst many others): Zubin Metha, Paul Paray, Pinchas Zuckerman, Gary Bertini, Mendi Rodan, Rudolf Barschai and Sir Neville Marriner. These contacts were the starting point of a successful career in the West. He got invited to play at the Bach-Festival in London and Oxford, at the Organ-Festival in Treviso, at the Rubens-Festival in Antwerp, at the International Organ Days in Duesseldorf and many others.
In 1974 he founded the “Israel Bach Society” where he gave concerts twice a month, which were combined with lectures on the various Bach organ repertoire.
Since 1977 he was very busy playing countless organ concerts in Germany and many other European countries as well as in South Africa. In these concerts he played on the most famous organs, for example the Muenster of Ulm and Freiburg, King’s College, Cambridge, Linz cathedral, Notre Dame in Paris, the cathedral Organs in Oslo and Bergen and many others.
In the Summer of 1980 he got invited as a tutor at the “Stuttgart Summer Academy – Johann Sebastian Bach” under Helmuth Rilling. Through this a very close relationship amongst the two artists has emerged leading to numerous projects on the music of J. S. Bach in Germany, Austria and Spain.
He also was a successful chamber musician, especially together with his brother, the cellist Mischa Maisky.
In his last years he got well known by many recordings and appearances on Radio and TV.
Valery Maisky died in a tragic car accident in 1981.