In Russia, the World Orchestra for Peace first performed in 2003, presenting a concert in St Petersburg celebrating the tercentenary of the city’s foundation, as well as in Moscow as part of the Moscow Easter Festival. In 2005 the ensemble under the direction of Valery Gergiev undertook a tour to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the end of military activities that occurred during World War II.
The musicians have appeared in the Forbidden City in Beijing, Rotterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Budapest, Jerusalem, Krakow and Stockholm. In 2010 the orchestra celebrated its own fifteenth anniversary with two concerts – at the traditional BBC Proms and at the Salzburg Festival. In 2011 the ensemble took part in the Abu Dhabi Festival, and in 2012 it made its debut in the USA – at Carnegie Hall in New York and Symphony Center in Chicago. In July 2014 the orchestra again appeared at the BBC Proms at an evening commemorating one hundred years since the start of World War I. Recordings of that and several other concerts have been released on the Decca / Philips, C Major and Arthaus labels.
In 2010 the World Orchestra for Peace became the first major music ensemble to be awarded the title of UNESCO Artist for Peace. Valery Gergiev was awarded the same title in 2003.