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Alim Shakhmametiev (Conductor)

Alim Shakh graduated from the St Petersburg State Conservatoire having studied choral conducting (1998) and opera and symphony conducting (2001). His teachers included such renowned conductors and instructors as Fyodor Kozlov (1927–2003) and Ilya Musin (1904–1999). The musician’s career as a conductor began in 1994, and two years later the young musician made his debut at the St Petersburg Philharmonic.

Today Alim Shakh’s fame stretches far beyond St Petersburg. He works with various orchestras throughout Russia, Europe and the USA on a regular basis, appears at international festivals and runs seminars and master-classes. The conductor’s repertoire includes classical works as well as music by contemporary composers. The conductor has given brilliant renditions of works by outstanding composers of the present day, and so it comes as no surprise that these composers in particular hold him in high esteem. Boris Tishchenko, normally rather harsh in his appraisals, wrote that “… He can hear the score brilliantly, revealing even veiled links of rhythm and intonation. Alim’s interpretations as a conductor are filled with a deep sense of meaning and logic. In his interpretations Alim follows the finest examples already set, though he does not repeat any clichés, instead presenting the music as he himself sees it. For a composer, such a conductor is a rare find.” In 2008 Boris Tishchenko wrote his Second Symphony, which he dedicated to Alim Shakh (the symphony was premiered in Novosibirsk on 20 December 2008 and in St Petersburg on 24 March 2009).

The conductor has won acclaim in theatre, too. Since 1999 Alim Shakh has worked with the St Petersburg Conservatoire Opera and Ballet Theatre. In 2001 in California (USA) Shakh was awarded the Artist Public Recognition Prize (for a production of the opera Carmen). In 2004 Shakh oversaw a production of an operetta set to music by Johan Strauss, followed by Lehár’s operetta Der Zarewitsch in 2005.

Alim Shakh has overseen numerous major creative projects; in 2002 he held concerts by the international symphony orchestra Let’s Make Music for the first time in Russia, while in 2005 he was a co-creator of a work entitled Cinemaphonia, heralding the arrival of a new movement in art (together with Tonino Guerra, Theo Angelopoulos, Rudolf Barshai, Boris Tishchenko and Andrei Petrov). The world premiere of Cinemaphonia took place at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Since 2000 Alim Shakh has taught at the St Petersburg Conservatoire. He has supervised tours by the Conservatoire’s Concert Chamber Orchestra to France (A Week of Russian Culture in France which had the support of Maurice Druon and President Jacques Chirac, 2004). In November 2004 Alim Shakh conducted the Conservatoire’s Student Symphony Orchestra which accompanied Luciano Pavarotti at his last concert in St Petersburg.

Since 2008 Alim Shakh has been Principal Conductor of the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra – one of the finest chamber ensembles in Russia. At the same time, he continues to work at the St Petersburg Conservatoire in addition to touring as a guest conductor and managing an arts agency.

Since 2012 Alim Shakh has been Artistic Director of the Full Symphony Orchestra of the St Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire Opera and Ballet Theatre.

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