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Maestro Yury Temirkanov (Stage Director)

What is the secret of the conductor’s mastery of YURY TEMIRKANOV? One of the possible answers was recently proposed by the New York Times: "Temirkanov impresses not only by his highest emotional drive and the uniqueness of interpretation, but by his enormous power of personal impact upon the musicians. He has such brightly delineated graphic expressiveness of conductor’s technique, that the audience not only hears but literally senses how harmoniously and precisely does the orchestra work empowered by his conductor’s gesture".

The key event in the musician’s biography may be considered his triumph on the II National contest of musical conductors in 1966 after which, the PhD candidate of the musical conducting department of Leningrad conservatory (class of professor Ilia Musin) had overnight entered the number of the most demanded conductors of his generation. Temirkanov gives concerts with two orchestras of Leningrad Philharmonia, together with Kirill Kondrashin and David Oistrakh he goes on a tourney, gets invited by the orchestras from USA, France, Germany. In Leningrad, maestro begins to lead the St. Petersburg Academic symphony orchestra in 1968.

In 1976, the main focus of Yuri Temirkanov’s activity becomes the musical theater (let us remember that his professional debut took place at Maly theater of opera and ballet). Up to 1988 he leads Kirovsky (Mariinsky) theater, producing now historical operas of Tchaikovsky "Eugene Onegin" and "Queen of Spades". The production of modern repertoire – "War and Peace" of Prokofiev proved to be eventful, as well as putting up the recently composed "Peter I" of Petrov and the "Dead Souls" of Schedrin. Temirkanov marks the beginning of the active tour activity of Kirovsky theater. He tours US, Japan, many European countries, including – for the first time – England. Maestro first has introduced the practice of symphony concerts with the theater orchestra, also given abroad. During his work with Kirovsky, he at the same time begins actively collaborating with a number of world-famous orchestras.

In 1978, Temirkanov starts working with the London Royal Philharmonic orchestra, and in 1992 becomes its head conductor. From 1992 to 1997 the musician also undertakes the responsibilities of the chief invited conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic orchestra. In 1998, the London Orchestra is replaced by the Symphony Orchestra of the Danish Radio (where maestro works to date as an invited conductor). During six seasons (from 2000 through 2006) Temirkanov had worked as the chief conductor of Baltimore Symphony orchestra. And this is not counting performances at the conductor‘s stand of other leading orchestras of both the Old and the New world – Philadelphia, Berlin and Vienna philharmonics, the Conertgebau of Amsterdam, Cleveland, Chicago, New York philharmonic orchestras.

But the main focus of conductors attention as of 1988, has become the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, which he has been leading for 18 years now. Maestro regularly performs with orchestra in St. Petersburg, including the traditional inauguration and closing philharmonic season’s concerts. He tours with the orchestra, which included in the past season of 2005, a series of concerts on the ceremony of the United Nations General Assembly dedicated to the 60th anniversary of Victory and in Carnegie Hall. Directed by Temirkanov, this outstanding Russian orchestra for the first time in the history of domestic orchestras inaugurated the season of this famous New York concert hall.

For his large-scale activity, the conductor repeatedly received prizes, awards, and honorary titles. These have been a part of maestro’s professional biography from its very onset. The merited Artist of USSR, Yuri Temirkanov is many times laureate of State awards and the chevalier of several orders. During one single year of his 65th anniversary, the conductor became the Honorary doctor of St. Petersburg conservatory, the chevalier of the order "For services to Motherland" of II rank, the laureate of the Russian presidential award. The same 2003 had brought to Temirkanov the Abbiati award, The Best Conductor of the Year. But may be the main award, that which does not have any material outcome, was the public recognition which the artist has received.

With all the intensity of the concert schedule, his life is not limited to just the theater scene. For preservation and nurturing of St. Petersburg spiritual cultural inheritance, there has been created the International foundation of cultural initiatives by maestro Temirkanov. In 1998 the conductor has established his award for young talented musicians, granted on yearly basis to the students of Musical school-lyceum of St. Petersburg conservatory. The decoration of St. Petersburg artistic life became the New Year’s balls of maestro Temirkanov, given annually in the course of Arts Square festival. In Yusupov palace, which acquired the fame of the "encyclopedia" of St. Petersburg aristocratic interior, the guests are greeted by musician’s hearty welcome, whose personal charm rivals his conductor’s talent.

The prizes and awards of Y.Temirkanov are:

  • 1st prize at the 2nd All-Union Conductors Competition in Moscow (1966)
  • State prize of the Russian Federation, named after M.I.Glinka, for concert programs 1968-1970 (1971)
  • Honoured artist of Russian Federation (1971)
  • Honoured artist of Kabardino-Balkaria (1973)
  • People‘s artist of Russian Federation (1976)
  • State prize of the USSR for the production of the opera "Peter the Great" by A.Petrov (1976)
  • People‘s artist of USSR (1981)
  • The Order of Lenin (1983)
  • State prize of the USSR for the production of "Eugene Onegin" (1985)
  • Nominations for Grammy Awards for his recordings of "Alexander Nevsky" by S.Prokofiev (1996) and Schostakovich‘s Symphony No.7 (1998)
  • Order of Kirill and Mefody (Bulgaria, 1998)
  • Honorary member of the International Academy of the Sciences, Industry, Education and Art (USA, 1998)
  • Order "For Merit for the Country" of III degree (1998)
  • State prize of the Russia (1999)
  • Order of the Science and Culture "Catherine the Great" (2002)
  • Abbiati Prize awarded by The Association of Italian Music Critics (2003)
  • Prize of the President of the Russian Federation (2003)
  • Honorary doctor of the St.Petersburg University of Humanities and Social Sciences (2003)
  • Honorary doctor of the St.Petersburg state Conservatoire named after N.A.Rimsky-Korsakov (2003)
  • Order "For Merit for the Country" of II degree (2003)
  • "Triumph" Prize (2003)

    Maestro Yury Temirkanov Biography

    Anna Netrebko "Quando m'en vo" La Boheme. Conductor - Maestro Yury Temirkanov
    About This Video
    Saint Petersburg, 2003
    Grand Philharmonic Hall
    Conductor - Maestro Yury Temirkanov

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