Yuri Temirkanov

"But Temirkanov also has a quality, hovering between the sardonic and the stoic, that gives his interpretations unexpected tension. Tempos may be stretched like elastic, cadences rapped out with caricature insistence. But he never loses sight of the bigger line, which is cogent, taut and remarkably unsentimental. Fascinating.”
(The Times)

Since 1988 Yuri Temirkanov has been the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, which the conductor regularly tours and records with.

Yuri Temirkanov was born in Nalchik, the Caucasus, and started pursuing music at the age of 9. At the age of 13, he moved to Leningrad and continued his studies at the Saint-Petersburg Conservatory’s Secondary Music School specializing in violin, then graduated from the Saint-Petersburg Conservatory majoring in viola and symphony conducting. In 1966 he won the All-Union Conductors Competition and at Kirill Kondrashin’s invitation toured in Europe and the United States with the Moscow Philharmonic orchestra and the legendary violinist David Oistrakh.

In 1967, Yuri Temirkanov debuted with the Leningrad Philharmonic orchestra, the Honored orchestra of the Republic and at Yevgeny Mravinsky’s initiative became the assistant conductor.  In 1968-1976 he served as a chief conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic Symphony orchestra (now the Academic Symphony orchestra); in 1976-1988 he was the chief conductor of the Kirov (Mariinsky) theatre. During this time, the repertoire consisted of Temirkanov’s masterpiece performances such as “Eugene Onegin” (Temirkanov’s production of the Opera is featured in the theater nowadays) and Tchaikovsky‘s “Queen of spades”, Prokofiev’s “War and peace”, Petrov’s “Peter the Great”, Shchedrin‘s “Dead souls”. The troupe began to tour actively (USA, Japan, Europe), and theater’s Symphony concerts were again put into practice worldwide.

Yuri Temirkanov has performed with the leading orchestras in Europe, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Dresden State Chapel, the London Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Philharmonic orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Academy Orchestras of Santa Cecilia in Rome, Teatro Alla Scala in Milan and others.

After his debut with the Royal Philharmonic orchestra in 1977, Yuri Temirkanov became the Principal Guest conductor of the orchestra in 1979, and in 1992-1998 was the Chief conductor. He was also the Principal Guest conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra (1992-1997) and the Danish Radio National Orchestra (1998-2008). Yuri Temirkanov regularly performs in the United States, where he collaborated with the leading orchestras of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. From 2000 to 2006 he conducted the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, as the Principal Guest conductor of the Bolshoi theatre, and in 2010-2012 – musical Director of Teatro Regio in Parma.

Yuri Temirkanov made numerous recordings with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Danish Radio National Orchestra, as well as the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he recorded the complete series of Stravinsky’s ballets and all Tchaikovsky’s symphonies.

At the initiative and under the artistic direction of Maestro Temirkanov, the International Winter “Arts Square” Festival has been held in St. Petersburg for almost two decades. Unique in its concept, the festival brings together artists of the highest caliber, yet again confirming the status of St. Petersburg as one of the cultural capitals of Europe. In 2017, Evgeny Kisin, Pinchas Zuckerman, Francesco Meli performed at the festival. In December 2018, Mariss Jansons, Rudolf Buchbinder, Nikolai Lugansky, Denis Matsuev, Gidon Kremer, Julian Rakhlin, Vadim Repin, Yuri Bashmet, Dinara Aliyev, Paata Burchuladze, Matthias Goerne, Leif Ove Andsnes, Ignat Solzhenitsyn and others will participate in the XIX festival dedicated to the Maestro’s anniversary.

Maestro Temirkanov has received numerous Russian and international awards. He is the recipient of the Order “For Merit for the Fatherland” (1998, 2003, 2008, 2013), People’s artist of the USSR,  laureate of State Prizes and the Presidential award,  Commander of the Order of the Star of Italy and the Japanese Order of the Rising sun. Twice, in 2003 and 2007, he was awarded the prestigious Abbiati prize in the nomination “Best conductor”; in 2003 Yuri Temirkanov was named the “Conductor of the year” in Italy. Maestro – the winner of the Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli award and La Fenice Theatre Fund’s award “Life in music”, the recipient of Santa Cecilia Academy’s and the St. Petersburg and Moscow conservatories honorary titles. In 2015, for the first time ever, Yuri Temirkanov was appointed the life honorary conductor of Santa Cecilia national academy orchestra and choir in Rome; in 2016 he was awarded the Italian order “Arca d’oro” (“Golden ark”). On June 12, 2018 Yuri Temirkanov was awarded the State Prize of Russian Federation for his outstanding contribution to the development of national and world music culture.