People's Artist of the USSR,
Winner of the State Prize of the Russian Federation
Artistic Director and Chief Conductor
of the St.Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra
Alexander DMITRIEV was born in Leningrad to the family of a Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra musician. He graduated from Glinka Choir College and the Leningrad State Conservatory, where he studied choir conducting (prof. E. Kudryavtseva) and musical theory (prof.Y. Tyulin). After that Dmitriev enrolled in a graduate course of symphonic conducting, taught by Nikolai Rabinovich. For ten years (1961-1971) he led the Symphony Orchestra of Karelian Radio and Television and at that stage he won the 2nd National Conducting Competition. Then he took an internship at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria under H.Swarovski and K.Osterreicher, whereupon E. Mravinsky invited Dmitriev to join his highly respected Leningrad Symphony Orchestra. In 1971-1977 Dmitriev led the Leningrad Small Opera and Ballet Theatre (Mikhailovsky Theatre today). For the first time in the Soviet Union he staged “Ifigenia in Aulide” and “Ifigenia in Tauride” by Gluck, “The Clever One” (“Die Kluge”) by Orff and, in collaboration with stage director Yuri Lyubimov and choreographer Oleg Vingradov, the “Yaroslavna” ballet by Tishchenko.
In 1977, Dmitriev became chief conductor of the St.Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra. Thanks to the more than thirty-year collaboration of the conductor and the orchestra for the first time in Saint-Petersburg were performances of the Symphony No. 8 by Mahler, “Pelléas et Mélisande” by Debussy and “The Child and the Enchantments” by Ravel (opera recitals), “The Power of Music” - oratorio by Händel, “Prefatory Act” - mysterium by Scriabin-Nemtin and quite a number of works by Leningrad-Petersburg composers. The repertoire of Alexander Dmitriev includes all the symphonies by Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, symphonies by Shostakovich, Schubert, almost all orchestra pieces by Prokofiev, Mahler, Scriabin, Ravel, Sibelius, Requiems by Mozart and Verdi, and a great number of new and contemporary works.
With the tradition of success he led international tours of the orchestra. As said Alexander Dmitriev: “To lead the big ensemble is one of the most difficult tasks for the conductor, especially for the chief one, because he is responsible for the state of his orchestra. Each musician has his own problems, life difficulties, he could be in low spirits... And the task of the conductor is to bring musicians to forget all apart the music as soon as they take in hands the instruments. In this sense, the conductor should be both decisive authority and the inspirer of the creative action”. During this jubilee season of the ensemble the conductor will perform with the orchestra works by Viennese classics, by Mendelssohn and Wagner, Debussy and Ravel, Respighi and Britten, Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev; he will lead the concert “Jeux d’eau”, dedicated to the musical pictures of water (the Debussy's “Reflets dans l'eau” will be performed in orchestration by A.Dmitriev). At the last concert of the season will be performed the “Leningrad” Symphony by Shostakovich, marking the 70th anniversary of its premiere in siege Leningrad.
Alexander Dmitriev is Professor of the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg state conservatory (among his pupils: A.Boreiko, V.Altschuler, A.Anikhanov, A.Steinlucht). For many years he has led the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra in Norway. Among his awards are the title of People's artist of the USSR and Winner of the State Prize of the Russian Federation, “Order of Honour of Cultural and Art Merit, in recognition of his longstanding achievements”, Honorary symbol "For Merit for Saint-Petersburg" and the Prize of the St. Petersburg Government in Literature, Art and Architecture-2009, in “Musical-Performing Art”.