Yuri Temirkanov

10.12.1938 02.11.2023
Artistic Director of The St.Petersburg Philharmoni Orchestra


Since 1988 Yuri Temirkanov has been the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra.

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 St. Petersburg Conservatorys Secondary Music School specializing in violin, then graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory majoring in viola and symphony conducting. In 1966 he won the All-Union Conductors Competition and at Kirill Kondrashins 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, and at Evgeny Mravinskys initiative became the assistant conductor of the orchestra. In 19681976 he served as a Principal conductor of the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra (now the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra); in 19761988 he was the Principal conductor of the Kirov (Mariinsky) theatre. During this time, the repertoire comprised of Temirkanovs masterpiece performances such as Tchaikovskys Eugene Onegin (Temirkanovs production of the Opera is featured in the theater nowadays) and Queen of Spades, Prokofievs War and Peace, Petrovs Peter the Great", Shchedrins Dead Souls. The troupe began to tour actively (USA, Japan, Europe), and theaters 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 Staatskapelle Dresden, the London Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Philharmonia 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 this orchestra in 1979, and in 19921998 was the Principal conductor. He was also the Principal Guest conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra (19921997) and the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, now DNSO (19982008). 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 headed the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, until 2009 he served as the Principal Guest conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre, and in 20102012 he was 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 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 December 2018, Mariss Jansons, Rudolf Buchbinder, Nikolai Lugansky, Denis Matsuev, Gidon Kremer, Julian Rachlin, Vadim Repin, Yuri Bashmet, Dinara Alieva, Paata Burchuladze, Matthias Goerne, Julia Lezhneva and others participated in the 19th festival dedicated to the Maestro's anniversary. In December 2019 the 20th jubilee festival featured Charles Dutoit, Leif Ove Andsnes, Boris Berezovsky, Elisso Virsaladze, Veronika Dzhioeva, Behzod Abduraimov, Joshua Bell, Yuri Bashmet, Sergej Krylov, Sergey Dogadin.

Maestro Temirkanov has received numerous Russian and international awards. He is the holder 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 Funds award Una Vita per la Musica (Life in music), the recipient of Santa Cecilia Academys 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.

  • Laureate of the II All-Union conductors competition (I prize, Moscow, 1966)
  • People's artist of Kabardino-Balkar Republic (1973)

  • Laureate of the USSR State prize for the Opera "Peter I" by A. Petrov (1976)

  • Holder Of The Order Of Lenin (1983)

  • Nominated for Grammy award for recording music by S. Prokofiev for the film "Alexander Nevsky" (1996) and Symphony No. 7 by D. Shostakovich (1998)

  • Honorary member of the International Academy of science, industry, education and art (USA, 1998)

  • Laureate of the State Prize of Russia (1999)

  • Abbiati Prize winner - "best conductor of the year" (2003)

  • Doctor Honoris Causa of the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of trade unions (2003)

  • Recipient of the Order For merit for the Fatherland II degree (2003)

  • Honorary academician of Santa Cecilia Academy (Italy, 2007)

  • Recipient of the Order For merit for the Fatherland, I degree (2008)

  • Honored artist of the RSFSR (1971)

  • People's artist of the RSFSR (1976)

  • People's artist of the USSR (1981)

  • Laureate of the State prize of the USSR for the Opera "Eugene Onegin" (1985)

  • Recipient of the Order of Cyril and Methodius (Bulgaria, 1998)

  • Recipient of the Order For Merit for the Fatherland III degree (1998)

  • Holder of the Order of Science and Culture "Catherine the Great" (2002)

  • Laureate of the RF President Award (2003)

  • Doctor Honoris Causa of Saint Petersburg State Conservatory named after N.Rimsky-Korsakov (2003)

  • Winner of the Triumph prize (2003)

  • Abbiati Prize winner - "Best conductor of the year" (2007)

  • Honorary citizen of St. Petersburg (2009)

  • Winner of the International prize "Baltic star" (2011)

  • Commander Of The Order Of the Star of Italy (2012)

  • Holder of the Order For merit for the Fatherland IV degree (2013)

  • Prize winner of the Arturo Benedetti Michelangelo (Italy, 2014)

  • Winner of "Una vita nella musica" ("Life in music") (Italy, 2015)

  • Knight of the Order of the Rising Sun Third Class (Japan, 2015)

  • Lifetime honorary conductor of Santa Cecilia national academy orchestra and choir (Italy, 2015)

  • Holder of the Order of Merit for the Kabardino-Balkar Republic (2016)

  • Knight of the order of Arca d'oro (Golden ark) (Italy, 2016)

  • Honorary Professor of the Moscow State Conservatory named after P.I. Tchaikovsky (2017)

  • Laureate of the State Prize of Russian Federation for outstanding contribution to the development of national and world music culture (2018)

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