|St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Russia, 2017|
Tour Dates: 28th April - 15th May, 2017
The history of the orchestra began with an ensemble, organized in 1931 at the Leningrad Radio.
28 April 2017,19:30, National Center for the Performing Arts
The history of the orchestra began with an ensemble, organized in 1931 at the Leningrad Radio. Working LIVE, and with the best conductors of the country, the orchestra mastered a diverse repertoire and attained flexibility in its performing style.
During the war, the Leningrad Radio Symphony was the only orchestra that remained in the besieged city. Despite the fact that in the first winter of the war the orchestra actually ceased to exist, nonetheless, after heroic efforts, in August 1942, headed by K. Eliasberg it performed the premiere of Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony. "Yesterday's performance by the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra can be called highly authentic: there is a feeling that the musicians have inherited from the older generation the tradition of orchestral performance of the ‘Leningrad’ Symphony". (Tianjin Daily, 2015). Altogether, the orchestra performed more than 300 times during the blockade, and some concerts - including the premiere of the "Leningrad" symphony - were held in the Grand Hall of the Philharmonic.
In 1953, the orchestra received the status of a Philharmonic. It was headed by N. Rabinovich, K. Eliasberg and A. Jansons, who took the orchestra on its first foreign tours. During 1962 – 1963, Stravinsky and Britten performed their compositions with the orchestra. Behind its podium also stood: K. Mazur, L. Maazel, E. Svetlanov, G. Rozhdestvensky; soloists - V. Cliburn, S. Richter, E. Gilels, I. Stern, I. Menuhin, D. Oistrach, M. Rostropovich and D. Shostakovich. In 1968, Yury Temirkanov took the lead of the orchestra. With him, the orchestra has gained recognition abroad.
Since 1977, Alexander Dmitriev has led the orchestra. During this phase of the orchestra’s history, it was awarded the title "Academic", participated in prestigious festivals, toured extensively, gave premiere performances in our city of works by Handel, Mahler, Richard Strauss, Debussy, Ravel, Scriabin, Honegger, Tippett, Orff, Dutilleux, Arvo Part, Schnittke, Nono, Ligeti, Adams Cram, Piazzolla as well as collaborated with well-known conductors and soloists.
The orchestra’s plans for the 2015/2016 Season include the grand "Tower of Babel" by A. Rubinstein; songs by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff arranged for voice and orchestra; intriguing Symphony No.4 "Rock Symphony" by Imants Kalnins; "concert-dialogues" - Tchaikovsky with Mozart, Grieg, Rubinstein and Taneyev; Prokofiev evenings series; performance of music by Copland, Petrov and Schnittke; kids' "animation projects" and new premieres.
Artistic Director & Principal Conductor: Alexander Dmitriev
Alexander Dmitriev – Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra graduated from the Glinka Choir College and the Leningrad State Conservatory, where he studied choir conducting (class of E.Kudryavtseva) and musical theory (class of Y.Tyulin). After that, Dmitriev enrolled in a graduate course of symphonic conducting, taught by N.Rabinovich.
The conductor is a laureate of the II National Conducting Competition. Then accepted an internship at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, whereupon E.Mravinsky invited Dmitriev to join his highly respected Leningrad Symphony Orchestra. During 1971–1977, Dmitriev led the Leningrad Small Opera and Ballet Theatre (Mikhailovsky Theatre today). He staged the Soviet Union premieres of “Ifigenia in Aulide” and “Ifigenia in Tauride” by Gluck, “The Clever One” (“Die Kluge”) by Orff and the ballet“Yaroslavna” by Tishchenko.
In 1977, Dmitriev became Chief Conductor of the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra. He led the Saint-Petersburg premiere performances of Händel, Mahler, Debussy, Ravel, Scriabin and Leningrad-St. Petersburg composers. Enjoying continuing success – as evidenced by two tours in 2015 – the musician regularly leads his orchestra on international tours.
Alexander Dmitriev is a Professor of the St. Petersburg State Conservatory. 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”, in recognition of his achievements “For Merit for Saint-Petersburg”. He is the recipient of the State merit prize "For Services to the Fatherland» IV degree.
The conductor of the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation Vladimir Altschuler joined the orchestra in 1969 as viola player, one year before graduating from the Leningrad Conservatory (class of Yuri Kramarov, viola). In 1972 he created the Philharmonic String Orchestra and in 1982 became the leader of a viola section. At the same time, he began to study conducting and entered the department of opera and symphony conducting at the Leningrad Conservatory under professor Alexander Dmitriev, the chief conductor of the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra. In 1984 Vladimir Altschuler made his conducting debut. The same year he became an assistant conductor of the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra.
Since 1994 Altschuler holds the post of conductor of the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra. With this orchestra he has performed all the symphonies by Bruckner, Händel's oratorio “Saul”, “Orpheus” by Monteverdi (an authentic version) for the first time in Russia. A subject of the conductor’s special interest is the music of the XX century. Thanks to Maestro Altschuler, St.Petersburg heard for the first time the “A Child of our Time” by Tippett and “Bernauerin”, the musical drama by Orff. He conducted the premières of the music by G. Ustvolskaya, Y. Falik, V. Basner and other St.Petersburg, Russian and foreign composers.
The conductor actively tours in Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Turkey, Croatia, Macedonia, the Baltic countries and the Republic of Korea. The musician is also keen on scientific research – his PhD art history dissertation is dedicated to the history, theory and practice of conducting.
He is the associate professor of the State St. Petersburg Conservatory and the professor of the St.Petersburg University of Culture and Art. However, the collaboration with the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra is the most important part of the Altschuler’s professional activity.During the 2015/2016 Season, the conductor presents works by Haydn, Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Saint-Saёns and others. Among the musician’s partners this season are A.Rudin, P.Osetinskaya and S.Nakaryakov.
"The opening tempo set by conductor Alexander Dmitriev was broad, spacious, and long range, lacking at times, in each movement of the huge symphony, a sense of drive and purpose."
- Herald Scotland
"I have never heard Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony played live by a Russian Orchestra. This was mesmeric playing by musicians with the ebb and flow of the music in their blood, guided by one of the greatest unsung conductors alive today."
- Classical Source