St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Russia, 2019

Tour Dates: 5th September - 16th September, 2019

The St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra traces its history back to 1931. For more than two decades, the orchestra’s activity was linked with the Leningrad Radio – at first a concert orchestra, and soon as a large Symphony Orchestra.

Tour Dates
  • 5th September - 16th September, 2019

 

The St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra

The St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra traces its history back to 1931. For more than two decades, the orchestra’s activity was linked with the Leningrad Radio – at first a concert orchestra, and soon as a large Symphony Orchestra. Working in live broadcast, the musicians mastered a diverse repertoire. Mobility team, which was led by H. Unger, then I. Alterman, facilitated by the cooperation with many conductors: O. Fried, F  Stiedry, A. Gauk, V. Dranishnikov, N. Golovanov, E. Mravinsky, I. Musin, B. Khaikin, E. Grikurov, K. Eliasberg, N. Rabinovich, K. Kondrashin.

During the war, the Leningrad Radio Symphony was the only orchestra that remained in the besieged city. Despite the fact that in the fi rst winter of the war the orchestra actually ceased to exist, nonetheless, after heroic efforts, in August 1942, headed by K. Eliasberg it performed the Leningrad premiere of Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony. Currently, critics argue that "the 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 Philharmonic Hall.

Continuing to step out onto the famous stage, 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 (Finland, 1965). In 1962–1963, his compositions performed with the orchestra I. Stravinsky and B. Britten. For remote staff were also S. Baudo, I. Markevitch, K. Masur, L. Maazel, E. Svetlanov and G. Rozh destvensky, soloists – V. Cliburn, S. Richter, E. Gilels, I. Stern, Y. Menuhin, D. Oistrakh, M. Rostropovich, D. Shostakovich. In 1968, the orchestra was headed by Y. Temirkanov. The conductor initiated a rapid growth of the orchestra’s repertoire, which played a crucial role in gaining their recognition abroad.

Since 1977, Alexander Dmitriev has led the orchestra. During this phase of the orchestra’s history, it was awarded the title “Academic”, gave premiere performances in our city of works by Handel, Mahler, Richard Strauss, Debussy, Ravel, Scriabin, Schreker, Honegger, Tippett, Orff, Dutilleux, Arvo Part, Schnittke, Nono, Ligeti, Adams, Crumb, Piazzolla as well as Leningrad-Petersburg composers, and recorded all the symphonies of Beethoven and Schubert, works by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov, Ravel and Britten.

The orchestra’s creative partners include conductors N. Jarvi, A. Katz, D. Kitaenko, V. Chernushenko, Y. Simonov, V. Fedoseyev, A. Lazarev, E. Serov, R. Barshai, J. Domarkas, R. Martynov, V. Ziva, E. Klas, P. Kogan, M. Shostakovich, V. Sinaisky, S. Sondeckis, A. Titov, M. Rostropovich, P. Berglund, J.-C. Casadesus and Y.P. Tortelier; composers G. Ligeti and K. Penderecki; soloists G. Sokolov, N. Gutman, E. Virsaladze, Y. Bashmet, V. Tretyakov, J. Lill, J. Ogdon, R. Holl and F. Kempf.

The orchestra has taken part in prestigious international festivals, and has toured Europe, Asia, and America. During the last three seasons, it has visited the UK, Israel as well as Finland for the first time and China – for the second time.

Memorable events await the orchestra’s admirers in the 2017/2018 season. Among them is a concert with the participation of conductor Vladimir Fedoseev, who celebrates his 85th birthday this year, the performance of Schillinger's “October” and Zaderatsky's “Horse Army”, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and the rarely performed symphonies of Bruckner and Haydn, as well as the modern composer, Kashif’s “Queen Symphony”. The orchestra will continue to participate in the project, which was born in cooperation with the State Hermitage.

Conductor: Nikolay Alexeev

Nikolay Alexeev - People's Artist of Russia, deputy Artistic Director of the St.Petersburg Philharmonia graduated from the Leningrad Choral College named after M.I.Glinka and the Leningrad Conservatory, where he studied choral conducting with A.Mikhailov and opera and symphony conducting with M.Jansons. The creative activity of the musician, the laureate of international contests such as the Herbert von Karajan Foundation (West Berlin, 1982), V.Talich (Prague, 1985) and Min-On (Tokyo, 1985), is extremely rich. He led the Orchestra of the Zagreb Philharmonic, conducted the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bolshoi Symphony and the Russian National Orchestra. He has worked with such foreign orchestras as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the philharmonic orchestras of Rotterdam, Dresden, Stuttgart and Copenhagen, the symphony orchestras of Berlin and Baltimore, the Liverpool Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Scottish BBC Symphony orchestra and the New Japan Philharmonic.

From 2001-2010, Nikolay Alexeev led the oldest orchestra in the Baltic States - the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (for which the musician was awarded the State Culture Prize of the Republic of Estonia). At present, the artist’s concert activity covers the countries of Europe (Germany, France, Italy, UK, Belgium, Netherlands), Latin America, Japan and the United States.

Since 2000, Nikolay Alexeev has been the conductor of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. The musician’s repertoire encompasses the Viennese classics, works by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich. With Nikolay Alexeev, the orchestra has performed all Brahms symphonies, a number of works by Stravinsky and Prokofiev, and Mahler's Eighth Symphony, entitled “Symphony of a Thousand”, “Gurrelieder“ by Schoenberg and “Turangalila-symphony“ by Messiaen. The conductor regularly introduces the audience to new compositions. He conducted the premiere performances of Tishchenko’s Second and Fifth “Dante Symphony“, Slonimsky’s Thirteenth Symphony, Korolev’s “Figure of Speech“ and “Heretic“, Korchmar’s “Royal Chants” as well as the Russian premieres of the First Symphony “The Triumph of Heaven” and “Wunderbare Leiden” by Borisova-Ollas, fantasy for piano and orchestra “Romeo and Juliet” by A. Warenberg, created on the basis of Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 1, as well as the St Petersburg premieres of “Concerto Cantabile” by R. Shchedrin and the Violin Concerto No. 5 by Paganini.

In 2017, the conductor was awarded the St Petersburg Government Prize for the concert programs performed in 2016.

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