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Described as “the crowning glory of Russian culture”, ICA is proud to present the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and their renowned Artistic Director & Chief Conductor since 1988 – Yuri Temirkanov – at the BBC Proms 2015. The first Russian symphony orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic can trace its history back to 1882, and – premiering major works by Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Penderecki, amongst others – has earned its place as one of the most prominent ensembles in the world. Just over a decade since their last visit, the orchestra returns to the BBC Proms this year for two concerts of powerful Russian classics.
27 Aug 2015
Described as “the crowning glory of Russian culture”, ICA is proud to present the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and their renowned Artistic Director & Chief Conductor since 1988 – Yuri...
7 September 2015
Royal Albert Hall, London
TCHAIKOVSKY - Francesca da Rimini (18’)
RACHMANINOV - Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor (35’)
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV – Scheherazade (42’)
Nikolai Lugansky, piano
Yuri Temirkanov, conductor
8 September 2015
Royal Albert Hall, London
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV - The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, symphonic pictures (13’)
TCHAIKOVSKY - Violin Concerto in D major (33’)
ELGAR - ‘Enigma’ Variations (29’)
Julia Fischer, violin
Yuri Temirkanov, conductor
Since 1988 Yuri Temirkanov has been the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he regularly undertakes major international tours and recordings.
Born in the Caucasus city of Nal'chik, Yuri Temirkanov began his musical studies at the age of nine. When he was thirteen, he attended the Leningrad School for Talented Children where he continued his studies in violin and viola. Upon graduation, he attended the Leningrad Conservatory where he completed his studies in viola and later returned to study conducting, graduating in 1965. After winning the prestigious All-Soviet National Conducting Competition in 1966, Mr. Temirkanov was invited by Kirill Kondrashin to tour Europe and the United States with legendary violinist David Oistrakh and the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra.
Yuri Temirkanov made his debut with the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra (formerly the Leningrad Philharmonic) in early 1967 and was then invited to join the orchestra as Assistant Conductor to Yevgeny Mravinsky. In 1968, he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra where he remained until his appointment as Music Director of the Kirov Opera and Ballet (now the Mariinsky Theatre) in 1976. He remained in this position until 1988 and his productions of Eugene Onegin and Queen of Spades have become legendary in the theatre’s history.
Maestro Temirkanov is a frequent guest conductor of major orchestras in Europe, Asia and the United States. He holds the distinction of being the first Russian artist permitted to perform in the United States after cultural relations were resumed with the Soviet Union at the end of war in Afghanistan in 1988. He has appeared with leading European orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic,Dresden Staatskapelle, London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome and La Scala, Milan and others.
After making his London debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1977, he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor, and then in 1992 named Principal Conductor, a position he held until 1998. From 1992 to 1997 he was also the Principal Guest Conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra and from 1998 to 2008 Principal Guest Conductor of the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra. A regular visitor to the USA, he conducts the major orchestras of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. He was the Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra from 2000 till 2006, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre until 2009. 2010 – 2012 Music Director of Teatro Regio di Parma.
His numerous recordings include collaborations with the St Petersburg Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestras, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with whom he recorded the complete Stravinsky ballets and Tchaikovsky symphonies.
For ten days over the Christmas holiday, Maestro Temirkanov hosts the annual International Winter Festival Arts Square in St Petersburg, Russia. Unique in its concept, the festival gathers artists of the highest caliber in our city, confirming the status of St. Petersburg as one of the cultural capitals of Europe. The focal point of the – 14th Festival – is the celebration of Temirkanov’s 75th birthday and the 25th anniversary of his leadership of the St Petersburg Philharmonic. The grand opening, conducted by Mariss Jansons and Nikolai Alexeev, is in honor of the maestro, with a grand gala concert featuring Yuri Bashmet, Paata Burchuladze, Elisso Virsaladze, Natalia Gutman, Yevgeny Kissin, Denis Matsuev, Vadim Repin, Sayaka Shoji and Viktoria Yastrebova.
Maestro Temirkanov has received many distinguished awards in Russia. In 2003, President Vladimir Putin bestowed the President’s Medal on Maestro Temirkanov. In 2002, he received the Abbiati Prize for Best Conductor, and in 2003 was named Conductor of the Year in Italy. Recently, he was made an Honorary Accademician of Santa Cecilia. In 2012 he was awarded “The Commander of the Order of the Star of Italy”.
The first Russian symphony orchestra traces its history from 1882, when it was founded on the Order of Alexander III, as the Court Musicians’ Choir. At the beginning of the 20th century, the choir performed the symphonic poems "Ein Heldenleben" and "Also sprach Zarathustra" by Richard Strauss, Mahler's First Symphony and Bruckner's Ninth Symphony, Scriabin's "Poem of Ecstasy" and Stravinsky’s First Symphony, for the first time in Russia. In those years, the orchestra was conducted by: A.Nikisch, R.Strauss, A.Glazunov and S.Kussevitsky.
In 1921, the orchestra had at its disposal the former Nobility Assembly Hall and thus the country's first philharmonic was opened. Such conductors as: B.Walter, F.Weingartner, H.Abendroth, O.Fried, E.Kleiber, P.Monteux and O.Klemperer as well as soloists V.Horowitz, J.Heifetz, Shostakovich and Prokofiev performed with the orchestra. In 1918, the orchestra presented the premiere of Prokofiev’s "Classical Symphony" and in 1926 – the First Symphony by Shostakovich.
In 1934, the orchestra – the first in the country – was awarded the title "Honored orchestra of the Republic." 1938 began what is referred to as the "Age of Mravinsky" and years of hard work earned the orchestra a place amongst the most prominent ensembles in the world. In 1946 the orchestra first performed internationally and since has regularly toured. A unique and creative alliance formed between D.Shostakovich and E.Mravinsky, to whom the composer dedicated his Eighth Symphony. Other important collaborations include those with K.Sanderling, A.Jansons and M.Jansons. During these years, the orchestra continued to work with leading conductors and soloists. Among the conductors were K.Kondrashin, E.Svetlanov, I.Markevich, Z.Mehta, L.Maazel, Ch.Munch and Ch.Bruck. Among the soloists were G.Gould, V.Cliburn, S.Richter, E.Gilels, D.Oistrakh, L.Kogan, I.Stern and I.Menuhin.
Since 1988, Yuri Temirkanov has lead the orchestra. Recently, the orchestra has been ranked in the top twenty orchestras in the world (according to Gramophone magazine) has toured in Europe, Asia, America, and participated in prestigious music festivals – in Lucerne, Italian MiTo, Verbier and Annecy. At the Grand Hall, the orchestra continues to introduce audiences to composers’ premieres: the works by Penderecki, Nono, Tishchenko, Slonimsky, Segerstam, Obukhov, Korngold, Rota and Desyatnikov. In the ‘Temirkanov Era’, the orchestra has been led by C.-M.Guilini, G.Solti, G.Rozhdestvensky, M.Jansons, K.Nagano, A.Wit, I.Marin, V.Jurowski, V.Sinaysky, I.Metzmacher, Jean-Claude Casadesus, M.Tabachnik and E.Krivin. The names of the soloists are no less sublime: I.Perlman, D.Norman, Yo-Yo Ma, E.Virsaladze, E.Leonskaya, E.Kissin, D.Matsuev, N.Lugansky, V.Feltsman, E.Grimaud, B.Berezovsky, G.Kremer, V.Repin, N.Gutman, M.Maysky, D.Geringas, A.Knyazev and E.Glennie.
Concerto highlights in Nikolai Lugansky’s forthcoming seasons include the St Petersburg Philharmonic and Philharmonia orchestras (both with Yuri Temirkanov); London Philharmonic Orchestra (with both Vladimir Jurowski and Osmo Vänskä); Philharmoniker Hamburg and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (both with Kent Nagano); San Francisco Symphony, and a tour of the United States with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (both with Charles Dutoit).
In recital, Lugansky performs at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire and the Great Hall of the St Petersburg Philharmonia, Paris’ Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Vienna’s Konzerthaus, and at the Rheingau Festival. His chamber music collaborations include performances with Vadim Repin, Mischa Maisky and Alexander Kniazev.
An acclaimed recording artist, Nikolai Lugansky records exclusively for the Naïve-Ambroisie label. His recording of the Chopin Piano Concertos with Sinfonia Varsovia and Alexander Vedernikov was released in summer 2014, and was preceded in autumn 2013 by a disc featuring Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.3 and Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the Deutsches-Symphonie Orchester Berlin and Kent Nagano. These releases follow on from his first two acclaimed solo recordings of Liszt and Rachmaninov, the latter receiving an ECHO Klassik Award.
Nikolai Lugansky was given the honour “People’s Artist of Russia” in April 2013.
German violinist Julia Fischer is recognized worldwide for possessing a talent of uncommon ability and as an exceptionally gifted artist, reflected in the numerous awards and effusive reviews she has received for both her live performances and recordings, including being named "Artist of the Year" at The Gramophone Awards in 2007 and "Instrumentalist of the Year" at the 2009 MIDEM Classical Awards.
Born in Munich, Ms. Fischer began learning the violin at age three and soon thereafter started taking piano lessons. She became a pupil of Ana Chumachenco at the Munich Academy of Music and at just 11-years-old won the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition, an event that catapulted her towards an international career as a soloist.
Julia Fischer has since appeared regularly with the world's most celebrated orchestras and conductors. In recent seasons, concerto highlights have included orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony. Ms. Fischer has worked with conductors of the highest level including Blomstedt, Eschenbach, Vladimir Jurowski, Paavo Järvi, Maazel, Marriner, Salonen, Temirkanov, Welser-Möst, and Zinman. An avid recitalist and chamber musician, Ms. Fischer has performed in the world's great concert halls and in festivals across Europe, including at the Musikverein Vienna, Palais des Beaux Arts, Berlin Philharmonie, and Carnegie Hall in New York, and at the BBC Proms, Salzburg Easter Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, and Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Ms. Fischer was Artist in Residence at Konzerthaus Berlin during the 2012-13 season and at Dresdner Philharmonie during the 2013-14 season; London's Wigmore Hall additionally dedicated to Ms. Fischer a Perspective Series throughout the 2013-14 season.
Ms. Fischer will open the 2014-15 season with concerts at the Festival Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, performing in recital with Igor Levit and in concert with the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin under the baton of Michael Sanderling. Following an appearance with Daniel Müller-Schott at the Festival Herbstliche Musiktage, Ms. Fischer embarks on a recital tour of France with Yulianna Avdeeva. A tour of Germany with the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia and Vladimir Jurowski will see Ms. Fischer perform the rarely programmed Schumann violin concerto and include the first out of three concerts which will showcase Ms. Fischer as first Artist in Residence at Frankfurt's concert series Pro Arte; she also tours Switzerland in the role of conductor and soloist with pianist Oliver Schnyder and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and appears in major venues throughout Europe alongside the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and Temirkanov. Further highlights as soloist include the Philharmonia Orchestra/Hrůša, MDR Symphony/Kristjan Järvi, Boston Symphony/Dutoit, Czech Philharmonic/Zinman, and Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich/Bringuier. Summer 2015 will see Ms. Fischer performing at major festivals – at Grafenegg Music Festival, at the Kissinger Summer Music Festival with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Blomstedt, at the Rheingau Music Festival with Jordan – as well as on a European tour with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony/Sanderling performing Katchaturian.
The 2014-15 season will also include a tour of Europe with the Julia Fischer Quartet, which was founded by Ms. Fischer in the 2011-12 season and garnered ecstatic acclaim from public and critics alike for Ms. Fischer, violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky, violist Nils Mönkemeyer and cellist Benjamin Nyffenegger. These four artists have performed chamber music jointly in different configurations for multiple years; the idea to establish a string quartet was born in 2010, when all four musicians acquired a broad repertoire during Julia Fischer's festival at Lake Starnberg. Debut appearances are scheduled amongst others at the Musikverein Vienna, Tonhalle Zurich, Konzerthaus Berlin, and Alte Oper Frankfurt. The Quartet has appeared in previous seasons at the Prague Spring Festival, Wigmore Hall, and Philharmonie Luxembourg.
Ms. Fischer records exclusively for Decca Classics/Universal Music Group. The latest recordings feature the Bruch & Dvořák violin concertos with the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich/ Zinman and works of Sarasate for violin & piano with frequent collaborator Milana Chernyavska. Her 2011 recording, "Poème," features works by Chausson, Respighi, Suk and Vaughan Williams, and was released to great critical acclaim including a listing on the quarterly "Bestenliste" of the prestigious Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. This highly poignant album is the last recording of the late Yakov Kreizberg – a close collaborator of Ms. Fischer for years – conducting the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo. It was preceded by the fall 2010 release of Paganini's 24 Caprices and her 2009 recording for Decca of Bach violin concertos with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Upon its U.S. release the Bach recording became the fastest-selling classical music debut in iTunes history. Previous recordings were released on the PentaTone label. Ms. Fischer's debut CD, a recording of Russian Violin Concertos by Khatchaturian, Prokofiev and Glazunov with the Russian National Orchestra under Yakov Kreizberg, won Germany's coveted ECHO Award in 2005. She recorded Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin in 2005 and this recording earned worldwide critical praise including the rare distinction of winning three of France's most prestigious awards: the Diapason d'Or; the CHOC from Le Monde de la Musique; and the highest rating from Classica Repertoire. The Bach recording also saw her awarded the BBC Music Magazine Award as "Best Newcomer" in 2006. In 2007, her Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto recording saw her awarded the ECHO award for "Instrumentalist of the Year".
Throughout her career, Ms. Fischer has always maintained her piano studies. On January 1st, 2008 she made her professional piano debut at the Alte Oper Frankfurt performing the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and conductor Matthias Pintscher. On the same program, she performed the Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No. 3. A DVD of this concert, recorded by Unitel Classica, was released by Decca in September 2010.