Yuri Temirkanov

Music Director and Principal Conductor: St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Music Director: Teatro Regio di Parma
Music Director Emeritus: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Honorary Conductor, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Biography

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, Yuri Temirkanov was invited by Kirill Kondrashin to tour Europe and the United States with legendary violinist David Oistrakh and the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Reviews

“Temirkanov and his players told stories in music. Everything was direct, vivid and full of character, […] the playing was visceral, breathless and cinematic.”

Anthony Tommasini

New York Times

“Temirkanov is the last of the older-generation Russian master conductors currently to be seen in the UK. And no one has such authority in inspiring the players to feats of full-blooded Tchaikovskyan suppleness. […] He’s a conductor for whom the injunction tempo rubato – that art of stealing time and giving it back even in a single bar – might have been written. The onward trudge of destiny after the dark, clarinet-led opening theme of fate-as-providence advanced in velvet slippers, quickening towards handsome climaxes […] ballasted by the peculiarly weighty sound Temirkanov always carries with him: you could no longer talk of a Philharmonia personality, only of a kind of Temirkanov Philharmonic. […] this is as great as Tchaikovsky gets.”

David Nice

The Arts Desk

More Reviews

“Temirkanov and his players told stories in music. Everything was direct, vivid and full of character, […] the playing was visceral, breathless and cinematic.”

Anthony Tommasini, New York Times

“Temirkanov is the last of the older-generation Russian master conductors currently to be seen in the UK. And no one has such authority in inspiring the players to feats of full-blooded Tchaikovskyan suppleness. […] He’s a conductor for whom the injunction tempo rubato – that art of stealing time and giving it back even in a single bar – might have been written. The onward trudge of destiny after the dark, clarinet-led opening theme of fate-as-providence advanced in velvet slippers, quickening towards handsome climaxes […] ballasted by the peculiarly weighty sound Temirkanov always carries with him: you could no longer talk of a Philharmonia personality, only of a kind of Temirkanov Philharmonic. […] this is as great as Tchaikovsky gets.”

David Nice, The Arts Desk

“Yuri Temirkanov’s version of the popular ballet score [is] played stupendously, including (to cite just two examples) an excitingly frantic Trepak and a beautifully flowing Waltz of the Flowers. […] Kijé is lively and extremely colorful, with especially atmospheric offstage trumpet calls. The Dukas also is very brilliantly played, and precisely too (this is a very difficult work to handle rhythmically). Temirkanov shows himself aptly sensitive to the music’s cinematic narrative, whipping the orchestra to a fine fury and then slamming on the brakes at the climactic return of the sorcerer with a rhetorical flourish. ”

David Hurwitz, classicstoday.com

“Symphonic Dances, meanwhile, Rachmaninov’s final score, is a bitter work, haunted by terrors of mortality. The narrow range of its melodies hint at constriction while the dense orchestration gives the impression that Rachmaninov’s dancers, despite their vigour, are fastened unwillingly to the earth. Brass fanfares stop the central waltz in its tracks, while the final movement, like Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, is harried to its close by the Dies Irae. Temirkanov’s approach was unsparing. Unlike most conductors, he refused to sentimentalise Rachmaninov and what we were left with was nostalgia without self-pity, and fear without the solace of morbidity. By turns bleak and thrilling, it was an outstanding achievement, and one of the finest performances of the work you are ever likely to hear.”

Tim Ashley, The Guardian.

“To hear this performance of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony felt like uncorking a fruity vintage wine laid down decades earlier. As for Glinka’s Valse-Fantaisie, it was like tapping directly into the fount of all Russian music: wistful elegance, sighing melancholy, gorgeously interwined. But Temirkanov also has a quality, hovering between the sardonic and the stoic, that gives his interpretations unexpected tension. Tempos may be stretched like elastic, cadences rapped out with caricature insistence. But he never loses sight of the bigger line, which is cogent, taut and remarkably unsentimental. Fascinating. ”

Richard Morrison, The Times