Music Director Emeritus, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Maestro Yuri Temirkanov served as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra from 2000-2006. Upon the conclusion of his tenure, he earned the title music director emeritus. Recognized on every continent as among the most talented conductors of his generation, Maestro Temirkanov currently serves as artistic director and chief conductor of Russia's venerable St. Petersburg Philharmonic, as principal guest conductor of the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre and conductor laureate of London’s Royal Philharmonic. He is a regular guest conductor of the major orchestras of Europe and Asia, and enjoys an equally acclaimed reputation among the leading orchestras of the United States.
Born in 1938 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 from the Leningrad School, he attended the Leningrad Conservatory where he completed his studies in viola. He returned to the Conservatory to study conducting and graduated in 1965. During post-graduate studies, Mr. Temirkanov served as Assistant Conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic under Evgeny Mravinsky.
In 1966, Mr. Temirkanov was appointed as a conductor with the Maly Opera and Ballet Theatre in Leningrad. He won the prestigious Moscow National Conducting Competition in 1967 which thirty years before had launched the careers of a galaxy of Russian conductors, from Mravinsky to Rachlin. Temirkanov was immediately invited by conductor Kiril Kondrashin to tour the United States with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and legendary violinist David Oistrakh. 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 in 1976. During this time, Mr. Temirkanov not only conducted, but staged two operas, Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades and Eugene Onegin. These productions continue in the repertoire of the Kirov Opera and Ballet.
Yuri Temirkanov 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 the war in Afghanistan in 1988. A similar honor was accorded the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 1987 when it was the first American orchestra in eleven years to tour the Soviet Union. The Orchestra performed concerts in both Moscow and Leningrad.
In 1988, Yuri Temirkanov began a long-term exclusive relationship with BMG/RCA recording labels. Mr. Temirkanov's numerous recordings with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra include the complete ballets of Stravinsky and the symphonies of Tchaikovsky. His many recordings with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic include the works of Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Berlioz, Ravel, and Sibelius. Mr. Temirkanov's extensive tours with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra have been highlighted by celebrated performances in Japan, Asia, Europe, South America and the United States.