Russian State Symphony Orchestra

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State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation

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The State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia (Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra) ( ) is a Russian orchestra based in Moscow. Sometimes known in English as the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra gives concerts in Moscow at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall.

The orchestra was founded in 1936 as the USSR State Symphony Orchestra, with Alexander Gauk as its first music director. The orchestra acquired its current name after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The orchestra's longest serving music director was Evgeny Svetlanov, from 1965 to 2000. Svetlanov's tenure ended with his controversial dismissal by Russia's minister of culture, Mikhail Shvydkoi, who had accused Svetlanov of spending excessive time conducting outside of Russia.[1] In 2005, the orchestra officially acquired the additional name of Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra.

Mark Gorenstein succeeded Svetlanov as music director from 2002 to 2011. In 2011, Gorenstein caused controversy with his remarks about Armenian cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan during the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition,[2] which led to his removal as conductor for the competition. The orchestra then demanded Gorenstein's dismissal from the orchestra, with accusations of abusive behaviour.[3] Gorenstein was subsequently dismissed from the orchestra in September 2011.

In October 2011, the orchestra announced the appointment of Vladimir Jurowski as its sixth and current principal conductor, with immediate effect, for an initial contract of 3 years.[4]

Music Directors/Principal Conductors

  • Alexander Gauk (1936-1941)
  • Natan Rakhlin (1941-1945)
  • Konstantin Ivanov (1946-1965)
  • Evgeny Svetlanov (1965-2000)
  • Vassily Sinaisky (2000-2002)
  • Mark Gorenstein (2002-2011)
  • Vladimir Jurowski (2011present)


  1. Robert D McFadden, Yevgeny Svetlanov, Conductor, Dies at 73, The New York Times, 2002-05-06. URL accessed on 2011-10-30.
  2. Hagai Hitron, Israeli violinist shares top award at international music competition, Haaretz, 2011-07-03. URL accessed on 2011-10-30.
  3. Ayano Hodouchi, Mutiny in the orchestra, The Moscow Times, 2011-09-01. URL accessed on 2011-10-30.
  4. IMG Artists (26 October 2011). Vladimir Jurowski to be Artistic Director of State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia. Press release. Retrieved on 2011-10-30

External links

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