History of orchestra
STATE ACADEMIC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA OF RUSSIA "EVGENY SVETLANOV"
The State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Evgeny Svetlanov” is one of the oldest symphony ensembles in the country. In 2021, the Orchestra celebrates it’s 85th anniversary. The first performance of the orchestra conducted by A. Gauk and E. Kleiber, took place on October 5th, 1936 in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.
Over the years, the State Orchestra was directed by Alexander Gauk (1936–1941), Natan Rakhlin (1941–1945), Konstantin Ivanov (1946–1965), Evgeny Svetlanov (1965–2000), Vasily Sinaisky (2000–2002), Mark Gorenstein (2002–2011), Vladimir Jurowski (2011–2021) and Vasily Petrenko (2021–2022). In 2005, the ensemble was named after E. F. Svetlanov. Since 2021 Vladimir Jurowski has been holding the position of Honorary Conductor of the Orchestra.
The orchestra’s concerts were held at the most famous concert venues in the world including the Great Hall of the Conservatory, the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, the Bolshoi Theater of Russia, the Column Hall of the House of Unions, the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Pleyel in Paris, the Colon National Opera in Buenos Aires, the Suntory Hall in Tokyo. In 2013, the orchestra for the first time performed in the Red Square in Moscow.
H. Abendroth, E. Ansermet, L. Blech, N. Golovanov, K. Sanderling, A. Jansons, M. Jurowski, O. Klemperer, K. Kondrashin, L. Maazel, K. Mazur, N. Malko, I. Markevich, E. Mravinsky, S. Munch, G. Rozhdestvensky, M. Rostropovich, S. Sondeckis, I. Stravinsky, A. Vedernikov, A. Boreyko, V. Gergiev, C. Dutoit, A. Lazarev, A. Sladkovsky, L. Slatkin, Y. Temirkanov, T. Zehetmair, N. Jarvi and other outstanding conductors directed at the conductor's desk of the orchestra.
Famous musicians and ensembles performed with the orchestra including singers I. Arkhipova, G. Vishnevskaya, M. Caballé, S. Lemeshev, E. Obraztsova, D. Hvorostovsky, M. Guleghina, P. Domingo, J. Kaufmann, S. Leiferkus, pianists E. Gilels, V. Cliburn, G. Neuhaus, N. Petrov, S. Richter, M. Yudina, V. Afanassiev, B. Berezovsky, E. Virsaladze, E. Kissin, N. Lugansky, D. Matsuev and G. Sokolov, violinists L. Kogan, Y. Menuhin, D. Oistrakh, B. Belkin, M. Vengerov, G. Kremer, V. Pikaysen, V. Repin, V. Spivakov and V. Tretyakov, violist Y. Bashmet , cellists M. Rostropovich, N. Gutman, A. Knyazev, M. Maisky and A. Rudin, as well as such choirs like Sveshnikov State Academic Russian Choir and Yurlov State Academic Choir Capella of Russia. In recent years, the list of soloists collaborating with the ensemble has been recruited with the names of such singers as I. Abdrazakov, D. Alieva, A. Garifullina, H. Gerzmava, D. Korchak, E. Kulman, J. Kura, V. Ladyuk, Y. Lezhneva, W. Meier, A. Netrebko, R. Pape and A. Shagimuratova, pianists M. A. Hamelin, L. O. Andsnes, R. Buchbinder, S. Trpceski, J. Y. Thibaudet and M. Uchida, violinists K. Barati, I. Gringolts, A. Ibragimova, L. Kavakos, P. Kopachinskaya, S. Krylov, N. Radulovich, J. Rakhlin, J. Fischer, T. Zehetmair, N. Znaider and P. Zukerman, violist M. Rysanov. Considerable attention is also paid to joint work with young musicians, including conductors M. Emelyanychev, D. Matvienko, M. Stravinsky, V. Uryupin and F. Chizhevsky, pianists A. Gugnin, L. Debargue, F. Kopachevsky, D. Masleev and D. Shishkin, violinists A. Baeva, S. Dogadin, P. Milyukov and A. Pritchin, cellist A. Ramm.
Having visited abroad for the first time in 1956, the orchestra has since represented Russian art in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Denmark, Italy, Canada, China, Lebanon, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, USA, Thailand, France, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, South Korea, Japan and many other countries.
The discography of the ensemble includes hundreds of LP records and CDs released by leading recording companies in Russia and abroad (Melodiya, Bomba-Peter, Delos, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI Classics, BMG, Naxos, Chandos, Musikproduktion Dabringhaus und Grimm, BelAir, ICA Classics, Pentatone, Toccata Classics, Fancymusic and others). A special place in this collection belongs to the Anthology of Russian Symphonic Music, which includes audio recordings of works by Russian composers from M. Glinka to I. Stravinsky (conducted by E. Svetlanov). The TV channels such as Mezzo, medici.tv, Russia-1 and Kultura, radio Orpheus made recordings of the orchestra’s concerts.
Recently, the State Orchestra performed at the G. Enescu Festival in Bucharest, Another Space, Universe is Svetlanov! festivals and the XIV Guitar Virtuosos Moscow International Festival in Moscow, , “Summer. Music. Museum” Festival in Istra; performed world premieres of works by A. Vustin, G. Gladkov, S. Goss, V. Yekimovsky, E. Podgaits, S. Slonimsky, V. Nikolaev, O. Raeva, I. Raikhelson, A. Retinsky, A. Tchaikovsky, T. Shakhidi and Y. Sherling, as well as Russian premieres of works by J. Adams, L. van Beethoven – G. Mahler, J. Griese, V. Kissine, G. Kurtag, V. Silvestrov, O. Messiaen, R. Shchedrin, A. Scriabin – A. Nemtin, C. Orff, G. Gladkov, V. Tarnopolsky and K. Stockhausen; took part in the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition, the International Grand Piano Competition for young pianists, Chekhov International Theatre Festival and A. Sakharov International Art Festival; presented the annual cycle of Stories with Orchestra educational concerts eight times; visited the cities of Russia, Austria, Argentina, Brazil, Greece, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Peru, Uruguay, Chile, Germany, Spain, Romania, Turkey, China, Japan. Chamber evenings with the participation of soloists of the orchestra are also regularly held.
Since 2016, the State Orchestra has been implementing a special project to support professional composer creativity involving close cooperation of the ensemble with contemporary Russian authors. The first in the history composer in the orchestra residence was Alexander Vustin.
For outstanding creative achievements, the collective has been bearing the honorary title of “academic” since 1972; in 1986 it was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, in 2006, 2011 and 2017 it dignified the gratitude of the President of the Russian Federation. In 2021, the Orchestra was awarded the Gramophone prize for a CD album with a recording of D. Shostakovich's violin concertos (soloist - A. Ibragimova, conductor - V. Jurowski).