Acclaimed International Conductor and foremost Circassian musician on the world stage
Yuri Temirkanov was born in 1938, near the capital city of Nalchik, the Kabardino Balkarian Republic, in the north Caucasus. At the age of 15 years he went to Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) where he enrolled at the Leningrad Conservatory's Secondary School of music. His passion at that time was the violin, which he studied during his early school years. Later he enrolled in the Orchestral Department of the same Conservatory and continued his musical studies, graduating from it with a post graduate degree in conducting.
He won his first prize at age 28, at the All-Union Conductors Competition in Moscow. This was followed by a tour of America with K. Kodrashin, David Oistrakh and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. His rising talents as a sensitive conductor in 1966 landed him the appointment at the Maly Opera and Ballet Theatre in Leningrad where he worked on such operas as "La Traviata" (1966), "Elixir of Love" (1968) and the Russian production of "Porgy & Bess" (1972).
He became Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra in 1968 and continued this work until 1976 when he moved to the Kirov Opera Ballet Theatre as its Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. Here he staged such famous works as "Eugene Onegin" (1982) and the "Queen of Spades" (1984). With the Kirov Opera he toured many European centers and several cities in the United States. Temirkanov was to become known as the first conductor ever to play symphonic concerts with the orchestra of the Kirov Theatre.
In 1978 Temirkanov began his long association, as a guest conductor, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London. In 1988, Temirkanov was given the prestigious post of Conductor and Music Director of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1997 he was chosen as the Guest Conductor of the Danish Radio Orchestra in Copenhagen. In the year 2000, Temirkanov became the Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (USA).
Yuri Temirkanov became a popular conductor around the world with his outstanding performances with many of the world's great orchestras. He has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, Concertgebouw, the Cleveland Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Symphony. He has an exclusive recording contract with BMG and has recorded extensively with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
Temirkanov regularly gives master classes at the Curtis Institute (Philadelphia) and at the Manhattan School of Music (New York). In 1990 he recorded a special Concert with the Columbia Artists of the Gala Concert in St. Petersburg of the 150th anniversary of the birth of P.I. Tchaikovsky. In 1996 Temirkanov was chosen to conduct the Gala Concert of the United Nations in Rome, celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Honors and Commendations
1st prize at the 2nd All-Union Conductors Competition in Moscow (1966)
State prize of the Russian Federation, named after M.I.Glinka, for concert programs 1968-1970 (1971)
Honoured artist of Russian Federation (1971)
Honoured artist of Kabardino-Balkaria (1973)
People's artist of Russian Federation (1976)
State prize of the USSR for the production of the opera "Peter the Great" by A.Petrov (1976)
People's artist of USSR (1981)
The Order of Lenin (1983)
State prize of the USSR for the production of "Eugene Onegin" (1985)
Nominations for Grammy Awards for his recordings of "Alexander Nevsky" by S.Prokofiev (1996) and Schostakovich's Symphony
Order of Kirill and Mefody (Bulgaria, 1998)
Honorary member of the International Academy of the Sciences, Industry, Education and Art (USA, 1998)
Order "For Merit for the Country" of III degree (1998)
State prize of the Russia (1999)
Order of the Science and Culture "Catherine the Great" (2002)
Prize of the President of the Russian Federation (2003)
Honorary doctor of the St.Petersburg University of Humanities and Social Sciences (2003)
Honorary doctor of the St.Petersburg state Conservatoire named after N.A.Rimsky-Korsakov (2003)
Order "For Merit for the Country" of II degree (2003)
"Triumph" Prize (2003)
"Phenomenal is a word rarely applied to conductors but in the case of Yuri Temirkanov it has to be used".
"Yuri Temirkanov is amazing not only by his highest emotional tension and originality of interpretations, but also by great power of his personal influence over musicians. He has very bright graphical expressiveness of conductor's technique, and audience can get a possibility of visual percept of the harmonious orchestra's playing under his conductor's baton".
New York Times
Yuri Temirkanov conducts the Leningrad Philarmonic
and The Leningrad Military Orchestras / Tchaikovsky 1812
Overture, part 1