Mikhail Yurovsky grew up in a circle of famous musicians of the former USSR – such as David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich, Leonid Kogan, Emil Gilels, Aram Khachaturian. Dmitri Shostakovich was a close friend of the family. He not only often talked with Mikhail, but also played the piano in 4 hands with him. This experience had a great influence on the young musician in those years, and it is no coincidence that today Mikhail Yurovsky is one of the leading interpreters of Shostakovich’s music. In 2012, he was awarded the International Shostakovich Prize, presented by the Shostakovich Foundation in the German city of Gohrisch.
M. Yurovsky was educated at the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied conducting with Professor Leo Ginzburg and as a musicologist with Alexei Kandinsky. Even in his student years, he was an assistant to Gennady Rozhdestvensky in the Grand Symphony Orchestra of Radio and Television. In the 1970s and 1980s, Mikhail Yurovsky worked at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater and also regularly conducted performances at the Bolshoi Theatre. Since 1978 he has been a permanent guest conductor of the Berlin Komische Oper.
In 1989, Mikhail Yurovsky left the USSR and settled with his family in Berlin. He was offered the position of permanent conductor of the Dresden Semperoper, in which he carried out truly revolutionary innovations: it was M. Yurovsky who convinced the theater management to stage Italian and Russian operas in the original languages (before that, all productions were in German). During his six years at the Semperoper, the maestro conducted 40-50 performances a season. Subsequently, M. Yurovsky held prominent positions as artistic director and chief conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Northwest Germany, chief conductor of the Leipzig Opera, chief conductor of the West German Radio Orchestra in Cologne. From 2003 to the present he has been Principal Guest Conductor of the Tonkunstler Orchestra of Lower Austria. As a guest conductor, Mikhail Yurovsky collaborates with such well-known ensembles as the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin German Opera (Deutche Oper), the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Philharmonic Orchestras of Dresden, London, St. Petersburg, Oslo, Stuttgart, Warsaw, the Symphony Orchestra Stavanger (Norway), Norrköping (Sweden), Sao Paulo.
Among the most notable works of the maestro in the theater are The Death of the Gods in Dortmund, The Sleeping Beauty at the Norwegian Opera in Oslo, Eugene Onegin at the Teatro Lirico in Cagliari, as well as a new production of Respighi’s opera Maria Victoria ”and the resumption of Un ballo in maschera at the Berlin German Opera (Deutsche Oper). The public and critics highly appreciated the new productions of Prokofiev’s “Love for Three Oranges” at the Geneva Opera (Geneva Grand Theatre) with the Romanesque Switzerland Orchestra, as well as Glazunov’s “Raymonda” at La Scala with scenery and costumes reproducing the production of M .Petipa 1898 in St. Petersburg. And in the 2011/12 season, Mikhail Yurovsky made a triumphant return to the Russian stage in a production of Prokofiev’s opera The Fiery Angel at the Bolshoi Theatre.
In the 2012-2013 season, the conductor made a successful debut at the Opéra de Paris with Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina and returned to the Zurich Opera House with a new production of Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet. Symphony concerts next season include performances with the Philharmonic Orchestras of London, St. Petersburg and Warsaw. In addition to televised concerts and radio recordings in Stuttgart, Cologne, Dresden, Oslo, Norrkoping, Hannover and Berlin, Mikhail Yurovsky has an extensive discography, including film music, the opera The Players and the complete collection of Shostakovich’s vocal and symphonic works; “The Night Before Christmas” by Rimsky-Korsakov; orchestral works by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Reznichek, Meyerbeer, Lehar, Kalman, Rangstrem, Petterson-Berger, Grieg, Svendsen, Kancheli and many other classics and contemporaries. In 1992 and 1996, Mikhail Yurovsky received the German Music Critics’ Prize for Sound Recording, and in 2001 was nominated for a Grammy Award for a CD recording of Rimsky-Korsakov’s orchestral music with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra.