Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Honored Collective of Russia The Academic Symphony Orchestra of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in Russia. Honored team of the RSFSR (1934). Founded in 1882 in St. Petersburg as the Court Musical Choir (see Court Orchestra); since 1917 the State Symphony Orchestra (headed by S. A. Koussevitzky). In 1921, with the creation of the Petrograd (Leningrad) Philharmonic, he became a member of it and became the main team of this concert organization. In 1921-23, E. A. Cooper (at the same time director of the Philharmonic) supervised its work.
The first philharmonic concert took place on June 12, 1921 (the program includes works by P. I. Tchaikovsky: 6th symphony, violin concerto, symphonic fantasy “Francesca da Rimini”). The chief conductors of the orchestra are V. V. Berdyaev (1924-26), N. A. Malko (1926-29), A. V. Gauk (1930-34), F. Stidri (1934-37).
From 1938 to 1988, the Leningrad Academic Symphony Orchestra was headed by E. A. Mravinsky, whose activities are associated with the artistic growth of the orchestra, which has become a first-class symphony ensemble of world significance. In 1941-60, the conductor K. Sanderling worked together with Mravinsky, and from 1956 A.K. Jansons was the second conductor. After the death of Yevgeny Mravinsky in 1988, Yuri Temirkanov was elected chief conductor.
The strictness of the performance style, which is alien to any external effects, the harmony and multi-timbre sounding of individual orchestral groups, the virtuoso ensemble teamwork distinguish the orchestra’s playing. The repertoire includes Russian and Western European classics and contemporary music. A special place is occupied by the works of L. Beethoven, P. I. Tchaikovsky, D. D. Shostakovich.
The largest domestic performers – S. T. Richter, E. G. Gilels, D. F. Oistrakh, L. B. Kogan and many others, prominent foreign conductors – G. Abendroth, O. Klemperer, B. Walter, X. Knappertsbusch and others, pianist A. Schnabel, violinist I. Szigeti and others.
The orchestra has repeatedly toured cities in Russia and abroad (Austria, Great Britain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, USA, Finland, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland , Sweden, Yugoslavia, Japan).