Yuri Temirkanov became the artistic director and chief conductor of St.-Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra in 1988. Looking back into the musician’s professional biography until this moment, one can say that one of the key events was his victory at the 2nd National Contest of Conductors in 1966. Thereafter Temirkanov, the graduate student at the Musical Conducting Department of Leningrad Conservatory (class of Professor Ilia Musin), had overnight entered the number of the most demanded conductors of his generation. Together with Kirill Kondrashin and David Oistrakh he goes on tour abroad, he is invited by orchestras from the US, France and Germany. In early 1967 Temirkanov performs in the Philharmonic Hall and after this performance Evgeny Mravinsky offered him the position of assistant conductor. From 1968 the maestro is head of the Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Philharmonia. He widens the orchestra’s repertoire and often goes on tour of Europe, Japan and the US.
In 1976 Temirkanov becomes the artistic director and chief conductor of Kirov (Mariinsky) Theatre. Here he created classical productions of Eugene Onegin and Queen of Spades by Tchaikovsky as well as modern «War and Peace» by Prokofiev and recent Peter I by Petrov and Dead Souls by Shchedrin. At this time Kirov also started actively performing abroad. The theatre goes on tour to the US, Japan, many countries of Europe including England – for the first time in history. Temirkanov starts organizing symphony concerts by the theatre orchestra both in Russia and abroad.
At the same time the maestro starts active collaboration with world famous orchestras. In 1978 Temirkanov starts working with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and in 1992 he becomes its chief conductor. From 1992 until 1997 he also acts as principal guest conductor of Dresden Philharmonic orchestra. In 1998 he moves from RPO to Symphony Orchestra of the Danish Radio, where he still acts as the principal guest conductor. For 6 seasons (in 2000 -2006) Temirkanov was the chief conductor of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and from 2007-2008 he is the principal guest conductor of Bolshoi Theatre. Starting from the 1st of January 2009 Maestro Yuri Temirkanov is appointed the musical director of the Parma Royal Theatre (Teatro Regio di Parma, Italy).
But the main focus of his career for almost 20 years has been the St.-Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. The Maestro regularly performs in St.-Petersburg including traditional opening and closing concerts of the season. He also goes on tours including the concerts at the official ceremony of the UN General Assembly in Carnegie Hall in 2005 in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Victory day. Under the direction of Temirkanov, St.-Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra became the first Russian orchestra to perform at the opening concert of the season in this famous New York concert hall.
Temirkanov’s activities have been recognized by numerous awards and titles. Yuri Temirkanov holds the title of the People’s Artist of the USSR, he has received several State Awards and Orders (including the Order of Merit of the 2nd grade). The year of his 65th anniversary brought to Temirkanov the President of Russia award and the Abbiati award, The Best Conductor of the Year (2003). In 2007 the maestro was elected Honorary Academic of Santa Cecilia Academy and was awarded the St.-Petersburg Government Award, and in the same year he became the only russian musician who has got the Abbiati award twice (The Best Conductor of the Year, 2007).
With all the intensity of the concert schedule, his life is not limited to just the theater scene. For preservation and nurturing of St. Petersburg spiritual cultural inheritance, there has been created the International foundation of cultural initiatives by maestro Temirkanov. In 1998 the conductor has established his award for young talented musicians, granted on yearly basis to the students of Musical school-lyceum of St. Petersburg conservatory. The decoration of St. Petersburg artistic life became the New Year’s balls of maestro Temirkanov, given annually in the course of «Arts Square» festival. In Yusupov palace, which acquired the fame of the «encyclopedia» of St. Petersburg aristocratic interior, the guests are greeted by musician’s hearty welcome, whose personal charm rivals his conductor’s talent.