St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra
The orchestra was established in 1967. Its first leaders were outstanding masters of the Leningrad conducting school: Nikolai Rabinovich, Karl Eliasberg, and Edward Grikurov. The well-considered repertoire policy of performing seldom-played opuses of different musical styles and nations, and eager attention to music of living composers also defined the orchestra’s name: from the day of its origination and until 1985 it was called “Orchestra of Ancient and Modern Music.” The brightest moments for the ensemble of that period are related to the name of conductor Edward Serov who headed the orchestra for 15 years. It was under his baton that the “Orchestra of Ancient and Modern Music” traveled to hundreds of cities of the Soviet Union and many countries of the world with its concerts, recorded dozens of LPs for the Soviet Melodia label, participated in the most prestigious festivals, and firmly ranked as Leningrad’s third after the two famous philharmonic orchestras. Renowned soloists and conductors such as Yuri Temirkanov, Maris Jansons, Svyatoslav Richter, Natalia Gutman, Elena Obraztsova, Grigory Sokolov, and many others performed with the orchestra in those days.
In 1985, the minor symphony list of the orchestra extended to a full symphony scale. Considering the important role played by the ensemble in Leningrad’s artistic life, it was given the rank of Leningrad State Orchestra. From that same year till 2004, talented musician Ravil Martynov was the orchestra’s chief conductor. Under his leadership, the active touring activity of the orchestra began in its post-Soviet Russian period. Since 1990, the orchestra has been successfully touring in China, Japan, Germany, Austria, Mexico, Spain, Finland, Norway, Sweden, France, and Belgium.
In 1988, the orchestra started its performances in the Mirror Hall of the famous Princes Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace in the very heart of St. Petersburg, soon regaining the status of one of the city’s best concert venues to the hall.
In 2007, Alexander Titov, one of the most known Russian conductors of our days, became the orchestra’s artistic director and chief conductor.
The orchestra’s repertoire is really limitless, being a kind of its “visiting card”. They perform music of every epoch, genre, and style, with many premiere performances of opuses by today’s composers. For efficient creative activity and excellent professionalism, and for promotion of Russian art abroad, the orchestra was given the honorary title of “Academic”, which is only awarded in Russia to select musical collectives.
In 2008, the St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Alexander Titov launched a series of CD recordings of works by outstanding Russian composers created during the Great Patriotic war of 1941-1945. The first releases of the giant “Wartime Music” archive – opuses of G. Popov and N. Myaskovsky, V. Scherbachev and M. Weinberg, D. Shostakovich and S. Prokofiev, A. Mossolov and L. Knipper, Y. Kochurov and L. Polovinkin, O. Yevlakhov and R. Gliere had a noticeable impact on the professional music community and excited response from music lovers.