Remembering Yuri Temirkanov

Yuri Temirkanov, the renowned Russian conductor, passed away last Thursday, November 2, in St. Petersburg. He was 84.

From the time of his appointment as artistic director in 1988, Temirkanov was credited with restoring the brilliance of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Between 2000 and 2006, he served as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Additional titles included principal guest conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and conductor laureate of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Temirkanov was known for his sweeping interpretations of the Russian repertoire, including the works of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich. In his November 2 Washington Post remembrance, Tim Page wrote, ”

Like past masters such as Leopold Stokowski and Pierre Boulez, Mr. Temirkanov never used a baton, believing that he could lead more precisely without one. He was never much for podium glamour, preferring the role of master facilitator working among colleagues, letting the musicians play within a controlled but unfettered framework.

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Op. 71, Pas de deux 

This brisk, but full-bodied concert performance from 2014 features Yuri Temirkanov and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic:

Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances, Op. 45

Temirkanov’s excellent studio recording of Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic was released in 1994. In a previous post, I offered this recording, along with a brief guide to this exuberant, valedictory work.

Prokofiev: Cinderella, Op. 87, Amoroso

This excerpt from Prokofiev’s lush ballet score comes from a 2015 concert, performed by the St. Petersburg Philharmonic:

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13, Op. 113 “Babi Yar”

Recorded live in 1983, this searing performance features Temirkanov with Georgy Seleznev and the USSR State Symphony Orchestra:


  • Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances, Op. 45m Yuri Temirkanov, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra Amazon
  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13, Op. 113, “Babi Yar,” Yuri Temirkanov, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra Amazon

Featured Image: photograph by Hiroyuki Ito

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

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