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