Yuri Temirkanov

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Russian orchestra conductor Yuri Temirkanov
Russian orchestra conductor Yuri Temirkanov with President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart, Jacques Chirac, outside the St Petersburg Philharmonic

Yuri Khatuevich Temirkanov (Russian: Ю́рий Хату́евич Темирка́нов; Kabardian: Темыркъан Юрий; born December 10, 1938) is a Russian conductor[1] of Circassian (Kabardian) origin.

Yuri Temirkanov has been the Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic since 1988.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Born in 1938 in the Caucasus city of Nalchik, Temirkanov began his musical studies at the age of nine. When he was thirteen, he attended the Leningrad School for Talented Children where he continued his studies in violin and viola. Upon graduation from the Leningrad School, he attended the Leningrad Conservatory where he completed his studies in viola. He returned to the Conservatory to study conducting with Ilya Musin and graduated in 1965.


After winning the prestigious All-Soviet National Conducting Competition in 1966, Mr. Temirkanov was invited by Kirill Kondrashin to tour Europe and the United States with legendary violinist David Oistrakh and the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. Yuri Temirkanov made his debut with the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra in early 1967 and was then invited to join the Orchestra as Assistant Conductor to Yevgeny Mravinsky. In 1968, he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra where he remained until his appointment as Music Director of the Kirov Opera and Ballet in 1976.

Maestro Temirkanov is a frequent guest conductor of the leading orchestras of Europe, Asia and the United States. He holds the distinction of being the first Soviet artist permitted to perform in the United States after cultural relations were resumed with the Soviet Union at the end of the war in Afghanistan in 1988.

In addition to leading the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, Maestro Temirkanov served as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's 11th Music Director from 2000 until 2006 and is currently the Principal Guest Conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Laureate of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.[4]

Honours and awards[edit]

This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Russian Wikipedia.
  • Order of Merit for the Fatherland;
    • 1st class (9 December 2008) - for outstanding contributions to the development of domestic and world music, many years of creative activity
    • 2nd class (10 December 2003) - for outstanding contribution to music
    • 3rd class (1998)
    • 4th class (10 December 2013)
  • Order of Lenin (1983)
  • Order of Saints Cyril and Methodius (Bulgaria, 1998)
  • People's Artist of the USSR (1981)
  • People's Artist of the RSFSR (1976)
  • People's Artist of Kabardino-Balkar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (1973)
  • State Prize of the Russian Federation in Literature and Art in 1998 (4 June 1999) - for concert programs 1995-1998 Academic Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Society named after Shostakovich
  • Russian Federation President Prize in Literature and Art in 2002 (13 February 2003)
  • USSR State Prizes;
    • 1976 - for conducting opera "Peter the First" by A. Petrov
    • 1985 - for conducting and staging opera "Eugene Onegin" by Tchaikovsky on stage LATOB Kirov
  • Glinka State Prize of the RSFSR (1971) - for the years 1968-1970 concert programs
  • Award "Triumph" (2003)
  • Tsarskoselskaya Art Prize (2002)
  • Order of Science and Culture, "Catherine the Great" (2002)
  • Honorary citizen of St. Petersburg (2009)
  • Abbiati Prize "Best Conductor of the Year" (2003, 2007)
  • Badge of Honour "For Services to the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria" (2008)
  • Order "For Service to the St. Petersburg" (2008)
  • DaCapo KlassiK Award "Conductor of the Year" (2013)
  • The 6432 Temirkanov asteroid was named after the conductor (1975)


Temirkanov has drawn attention for remarks suggesting that women are not well suited to be classical conductors.[5]


  1. ^ "Yuri Temirkanov Named Music Director Of Teatro Regio di Parma". Opera Chic. 13 June 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "Yuri Temirkanov CONDUCTOR". Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "Yuri TEMIRKANOV". Saint-Petersburg Philharmonia. 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  4. ^ "Yuri Temirkanov Music Director Emeritus, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra". Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2010. 
  5. ^ "Women, Gays and Classical Music". Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Evgeny Mravinsky
Music Director, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic
Succeeded by