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He was born in Leningrad. He studied piano and conducting at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, and had later conducting studies with Yevgeny Mravinsky. He made his Moscow debut in association with the pianist Emil Gilels, and often worked with Gilels thereafter.
He has been chief conductor of the Voronezh Philharmonic Orchestra since 1972, and regularly conducts other major Russian orchestras. From 1982 to 1984 he was the chief conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic.
He has undertaken many international tours. He first came to Australia in 1986 with the USSR State Symphony Orchestra, after which he was invited to conduct the State Orchestra of Victoria. He has worked in Australia every year since then. He was appointed guest conductor of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in 1987, principal guest conductor in 1992, and conductor laureate in 1997.
In addition to Gilels, Verbitsky has worked with soloists such as Vladimir Spivakov, Gidon Kremer, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Oleg Kagan, Natalia Gutman, Viktor Tretiakov, Igor Oistrakh, Paul Badura-Skoda, and Frank Peter Zimmermann.
He has recorded widely, with orchestras such as the USSR State Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Voronezh Philharmonic, Slovak Philharmonic, Saarbrücken Radio Orchestra, and many Australian orchestras.
- "West Australian Symphony Orchestra conductor laureate Vladimir Verbitsky becomes Australian citizen". Chris Evans. 12 June 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2010.