Yuli Turovsky

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Yuli Turovsky
Born(1939-07-07)7 July 1939
Died15 January 2013(2013-01-15) (aged 73)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Occupation(s)Conductor, cellist
Years active1969-2013

Yuli Turovsky OC CQ (7 June 1939 – 15 January 2013) was a Soviet-born Canadian cellist, conductor and music educator.[1][2][3] His name is mostly associated with the I Musici de Montréal Chamber Orchestra, which he founded in 1983 and led until his death 30 years later.

Soviet years[edit]

Turovsky was born in 1939 in Moscow in the Soviet Union (now Russia). He began playing the cello at the age of seven at the Moscow Central Music School.[3] He later attended the Moscow Conservatory from 1957 to 1969, studying with Galina Kozolupova,[4] among others.[3] In 1969 Turovsky obtained first prize at the Soviet-wide cello competition and second prize at the Prague Spring International Music Festival.[3] He also became the lead cello for the Moscow Chamber Orchestra which Rudolf Barshai had founded about fifteen years earlier and this association marked the beginning of Turovsky's recording career.[1][3] In parallel to his work as a performing cellist, Turovsky taught at the Central Music School and the Conservatory and conducted the chamber orchestra of a local school.[3] In 1976 he left Russia with his wife Eleonora (herself a professional violinist), his daughter Natasha and his father and settled in Montreal in 1977.[1]

Life in Montreal[edit]

In 1976 Turovsky and fellow Soviet emigrants Rostislav Dubinsky (violin) and Luba Edlina (piano) founded the Borodin Trio.[1]

Turovsky founded the I Musici de Montréal Chamber Orchestra in 1983. The orchestra originally consisted of music students from Montreal, many of whom were or had been students of Turovsky and his wife.[5] Under Turovsky's direction and with Eleonara as first violin, I Musici became one of the best known classical ensembles of Canada, toured extensively in Canada, in the United States and abroad and produced over thirty recordings.[1][2] Turovsky's health forced him to step down as the artistic director and conductor in 2011.[5]

Turovsky taught at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal from 1977 to 1985 and at the Université de Montréal from 1979 until the early 2010s as his health declined.[1][6] One of his last students, Stéphane Tétreault, is regarded as one of the top young talents in classical music in Canada.[6][7]

Turovsky was a Knight of the National Order of Quebec (2010) and an Officer of the Order of Canada (2012).[8][9] He received the 2012 lifetime achievement award from the Quebec Music Council (Prix Opus).[10]

Turovsky died in Montreal on 15 January 2013 from complications due to Parkinson's disease. He was 73. His wife Eleonora died in March 2012.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Kaptainis, Arthur (15 January 2013). "Turovsky founded I Musici de Montréal". The Gazette (Montreal). Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Montreal cellist Yuli Turovsky dies at 73". CBC News. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Turbide, Nadia. "Yuli Turovsky". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  4. ^ "Face Symphony Orchestra". Retrieved 21 January 2017.
  5. ^ a b "I Musici: Mandate and mission". Website of I Musici de Montréal. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Décès de l'interprète et pédagogue Yuli Turovsky (1939-2013)" (PDF) (in French). Université de Montréal. 15 January 2013. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  7. ^ "Les Révélations Radio-Canada 2011-2012" (in French). Radio Canada. 23 June 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Yuli Turovsky, Chevalier (2010)" (in French). National Order of Quebec. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Yuli Turovsky, O.C., C.Q." Order of Canada. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
  10. ^ Huss, Christophe (30 January 2012). "Hommage à Yuli Turovsky aux prix Opus" (in French). Le Devoir. Retrieved 16 January 2013.

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