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

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] In 2015 he was assigned by Teatro La Fenice the price 'A life for music', unofficially known as the 'Nobel Prize' for musicians.[5]

Honours and awards


Temirkanov has drawn attention for saying that women are essentially weak and thus not well suited to be classical conductors.[6]


  1. "Yuri Temirkanov Named Music Director Of Teatro Regio di Parma". Opera Chic. 13 June 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Yuri Temirkanov CONDUCTOR". Retrieved 29 January 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Yuri TEMIRKANOV". Saint-Petersburg Philharmonia. 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Yuri Temirkanov Music Director Emeritus, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra". Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Russian conductor wins 'Nobel Prize' for musicians". Russia Beyond the Headlines. 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Women, Gays and Classical Music". The New Yorker. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Evgeny Mravinsky
Music Director, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic
Succeeded by