[Artist's picture]

Yuri Simonov, conductor

Yuri Simonov was born in Saratov, USSR into a family of opera singers. At the age of 12, he has made his conducting debut with his school's orchestra performing Symphony No. 40 in g minor by Mozart. He studied at the Leningrad Conservatory of Music with Rabinovich and was Mravinsky's assistant at the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Simonov was the first Russian conductor to win the Santa Cecilia Conductors Competition in Rome. In 1969, he was invited to conduct Verdi's Aida at the Bolshoi Theater of Opera and Ballet. He was soon appointed to the post of Principal Conductor making him the youngest person in history of the Bolshoi Theater to hold the post. He has held the position until 1985. During the years, he has reintroduced Wagner into the repertoire of the Bolshoi after a forty-year absence. He took the Company on tour to Paris, Vienna, New York, Milan, Washington, and Japan.

In 1979 Mr. Simonov founded the Bolshoi Theater Chamber Orchestra and toured with them throughout the USSR and abroad. In 1982, he has made his debut at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden conducting a production of Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin". He has made his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra that same year. Since that time Mr. Simonov has been invited to conduct the London Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, and the Philharmonia. In 1986, he opened the season at the Covent Garden with Verdi's "La Traviata".

In 1985 Mr. Simonov founded the Maly State Symphony Orchestra in Moscow and took the orchestra on tour to Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Poland. In 1990, Mr. Simonov made his American debut conducting Verdi's "Don Carlos" in Los Angeles with Placido Domingo and Mussorgsky's "Khovanshchina" in San Francisco with Nikolai Giaurov.

Mr. Simonov was invited to perform as a guest conductor with such orchestras as the Belgian National Orchestra, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Berliner Simfoniker, the Orchestra of the German Opera in Berlin, the Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale in Bologna, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and NHK Symphony in Japan. He was invited to conduct operas at opera houses in Florence, Genoa, Hamburg, Dallas, Paris, and Marseilles.

Mr. Simonov also carries a long-term contract with the Budapest Opera in Hungary staging one of Wagner's operas every year. He is also a Principal Guest conductor of the Buenos Aires Philharmonic.

From 1978 to 1991, Mr. Simonov taught conducting at the Moscow Conservatory taking over the position previously held by Kirill Kondrashin.

S022584CD - Winter Daydreams
S022590CD - Shostakovish/Prokofiev Piano Concertos
S022592CD - Bolshoi Theater Chamber Orchestra in concert

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