Yuri Simonov is represented by Rayfield Allied worldwide.

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Yuri Simonov

Conductor

  • The renowned conductor Yuri Simonov gave a masterclass with his baton...the St. Petersburg Orchestra displayed all of it’s splendour...(and) obtained the sell-out public’s ovation.
    Diana Díaz, La Nueva Espana
  • Yuri Simonov was born in Saratov, USSR, into a family of opera singers. He studied at Leningrad Conservatoire with Nikolai Rabinovich and was Evgeny Mravinsky’s assistant at the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra.

    In 1968 Yuri Simonov was the first Russian conductor to win a Western conducting competition triumphing at the Santa Cecilia Competition in Rome. After making his Bolshoi Opera debut in 1969 with Aida, the company appointed him Chief Conductor. Highlights from this period included several memorable tours which he led to Paris, Japan, Vienna, New York, Milan and Washington.

    In 1982 he made his British debuts, at the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, conducting Eugene Onegin, and with the London Symphony Orchestra. Since then he has conducted all the leading British orchestras. In 1986 he opened the Royal Opera’s season at Covent Garden with Verdi’s La Traviata.

    Yuri Simonov made his American concert debut with the Boston Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras in 1989. The following year he made his American operatic debut in Los Angeles (Verdi’s Don Carlos) followed by Mussorgsky’s Khovanschina for San Francisco Opera. He conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra both in Boston and at the Tanglewood Festival in 1998. His debut with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra was in 1997.

    During the last two decades Mo. Simonov has also continued his long-lasting contact with Budapest Opera, conducting a Wagner opera every year, including the complete Ring cycle.

    From 1994 to 2002 Yuri Simonov was the Music Director of the Belgian National Orchestra. Since 1998 he has been the Chief Conductor of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he tours extensively all over the world, and since 2001 he has been the Musical Director of the Liszt-Wagner Orchestra in Budapest.

    • Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg: Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov & Weber
      (November 2010)

      Am 10. November segelte eine große Fregatte namens OPS (Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg) bei gutem Wind über sicheres Gewässer. Der Kapitän, Yuri Simonov, hielt das Steuerruder fest in seiner eleganten Hand und ließ kein Schwanken oder gar ein Abgleiten vom Kurs aufkommen. Die umschifften Inseln namens Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov, Carl Maria von Weber und Alexander Glazounov präsentierten sich von ihrer schönsten Seite. Dass man ein klassisches Konzert mit einer seemännischen Metapher zusammenfassen kann zeigt vor allem eines: Die schier unendliche Farbigkeit der gespielten Stücke, in welchen sich wie an einer Perlenschnur eine Melodie an die nächste reihte. Zu Beginn erklang Rimski-Korsakovs Suite aus der Oper “Das Märchen vom Zaren Saltan”, das mit zauberhaften, einfachen, ins Ohr gehenden Themen und knapp aufeinander folgenden musikalischen Gegensätzen so voll bestückt ist. Das Märchen, in welchem das arme Bauernmädchen Militrissa vom Zaren geschwängert und dennoch verstoßen wird, allerlei Abenteuer und Gefahren erleiden muss, um erst zu Ende des Stückes errettet zu werden, wurde vom Komponisten in dieser Suite meisterhaft zusammengefasst. Der russische Dirigent, Yuri Simonov, der kurzfristig für Neeme Järvi einsprang und dieses Stück anstelle des vorgesehenen von Eduard Tubin auswählte, dirigierte mit Verve, Kennerschaft und Eleganz das schillernde Werk. Ob Lyrismen, große Spannungsböden, wie im zweiten Satz oder wahre Dramatik, welche die Streicher zu einem Toben und Brausen verleitete sodass man meinte, sie – oder besser gesagt die Segelfregatte – müsste sich sogleich in die Lüfte erheben – alles wurde vom Orchester einfühlsam interpretiert. Dass man den Hummelflug, der auch als Solobearbeitung für Violine und Cello gerne gespielt wird, etwas anders hören konnte als man es gewöhnt ist, vor allem weil Simonov die Streicher fast adäquat vom Rest des Klangkörpers begleiten ließ, kann man als erweiterte Hörerfahrung bezeichnen. …Alexander Glazounov, der mit seiner 5. Symphonie am Schluss des Abends vertreten war, reihte sich von der Thematik wunderbar in die zuvor erklungenen Stücke ein. Große Dramatik steht in diesem Konzert neben schwebender Leichtigkeit, ein musikalisch hübscher Einfall kommt nach dem anderen daher und wohl klingende Melodien fungieren als erholsame Verbindungsstücke. Der letzte Satz, der viel stärker als die vorhergegangen zeigt, dass Glazounov noch 36 Jahre im 21. Jahrhundert lebte, ersetzt, wenn man müde ist, jede noch so starke Tasse Espresso. Die Nervosität, die sich in den Streichern zeigt und die starken Bläser- und Paukeneinsätze, sowie das immense Auf- und Abwallen, welches das gesamten Klangapparat erfasst, lässt auch zu später Stunde noch keine Müdigkeit aufkommen. Eine wunderbare Konzertzusammenstellung, ein herausragender Solist, ein flexibles Orchester und eine gediegene Führung nach alter Schule – das ist jener Wind, mit dem das OPS zur Freude des Publikums an diesem Abend in sicherem, aber glitzerndem Gewässer segelte.
      European Cultural News
      La direction généreuse de ce chef expérimenté - assistant de Mvarinski en son temps - surprend visuellement mais opère avec clarté. Dans un passage plus mystérieux, les ondoyantes arabesques des violoncelles dessinent des chromatismes descendants; l'écriture, proche de Tchaïkovski, voit fusionner les pupitres avec bonheur. Un choral cuivré laisse place à un final plus sucré, où le geste se fait plus sobre avant l'ultime rush - l'orchestre recueille une belle ovation. La direction généreuse de ce chef expérimenté - assistant de Mvarinski en son temps - surprend visuellement mais opère avec clarté. Dans un passage plus mystérieux, les ondoyantes arabesques des violoncelles dessinent des chromatismes descendants; l'écriture, proche de Tchaïkovski, voit fusionner les pupitres avec bonheur. Un choral cuivré laisse place à un final plus sucré, où le geste se fait plus sobre avant l'ultime rush - l'orchestre recueille une belle ovation.
      Dernieres nouvelles d’Alsace
    • Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra / Freddy Kempf (piano): Cadogan Hall, London
      (October 2008)

      Apart from a recent CD re–issue of a live performance (8 April 1944) of his Piano Concerto by William Kappell (conducted by Eugene Ormandy, Music and Arts CD-1109) I haven’t heard a note of Khachaturian’s music in over 25 years – indeed, not since I wrote a sleeve note for an LP of his orchestral Suites. I wasn’t over impressed with what I heard then and I was more than slightly miffed at the prospect of having to sit through a three movement Suite of music from his ballet Spartacus. I am very happy to report that I thoroughly enjoyed this music, it’s vibrant, colourful, passionate – the famous Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia – and full of good tunes and great orchestrations! It made a sparkling overture to a very exciting evening of great music making. Freddy Kempf made a wonderful job of the demanding 3rd Concerto of Prokofiev….Throughout, Kempf and Simonov gave such commitment to the work that it proved to be a revelation to one as saturated with music as me! Marvellous stuff! After the interval, full of angst, paranoia and not a little self doubt and a belief in kismet, Simonov and the orchestra delivered a monumental account of Tchaikovsky’s troubled 4th Symphony. The opening horn calls immediately knocked us back into our seats and the disturbed first movement – even the, supposed, gentler second theme was overlaid with a sense of foreboding – was filled with worry and an almost unbearable tension. The second movement, with its glorious oboe solo, felt less than comfortable – there was always something there in the background which you couldn’t quite get hold of, and it disquieted you. The scherzo was taken at a more deliberate tempo than is usual but this allowed Simonov to really point the differences between the three elements of the music; the pizzicato strings, the fairground woodwind and the brass march. The playful mood was broken by the carnival music of the finale but, even here, Simonov knew that tensions were mounting and when the huge repeat of the motto, fate, theme broke through the festive mood it was devastating in its power and fury. What a fine orchestra the Moscow Philharmonic is! And what a predominantly young orchestra too. Over the past ten years or so, the Russian orchestras have lost some of their, what we always thought of as, essential Russian sound, especially the wobbly horns! They now sound much more Western than before but this hasn’t tempered their enthusiasm for their music making! The orchestra displayed a full and rich sound – wonderful warm string tone, singing woodwinds, forceful and ringing brass and rampant percussion (when necessary). Simonov directed performances of the highest distinction. The full house was more than well pleased but, like Oliver Twist, we wanted more and the strings gave a beautiful and restrained performance of the Nocturne from Borodin’s 2nd Quartet. We were even more pleased and wanted even more but Simonov had to check his pocket watch before launching into a swaggering account of the Waltz from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty and the full band delighted us and sent us home happy and most satisfied. This was a concert which will live long in the memory and is a superb start to this season’s Zurich International Concert Series at the Cadogan Hall.
      musicweb-international.com
    • St Petersburg Philharmonic: The Sage, Gateshead
      (October 2008)

      The St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra treated a sell-out audience at The Sage Gateshead to magnificent performances of works by musical giants from their homeland and that of their hosts. Yuri Simonov, who had to take up the baton at short notice from Yuri Termikanov, opened with Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro for Strings. It was an assured reading, with the strings producing a lush resonance that brought out the full splendour of the work... The evening was rounded off with a stunning performance of...Elgar's Variations on an Original Theme Enigma. Simonov displayed an innate grasp of the underlying wit of the piece, which was written as a series of musical portraits of his close acquaintances. From the flowing opening of the Enigma the audience was swept away. One highlight, among many, was the Nimrod Adagio. The orchestra conveyed the solemn nobility of this cornerstone of the work with heartfelt warmth. The applause was rapturous and the audience was treated to an encore in the shape of the third movement of Prokofiev’s Symphony No 1.
      Northern Echo
      Conductor Yuri Simonov shaped and moulded an immaculate interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s Fantasy Overture: Romeo and Juliet... As an encore, Simonov [gave us]...a rendition of Nimrod from Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Here’s looking forward to an early return visit.
      Northern Echo
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