Conductor Yuri Temirkanov, Authority on Russian Masters, Dies at 84

Yuri Temirkanov

Yuri Temirkanov, a world-famous Russian conductor and artistic director for the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, died Thursday, according to a report by the Tass news agency. He was 84.

Temirkanov made frequent guest appearances with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and had served as its honorary conductor since 2015.

He honed his art at the Leningrad Conservatory (now the St. Petersburg Conservatory) and served as chief conductor, respectively, for what are now the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and the Mariinsky Theatre. He was often invited to conduct orchestras in the West and was known as an authority on Russian music, such as Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich.

Temirkanov conducted the Yomiuri orchestra for the first time in 2000 as a guest conductor. He also contributed to friendly exchanges between Japan and Russia. For example, he donated part of the proceeds from his performances abroad to help victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. He was also close with internationally renowned Japanese violinist Sayaka Shoji. In fall of 2019, he conducted the Yomiuri orchestra in what would be his last visit to Japan.