Since 1988 Yuri Temirkanov has been the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he regularly undertakes major international tours and recordings.
Born in the Caucasus city of Nal’chik, At the age of thirteen, he attended the Leningrad School for Talented Children where he studied violin and viola. Upon graduation, he attended the Leningrad Conservatory where he completed his studies in viola and later returned to study conducting, graduating in 1965. After winning the prestigious All-Soviet National Conducting Competition in 1966, Yuri 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 St Petersburg 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 (now the Mariinsky Theatre) in 1976. He remained in this position until 1988 and his productions of »Eugene Onegin« and »Queen of Spades« have become legendary in the theatre’s history.
Maestro Temirkanov has appeared with leading European orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome and La Scala, Milan and others.
After making his London debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1977, he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor, and then in 1992 named Principal Conductor, a position he held until 1998. A regular visitor to the USA, he conducts the major orchestras of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. He was the Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra from 2000 till 2006, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre until 2009.