Yuri Simonov was born in Saratov, studied in Leningrad with Rabinovich and
assisted Mravinsky at the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra. He made his
debut at the Leningrad Conservatoire conducting The Mermaid by Dargomizhsky.
In 1968 he was the first Russian conductor to win the Santa Cecilia
Conductors' Competition in Rome. He made his debut at the Bolshoi Opera
(Aida) in 1969 and was immediately appointed Chief Conductor (1970 - 85).
Highlights of this period included the re-introduction of Wagner to the
repertoire and several memorable tours which he led to Paris, Japan, Vienna,
New York, Milan and Washington. He also regularly conducted the Leningrad
and Moscow Philharmonic and USSR State Orchestra including foreign tours.
In 1982 he made his debut with a Western operatic company, conducting
Eugene Onegin at Covent Garden, and also made his British concert debut,
conducting London Symphony Orchestra. Since then, he has given numerous
further concerts with the LSO in London and on tour including a Tchaikovsky
cycle at the Barbican Hall. In October 1986, he opened the season at the
Royal Opera House conducting La Traviata. There followed debuts with the
Philharmonia with whom he also toured to Belgium, Hong Kong and Australia,
the Royal Philharmonic (in London and Paris), and London Philharmonic
Further debuts followed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Boston
Symphony, Los Angeles Opera (Don Carlo with Domingo), San Francisco Opera
(Khovanshchina), Florence Opera (with Salome), Genoa (Cosi fan Tutte), Paris
Opera Bastille (Pique Dame), Marseille Opera (La Forza del Destino), Hamburg
State Opera (Don Carlo), made concert tours all over Europe and to
Argentina, Mexico and Japan (NHK) and conducted further Wagner performances
(Tannhaeuser, Tristan und Isolde, Parsifal and Der Fliegende Hollaender) in
Budapest. Since 1994, he has been Musical Director of the Belgian National
Orchestra and is now Guest Conductor at the Hungarian State Opera. He has
recorded with the Bolshoi company for Melodia, for Collins Classics with the
London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic and the Philharmonia, the
Royal Philharmonic for Tring and with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra for
In 1996/97 he conducted the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic and Montreal
Symphony and led the first tour of the UK by the Belgian National Orchestra.
At the beginning of the 1997/8 season he reappeared with the St. Petersburg
Philharmonic and toured his own orchestra to Austria, Switzerland and
Germany. In 1998 he became Chief Conductor of the Moscow Philharmonic
Orchestra and Chief Guest Conductor of the Hungarian State Symphony
Orchestra in addition to his position with the Belgian National Orchestra.
In 1999/2000 he toured the USA with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and
undertook further international tours with the Belgian National Orchestra,
re-appeared in Japan with the NHK Symphony and Russia with the St.
Petersburg Philharmonic and performed the complete cycle of Wagner's The
Ring in Budapest. This season he has already completed his second tour of
the USA with the Moscow Philharmonic. In January 2002 he makes his debut
with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and plans further appearances with
the NHK Symphony later this season.
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