Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra
Artistic Director: Vladimir Fedoseyev
The Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra (originally the Grand Symphony Orchestra of All-Union Radio and Central Television) was founded in 1930 as the first symphony orchestra of the Soviet Union. It has repeatedly proved its right to be one of the world’s best orchestras — the right won by its history, meticulous work behind microphones and busy concert schedule.
The high reputation the orchestra established across the world is a result of fruitful cooperation with remarkable Russian conductors Alexander Orlov, Nikolai Golovanov, Alexander Gauk and Gennady Rozhdestvensky. Nikolai Myaskovsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Aram Khachaturian, Georgy Sviridov, Dmitri Shostakovich and Boris Tchaikovsky trusted the premieres of their works to the orchestra’s care. Vladimir Fedoseyev has been an unchallenged artistic director and chief conductor of the orchestra since 1974.
The orchestra’s chronicle can boast the names of conductors Leopold Stokovsky, Hermann Abendroth, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Evgeny Mravinsky and Carlo Zecchi, soloists of the past Sviatoslav Richter, David Oistrakh, Antonina Nezhdanova, Sergei Lemeshev, Irina Arkhipova, Luciano Pavarotti and Nicolai Ghiaurov, and contemporary performers Viktor Tretiakov, Pinchas Zukerman, Yuri Bashmet, Oleg Maisenberg, Elisabeth Leonskaja and Alexander Knyazev. Vladimir Fedoseyev and TSO introduced Evgeny Kissin, Maxim Vengerov and Vadim Repin to the world. Today, the orchestra continues to collaborate with the best soloists from different countries.
In 1993, the orchestra was named after the great Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky for the genuine and deep interpretations of his works.
Recordings of the orchestra’s immense repertoire spanning from Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Brahms and Mahler to contemporary music have been released on Sony, Pony Canyon, JVC, Philips, Relief, Warner Classics & Jazz and Melodiya.
The list of countries where the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra has performed reflects almost the entire map of the world. However, the performances in the cities of Russia remain the most important area of TSO’s activities — Smolensk, Volgograd, Cherepovets, Magnitogorsk, Chelyabinsk, Sarov, Perm, Veliky Novgorod, Tyumen, Ekaterinburg, Stavropol, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Voronezh, Lipetsk, Tula, Zaraisk and Klin to name but a few. The orchestra’s repertoire includes monographic cycles, projects for children, charity events and concerts combining music with declamation. Along with performances at the world’s best known venues, TSO continues its outreach activities hosting recitals at the Tretyakov Gallery and Lomonosov Moscow State University.
“The Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra is definitely rated among the very best orchestras I have ever happened to hear. Their performance is known for absolutely inimitable sound and unique melodious flavour. This melodiousness, along with lustre and technically impeccable performance, is the collective’s most valuable quality that constitutes, in my opinion, its artistic originality,” Georgy Sviridov said.
“The composers of this country owe a special debt of gratitude to the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra which was the first to perform many of our works and so deeply interpret the scores by Myaskovsky, Prokofiev, Gliere, Khachaturian, Kabalevsky, Shaporin, Babajanian, Peiko, Kara Karayev and many other composers,” Dmitri Shostakovich noted.
TSO was one the breakers of the once popular stereotypical opinion of Russian orchestras stating that they were arguably allowed to play only Russian music when they performed in the western countries. The collective performed Beethoven’s music with a great success in the composer’s hometown Bonn, as well as in Vienna, becoming the first of the Russian orchestras to be a regular guest at the legendary Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein.