Born in 1938, Yuri Temirkanov began to study music at the age of nine, and graduated from the Leningrad Con- servatory in 1962 (violin and conducting). He started his career at the Theatre Maly in Leningrad. In 1968 he won the second Soviet conducting competition.
In 1969 he became Music Director of the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra, with which he made important international tours. He was subsequently appointed Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Kirov Opera (Mariinsky Theatre) in 1977.
In the same year he began a close relationship with a number of British orchestras, notably the Royal Phil- harmonic Orchestra, of which he was Principal Guest Conductor for eleven years and Principal Conductor from 1992 to 1998. Yuri Temirkanov was appointed Principal Conductor and Music Director of the St Pe- tersburg Philharmonic Orchestra in 1988, on the death of the legendary Evgeny Mravinsky.
His career has given him the opportunity to conduct most of the world’s top formations, including the Ber- lin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras, the Staatska- pelle Dresden, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Concert- gebouw Orchestra, the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra, and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome.
Yuri Temirkanov is often invited to the United States, where he appears with the leading orchestras; he was Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra from 2000 to 2006. He has also been Principal Guest Conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra since 1998 and of the Bolshoi Theatre since the 2007-08 season.