The Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra
The Bolshoi Theater in Moscow is touted as Russia’s premiere stage. This country’s oldest musical theater, the Bolshoi once proudly called Imperial members of royal families from around Europe that regularly came to. During the Soviet years it was equally regularly visited by Communist big shots who also considered it their own and sometimes even handpicked the theater’s choreographers and chief conductors some of whom were internationally acclaimed masters of their trade.
The Bolshoi orchestra is the pride of Russia’s performing culture. Its performance is marked by faultless technique and the finest sense of ensemble. It involves first-class musicians, many of whom are winners of international competitions and teachers of musical institutions.
In 1973-87 Alexander Lazarev was Bolshoi Theatre conductor, from 1987 to 1995 he was Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Theatre.
His repertoire is particularly enterprising in its scope, ranging from the eighteenth century to the avant-garde. In 1978 he founded the Ensemble of Soloists of the Bolshoi Theatre whose most important aim was the programming and wide dissemination of contemporary music by both Soviet and foreign composers.
The 2009/10 season sees Sinaisky take on the position of Conductor in Residence at the Bolshoi Theatre.
Sinaisky’s position with the BBC Philharmonic sees him conduct at the BBC Proms every summer as well as at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester throughout the season. At the Bolshoi he conducts several major new productions, existing productions and symphonic concerts in the coming years, beginning with a performance of Mahler Symphony No.2 at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in December 2009.
At the Bolshoi Theatre he has conducted the following productions: Iolanta (1997); – and the ballets: Petroushka by Stravinsky (1991), Adam’s Le Corsaire (1992, 1994), Prokofiev’s Prodigal Son (1992), Lovenskjold’s La Sylphide (1994), Swan Lake (a revival of Yury Grigorovich’s first version, 2001), Arik Melikov’s A Legend of Love (2002), Glazunov’s Raymonda (2003), Shostakovich’s The Bright Stream (2003) and Bolt (2005), Asafiev’s The Flames of Paris (2008).
In 1996, he was assistant to Mstislav Rostropovich when the latter directed a production of Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina (Shostakovich version) at the Bolshoi. When Maestro Rostropovich stopped conducting this production himself, he handed it over to Pavel Sorokin.
The conductor’s repertoire also includes the operas: Ivan Susanin by Glinka, The Oprichnik, The Maid of Orlenas, Eugene Onegin, The Queen of Spades by Tchaikovsky, Prince Igor by Borodin, Khovanshchina by Mussorgsky (Rimsky-Korsakov version), The Tsar’s Bride, Mozart and Salieri, The Golden Cockerel by Rimsky-Korsakov, Francesca da Rimini by Rachmaninov, Betrothal in a Monastery and The Gambler by Prokofiev, Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini, La Traviata, Un Ballo in Maschera, Macbeth by Verdi; and the ballets: Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty, Shostakovich’s The Golden Age, Schnittke’s Sketches, Giselle, Chopiniana; and symphonic works.
He took part in the Bolshoi Theatre Ballet Company and Orchestra season at Covent Garden (2004), and in their tours to USA (2004, 2005) and to Hong Kong (2008), in the Bolshoi Theatre Ballet Company tours to Japan (2006), Germany, Italy (2007), France (2008) and Yekaterinburg (2008).
Pavel Klinichev has conducted opera-gala concerts, including the Bolshoi Theatre Opera Gala at the Maryinsky and the gala-concert held as part of the Golden Mask National Theatre Festival.
In 1969, Fuat Mansurov joined the Bolshoi Theatre Company where he conducted the following operas: Prokofiev’s Semyon Kotko (1970), Il Trovatore (1972), Dargomyzhsky’s Rusalka (1976), Ravel’s L’Heure Espagnole (1978); and ballets: M. Chulaki’s Russian Tale (1971), Valery Kikta’s and Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov’s Dedication (1975), K. Mochanov’s Macbeth (1980).
Also in his repertoire, among other works, are the operas: Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust, Gounod’s Faust, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa, Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Carmen, Tosca, Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta, Borodin’s Prince Igor, Dargomyzhsky’s The Stone Guest, Glinka’s Ivan Susanin, Rodion Shchedrin’s Dead Souls, The Queen of Spades, Gluck’s Iphigenie en Aulide, Paisiello’s La Molinara; and the ballets: Swan Lake, Khachaturyan’s Spartacus, Don Quixote, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Asafiev’s The Fountain of Bakhchisaray.
At the present time, Fuat Mansurov conducts the following operas at the Bolshoi Theatre: Eugene Onegin and The Tsar’s Bride; – and the ballets: Giselle, La Sylphide, Khachaturyan’s Cipollino and Anyuta to music by V. Gavrilin.
In 1962, he was invited to audition for the Bolshoi Theatre, as a result of which he toured with the Bolshoi Ballet Company in the USA. On his return, he joined the Company. During his upwards of 40 years’ service with the Bolshoi, he has added 74 ballets to his repertoire (including all the ballets of Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Khachaturyan, Shchedrin, Khrennikov, Glazunov, Shostakovich, Delibes, Minkus, Stravinsky, Gliere) and in most cases he participated in the productions of these ballets.
Alexander Kopylov has appeared with many foreign orchestras. He has done numerous recordings for Melodiya and for radio. He has an extensive symphonic repertoire.
In 2001, he joined the Bolshoi Theatre as probationer, and assisted the chief conductor with his productions of Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust (concert performance) and of the Mussorgsky’s opera Khovanshchina.
Since the beginning of the 2002/03 season, he has been promoted to Bolshoi Theatre assistant-conductor. He participated in the production of Stravinsky’s opera The Rake’s Progress and conducted it.
Mikhail Granovsky’s repertoire includes: The Snow Maiden, Mozart and Salieri, The Golden Cockerel by Rimsly-Korsakov, Iolanta by Tchaikovsky, Pugni’s La Fille du Pharaon, Chopiniana to music by Chopin, Fantasy on the Casanova Theme to music by Mozart, Khachaturyan’s Cipollino, Anyuta to music by Gavrilin, and also Drigo’s The Magic Flute, Minkus’ Paquita and Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker (Moscow State Academy of Choreography productions).
In 1978, Vladimir Andropov joined the Bolshoi Theatre as conductor and artistic director of the Theatre’s stage orchestra. His professional and organizational abilities, enabled him to create a first-class stage orchestra and to prepare with it an extensive concert repertoire of classical and contemporary works by a variety of different composers, and belonging to different ages and genres. In recent times, the Orchestra has performed with great success, giving independent concerts at the Bolshoi Theatre, as well as at many other concert venues in Russia and abroad.
From 2000-02, Vladimir Andropov was artistic director of the Bolshoi Theatre Opera Company.
He has a wide-ranging repertoire of operas and ballets which includes the operas: Oprichnik, Eugene Onegin and Iolanta by Tchaikovsky, Dargomyzhsky’s Rusalka, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri and The Tsar’s Bride, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Paisello’s La Molinara, Verdi’s Nabucco and La Forza del Destino, Puccini’s Tosca, Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges; – and the ballets: The Hump-backed Horse by Rodion Shchedrin and Cipollino by Karen Khachaturyan.
At the Bolshoi Theatre he conducted the opera La Molinara and the ballets Sleeplessness by Sergei Zhukov and Roland Petit’s La Dame de Pique to music by Tchaikovsky and Passacaille to music by Anton von Webern.
Aleksander Vedernikov, the Russian conductor who became famous for his efforts to introduce reforms at the Bolshoi Theater, where he was chief conductor for eight years. While still at the Bolshoi, Vedernikov put on stage about 12 new productions, including “The Flying Dutchman,” “Boris Godunov,” an internationally heralded “Eugene Onegin” and several others. In January 2008 and July 2009, Vedernikov received a warm welcome for the Bolshoi Choir and Orchestra in the legendary Theatro della Scala in Milan, Italy.