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Moscow State Symphony Orchestra Orchestra

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Vladimir Ponkin
Vladimir Ponkin

Founded in 1988 by Yuri Simonov, a former conductor of the Bolshoi Theater, the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra began as an ensemble of Moscow Conservatory graduates. Vladimir Ponkin was appointed Chief Conductor in 1990, and the orchestra made its first tour—to Germany—the following year. Other tours to Austria, Italy, Spain, France, Sweden, Turkey, Greece, Japan, and the United States later followed.

Recognized for its accompaniment work at the 1994 and 1995 Tchaikovsky Competitions, the orchestra has partnered with such noted soloists as pianists, D.Bashkirov, R.Kerer, N.Petrov, and E.Virsaladze; violinists, A.Korsakov and I.Kaler; cellists, N.Gutman, M.Khomitser, and A.Rudin; and many others.

Vladimir Ponkin, Chief Conductor - Distinguished Artist of Russia, Vladimir Ponkin, was born in Irkutsk, Siberia, in 1951. After graduating from the Nizhegorodskaya Conservatory, distinguished conductor, Gennady Rozhdestvensky invited him to join his post-graduate class at the Moscow Conservatory. Rozhdestvensky later invited Ponkin to share the podium with him of the former Soviet Union Ministry of Culture's main showpiece orchestra.

Since becoming the first Russian to win the Rupert Competition in London (1980), Ponkin has conducted the Yaroslavi Philharmonic Orchestra, the Russian State Cinema Orchestra, the BBC and Stockholm Radio Orchestras, and many others in Italy, England, Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Australia.

In 1996, Ponkin was invited to become Music Director of Moscow's Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theater and, the same year, composer Krzyztof Penderecki recommended him for the position of Chief Conductor of the Krakow Philharmonic. For his service to the orchestra—which included leading a Vatican concert performed at the request of Pope John Paul II—Ponkin was awarded L'Ordre du Merite Culturel by Poland's Ministry of Culture and the Arts.


"The Moscow State Symphony Orchestra plays with great technical skill and refinement, and its texture is always transparent and colorful."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"The young orchestra plays with great enthusiasm; its principal players are brilliant. In addition, Ponkin's baton is superb and the mastery of this gifted, alert, and perceptive conductor must be mentioned."

Corriere della Sera

"The audience shared the orchestra's primal joy in music making."

Allgemeine Zeitung

"The gifted conductor, Vladimir Ponkin, knew how to share his joy of making music with the orchestra."


Moscow State Symphony Orchestra

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