People’s artist of the USSR, Winner of the State Prize of the Russian Federation.
Artistic director and chief conductor of the St. Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra.
In 2009/2010 season Artistic director and chief conductor of the St.Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra Alexander DMITRIEV will celebrate his 75th anniversary of the birthday.
Alexander DMITRIEV was born in Leningrad in the family of a Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra’s musician.
He went to the Leningrad Glinka Choral College- an institution that gave Russia many celebrated alumni. Dmitriev continued his music education at the Leningrad State Conservatory, where he studied choir conducting (prof. E. Kudriavtseva) and musical theory (prof.Y. Tyulin).
But practice took precedence over theory, and Dmitriev enrolled in a graduate course in symphonic conducting, taught by Nikolai Rabinovich.
Dmitriev began his conducting career being a student. His debut took place with the Symphony Orchestra of Karelian Radio and Television, which he conducted for ten years from 1961 to 1971. In 1966, he won the 2nd National Conducting Competition. In 1968 through 1969, he took an internship at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna (Austria) under H. Swarovski and K. Osterreicher. Then E. Mravinsky invited Dmitriev to join his highly reputable orchestra. At the same time, Dmitriev mastered another aspect of his craft: musical drama.
In 1971, Dmitriev became head conductor of the Leningrad Maly Opera and Ballet Theater, where he put on the stage operas «Iphigenia in Aulis» and «Iphigenia auf Tauris» by Gluck and «Die Kluge» by Carl Orff. In 1974, Dmitriev teamed up with O. Vinogradov and Y. Liubimov to stage the ballet «Yaroslavna», probably the most popular work ever composed by Tishchenko.
In 1977, Dmitriev crossed the Arts Square from the Maly Theater to the Philharmonia to become chief conductor of the St.Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra, keeping the works of his famous contemporaries Shchedrin, Petrov, Slonimsky, Falik and Ustvolskaya in his repertoire.
Dmitriev has worked with the St.Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra, once guided by his mentor Nikolai Rabinovich, for more than 30 years; at the same time he also conducted the Symphony Orchestra of Stavanger, Norway, from 1990 to 1998, and taught the symphony conducting at the Leningrad Conservatory till 1992).
The Dmitriev’s partnership with his orchestra has been filled with much touring in Russia, Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Dmitriev augmented the orchestra’s discography with all the symphonies of Beethoven and Schubert, and numerous works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Ravel and Britten.
The orchestra and its chief conductor have treated St. Petersburg to the premiere of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, and a concert premiere of Pelleas and Melisanda by Debussy among others, not to mention many works by Leningrad (St. Petersburg) composers.
Posters of Dmitriev’s concerts demonstrate music of practically all epoch and styles.
Alexander Dmitriev especially likes French music; he conducted many works by Berlioz, Debussy, Honegger and Ravel. It’s remarkable that Ravel’s Valse completed the St.Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra
concert program dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Maestro Dmitriev’s day of birth.
The repertoire of Alexander Dmitriev includes works of American and Scandinavian composers, Russian music of XIX-XX centuries, and symphonic classics of the XX century. Modern music is also a part of creative interests of Alexander Dmitriev.
He regards presentation of new works performed by St.Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra for the St.Petersburg audience as his «contribution to musical culture of St.Petersburg».
On April 8th 2005 President of Russia, Vladimir Putin awarded to Alexander Dmitriev the ‘Order of Honour of Cultural and Art Merit, in recognition of his longstanding achievements’.