Siberian Symphony Orchestra
Siberian Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is one of the largest of Russian orchestras. It was founded in 1966 at the instigation of the conductor Simon Cogan, who remained at its head for more than ten years. From the beginning it attracted talented graduates from the Leningrad, Novosibirsk and Ural Conservatories, each institution with a well-earned reputation for producing dynamic and highly professional musicians. For many years the Siberian Symphony Orchestra toured the cities of the former Soviet Union, giving concerts in Moscow and Leningrad, Krasnoyarsk and Chita in central and eastern Russia, the cities along the Volga cities, Riga in Latvia, Kiev in Ukraine, Minsk in Belarus and Almaty in Kazakhstan. Since 1975 the Orchestra participated in the contemporary-music festivals organised by the Union of Composers of the USSR, performing music by Khachaturian, Khrennikov, Shchedrin and other prominent composers.
From 1978 the Siberian Symphony Orchestra was headed by the conductor Viktor Tietz, under whose leadership it reached artistic maturity and developed a wide repertoire, inning first prize at All-Russian Competition of Symphony Orchestras in 1984. From 1992 to 2004 the chief conductor of the Orchestra was Evgeny Shestakov. Since 1994 the Siberian Symphony Orchestra has regularly travelled abroad on tour and in 1996 it was awarded the title of ‘Academic’ – an honour in Russia.
Over the years the Orchestra has also worked with such distinguished conductors as Kirill Petrenko, Krzysztof Penderecki, Alexander Vedernikov,Veronika Dudarova, Karl Eliasberg, Arnold Katz, Aram Khachaturian, Yury Temirkanov, Nathan Rachlin and Abram Stasevich. The soloists with whom the SSO has worked include the pianistsDmitri Bashkirov, Lazar Berman, Peter Donohoe, Denis Matsuev, Mikhail Pletnev, Grigory Sokolov and Eliso Virsaladze, the violinists Pierre Amoyal, Viktor Pikayzen, Vadim Repin and Viktor Tretyakov, the cellists Natalia Gutman, Mstislav Rostropovich, Misha Maisky and Daniil Shafran and the singers Dmitry Hvorostovski and Alexander Vedernikov.
Since 2005 the principal conductor of the orchestra has been Dmitry Vasiliev. Under his direction the repertoire of the SSO has become even wider and now includes not only the classics but also contemporary music, jazz, rock, musicals, film soundtracks, and so on, and participates in a wide number of innovative projects, from festivals of contemporary classical music to the World and European ballroom dancing championships. In 2009 the SSO took part in the Fourth Festival of World Symphony Orchestras held in the Hall of Columns in Moscow; and in 2010 and 2018 it became a member of the Forum of the Symphony Orchestras of Russia in Yekaterinburg. In recent years the Orchestra has also toured in Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, China, Ukraine and the USA. The SSO is a long-standing participant in the concert series of the Moscow State Philharmonic and Mariinsky Theatre.
The last decade has been a period of growth and flowering of the SSO. Its huge repertoire ranges from the symphonic classics to works by composers of the 21st century. The composition of the orchestra is in line with European standards, boasting more than 100 experienced, highly professional musicians. The discography of the SSO includes the CDs on Danacord Records, Universal, Philips Import, ArtBeat, Handel classic audio and Toccata classisc which has a long collaboration with SSO. The 400th recording in the Toccata classics catalogue was made by SSO under DmitryVasiliev: the First Symphony and symphonic poem Vaterland by the Austrian late-Romantic Julius Bittner, a release which met with universal enthusiasm around the world (one customer review commenting that “Dmitry Vasiliev and the Siberian Symphony Orchestra do Bittner”s music credit […;] they seem to capture the essence of style in these performances”).
The composition of the orchestra:
first violin - 17
second violin - 14
viola - 12
cello - 11
bass - 6
flute - 5
oboe - 4
clarinet - 5
bassoon - 4
horn - 6
trombone - 4
tuba - 1
percussion - 6
harp - 1
piano, harpsichord, celesta - 1
Total: 101 persons.
Reviews about Siberian Symphony Orchestra:
Norman Lebrecht, Sinfini Music:
New CD from SSO - Album of the Week 23 June
Norman Lebrecht is excited by a new recording of Mieczylaw Weinberg from the Siberian Symphony Orchestra, including the irresistible Polish Tunes.
The Siberian Symphony Orchestra, conductor Dmitry Vasilyev, play as if their lives depend on it and the sound in the Omsk Philharmonic Hall is immaculate.
Michael Cookson, MusucWeb:
Recording of the month
This was my first experience of hearing the Siberian Symphony Orchestra (Omsk Philharmonic) who under the reliable baton of principal conductor Dmitry Vasilyev excel in this wonderful and inexplicably neglected music. The Symphony makes compelling listening with Vasilyev’s unfailing instinct producing assured orchestral playing of striking directness.
Andrew McGregor and Stephen Johnson, Radio BBC:
Thats Weinberg's symphony #21 "caddish" and the performance of Siberian Symphony orchestra, known as the Omsk Philharmonic, conducted by Dmitry Vasiliev. […] I know I want to hear the rest of it after that opening. [...] Pretty creditable all round, the performance and the recording is very well indeed!
I confess that wonderful freedom which was achieved in the performance of the Rachmaninov’s Concert № 3 and Tchaikovsky's Concert № 1 in Omsk, has impressed me! I’d like to note a high professionalism and excellent ensemble qualities of the orchestra. I can say without any exaggeration that these concerts have been among the best in recent years.
I am delighted to work with your team! Those were true holidays for me, thanks to an amazing musical and human sensibility of your musicians.
"That's impossible!" - I said to the conductor when we have played at the rehearsal for the first time it was much better than many other orchestras would do during a live concert. I’ve discovered a professionally sounding band in Omsk! I’m always ready and will come here with a great desire again to perform with the excellent orchestra.”
I played the Brahms’ Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in different countries, together with the best conductors and orchestras, many times. The style of Brahms is indeed the touchstone of all! I don’t want to talk about such categories as rhythm, style, intonation, sound balance, because the orchestra has it all. The most striking thing is that life in Russia is very difficult, therefore I wonder why the conductor of the orchestra and every one of its musicians work with such inspiration and emotions during the rehearsals and they are entirely involved in the process at the concert. This happens in contrast to many famous orchestras, which "work" concert on a stage for the huge money. I will have great pleasure and joy to come back to Omsk again.
In 2008, in Italy I performed with the Siberian Symphoniy Orchestra for the first time. The collaboration was very successful, and after that we decided to prolong it with our performance in Omsk. The orchestra is in very good form, and it has a great conductor, Dmitry Vasiliev.