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GENNADY ROZHDESTVENSKY studied at the Moscow Conservatory, winning recognition in Russia and abroad even before his graduation. He has held positions with the Symphony Orchestra of All-Union Radio and Television (Moscow), the Stockholm Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony, the Vienna Symphony, and the USSR Ministry of Culture Orchestra, as well as with the Moscow Chamber Opera, of which he was a founder. He has been Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Theatre at three different periods, directing both the opera and ballet companies.

He has conducted many of the world’s greatest orchestras, including the Berlin, Czech, London, and Oslo Philharmonic orchestras, the Boston, Chicago, and London Symphony orchestras, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic orchestras, the Orchestre de Paris, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam.

He has premiered many works by Soviet composers, including the first version of Prokofiev’s The Gambler, and he gave the Russian premiere of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Recent operatic appearances have included Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (last year, on the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth) and The Nose for Netherlands Opera, a new production of Janáček’s The Makropulos Case in Moscow, The Flying Dutchman for La Scala, and Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades in his debut for the Opéra de Paris.

In 1996 he was decorated by President Yeltsin and has received special awards from President Putin on two separate occasions. He has also received awards from the Swedish Academy, and in 2003 the Légion d’Honneur in France and the Order of the Rising Sun in Japan.