Moscow State Symphony Orchestra (MSSO)
Pavel Kogan, Music Director & Chief Conductor
The MSSO was founded in 1943 by the Kremlin and is one of the oldest symphony orchestras in Russia.
Leo Steinberg, the Peoples Artist of USSR and conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre, became the MSSO first Chief Conductor, a post he held until his death in 1945. He was succeeded by a series of distinguished Soviet musical giants that has included Nicolay Anosov (1945 – 1950), Leo Ginsburg (1950 – 1954), Mikhail Terian (1954 – 1960), and Veronica Dudarova (1960 – 1989). Owing to the collaboration with such figures the orchestra became one of most prominent national symphonic ensembles, but in the first place it was known through its performances of Russian and Soviet classical music, involving many premieres of Myaskovsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Glier.
The Moscow State Symphony Orchestra became renowned around the globe under the leadership of Pavel Kogan. In 1989 he was engaged as Music Director and Chief Conductor and immediately enriched the orchestra repertoire by the works of European and American musical literature.
A landmark of the MSSO has been to present the great cycles of complete symphonic works from leading composers: Brahms, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, R. Strauss, Mendelssohn, Mahler, Bruckner, Sibelius, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Scriabin, Berlioz, Debussy and Ravel. The orchestra’s wide-ranging programs combine great orchestral, operatic, and choral classics with equally significant music of the 21st century, including many forgotten or neglected works.
The MSSO plays some 100 concerts annually. Along with the series in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and in Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra performs in the Great Hall of the Saint-Petersburg D.D. Shostakovich Philharmonic Society and on the stages of many other Russian cities. The MSSO tours regularly overseas including the USA, United Kingdom, Japan, Spain, Austria, Italy, Germany, France, South Korea, Australia, China and Switzerland.
The Moscow State Symphony Orchestra also has a long and distinguished recording history with DVD and CD studio and live recordings, television and radio broadcasts. In 1990 the “Pioneer” made a live recording of Tchaikovsky’ piano and violin concertos, performed by the MSSO and Maestro Kogan (soloists – Aleksey Sultanov, Maxim Vengerov). In the early 1990s Russian television released the documentary “Travels with the orchestra” about the MSSO and Pavel Kogan tour in Europe and Saint-Petersburg. Their Rachmaninov cycle, released by “Alto”, which recorded all the symphonies and symphonic dances, has become a chart-topping album.
The MSSO has a proud history of collaborating with eminent conductors and soloists including Evgeny Svetlanov, Kirill Kondrashin, Aleksandr Orlov, Natan Rahlin, Samuil Samosud, Valery Gergiev, David Oistrakh, Emil Gilels, Leonid Kogan, Vladimir Sofronitsky, Sergei Lemeshev, Ivan Kozlovsky, Svyatoslav Knushevitskyi, Sviatoslav Richter, Mstislav Rostropovich and Daniil Shafran.The orchestra’s partnership with Pavel Kogan has earned the orchestra and enviable reputation for high standards of artistic excellence, imaginative programming and community engagement, having a broad and loyal constituency around the world.