The St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra gave three concerts at Carnegie Hall on successive evenings in early October under the leadership of Yuri Temirkanov, now celebrating his tenth year as principal conductor.[1]

Among the many remarkable aspects of this ensemble, one thing stands out— something almost unthinkable in this age of the artistic jet set and the lionization of a few conductors as they occupy too many podia on a part-time basis. This orchestra has had only two conductors in the past sixty years. Mr. Temirkanov (pronounced with an accent over the ‘a’) took up the near impossible task of filling the shoes of the legendary Evgeny Mravinsky, a saintly and quietly heroic musician who molded the orchestra during his fifty-year reign into one of the supreme instruments on either side of the Iron Curtain. Mravinsky championed new music at his own continuing peril; in the...

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