Gennady Rozhdestvensky 1931–2018
- Published: Monday, 18 June 2018 10:12
The London Philharmonic Orchestra was saddened to hear of the death of conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky on 16 June 2018, aged 87.
Born in Moscow in 1931, Rozhdestvensky made his debut conducting Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker at the Bolshoi Theatre aged just 20. Russian music, and in particular the works of Shostakovich, were a central component of his repertoire throughout his career: in 1962 he gave the first performance of the composer’s Symphony No. 10 outside the USSR, with the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra at the Edinburgh Festival.Rozhdestvensky conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra on several occasions during the 1980s and 1990s - perhaps most memorable was his LPO debut on 30 October 1983, when he conducted Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 8 at Royal Festival Hall, later released on the Orchestra’s own label in 2013 (LPO-0069). One reviewer wrote of the performance: ‘Rozhdestvensky clearly inspired the superb musicians of the LPO to give of their best on that occasion, and, not for the first time, I marvel at the sheer resilience of orchestral players who are able to pour their hearts and minds into a work so taxing in every respect.’
Rozhdestvensky’s final appearance with the Orchestra was in November 2008, when he conducted an all-Tchaikovsky programme at Royal Festival Hall with pianist Viktoria Postnikova.