Temirkanov takes hold

Maestro: New music director raises BSO's profile, plays full role in musical Baltimore.

Bright Lights

February 10, 2000

THE EXPRESSIVE hands of Yuri Temirkanov have already lifted the reputation and expectations for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a remarkably brief time.

Glowing reviews of his first con-

irp7,l7 certs as its music director, in the New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today, have spread the word that his advent here is a national musical event.

What this will do is whet the market's appetite for BSO tours and recordings to reach a wider audience beyond Maryland under Mr. Temirkanov's hand. (Not baton, which he never uses.)

The veteran music director of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the most illustrious conductors anywhere, is much in demand worldwide. But he has shown in his brief time here that he understands the need to dig into the community for the good of the orchestra.

A sign of this is his acceptance of a position as distinguished artist-in-residence at the Peabody Conservatory. He will make time to meet with conducting students and others at the school.

That reinforces the longtime synergy between Peabody and the BSO. About one-third of the players in the orchestra are alumni or faculty of the conservatory.

The billboards and television commercials showing Mr. Temirkanov are not some unexpected American folkway. In late 1998, to observe his 60th birthday, his face went up on billboards in St. Petersburg, the former Leningrad. Mr. Temirkanov is a wanted man. And Baltimore has him.

Bright Lights spotlights people who make a difference in the quality of life of this area. It appears periodically in this column.

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