Ievgueni Fiodorovitch Svetlanov

Soviet then Russian Conductor, pianist and composer (Moscow, 1928 – Moscow, 2002)

Considered as the "Russian Karajan", Ievgeny Fyodorovich Svetlanov was one of the most famous Russian conductors but also a composer.

Born in Moscow on 6 September 1928 to parents who were members of the Bolshoi Theatre troupe, Yevgeny Svetlanov entered the Moscow Conservatory in 1955 to study composition with Mikhail Gnessin and Yuri Chaporin, as well as piano and conducting.

At the age of 25, while still a student, he conducted his first concert on the radio, before entering the Bolshoï as an assistant conductor in 1955, being appointed principal conductor there in 1962. He became principal conductor of the USSR State Symphony Orchestra in 1965 for nearly 35 years, and attempted to record an anthology of 19th and 20th century Russian music with them.

Principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra in 1979, he was also principal conductor of the Hague Residence Orchestra (1992-2000) and of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (1997-1999). This activity led him to multiply recordings: there are more than three thousands of them, published by labels all over the world.

The name of Yevgeny Svetlanov will forever be associated with the USSR State Symphony Orchestra, which became the Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation after the fall of communism. He remained 35 years at the head of the phalanx, which he left in 1998, dismissed by the Russian Minister of Culture.

Ievgueni Svetlanov died four years later, in 2002, at age of 73.