The Ural Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1936, is one of the best symphony orchestras in Russia today. Famous for its high quality performance culture and its flexibility in acquiring new repertoire, the orchestra consists of more than 100 musicians, performing all major Western European and Russian works from the classical and romantic period as well as works by outstanding contemporary composers.
Based in Yekaterinburg, on the border between Europe and Asia, the UPO performs up to 110 concerts with more than 70 programs per year, both at its domicile, the Sverdlovsk State Philharmonic Hall, and on its extensive international tours. The home concerts are regularly broadcast live on video into the region’s public libraries and cultural centres where music lovers from the Oblast Sverdlovsk can come together to share the experience.
Together with its Principal Conductor and Artistic Director Dmitry Liss who has led the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra since 1995, the orchestra visited Spain, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxemburg, Japan and the United States on more than 20 tours, performing at venues such as the Kennedy Center Washington, Bunka-Kaikan Tokyo, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, KKL Lucerne, Salle Pleyel Paris and Tonhalle Zurich. It participated in numerous international festivals such as the Music Biennale Zagreb, the Cannes Music Festival, the Europalia Russia Festival in Belgium and repeatedly in the Music Festival Crescendo in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Kaliningrad, the Festival International de Piano à la Roque d’Anthéron and La Folle Journée in France, Spain and Japan. The UPO was especially honoured by Valerij Gergiev’s invitation to perform under his direction at the opening of the Mariinsky Theatre’s new concert hall in 2007.
Meanwhile, the orchestra presents its own concert series at the Mariinsky Theatre.
Over the years, the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra has worked with many outstanding Russian and foreign guest conductors such as Dmitry Kitayenko, Vladimir Fedoseev, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Andrey Boreyko, Mikhail Pletnev, Klaus Tennstedt, Krzysztof Penderecki and many others. The UPO has made numerous recordings, including several CDs with pianist Boris Berezovsky (all four piano concertos by Sergei Rachmaninoff for Mirare as well as piano concertos by Khachaturian and Tchaikovsky for Warner Classics) as well as recordings of Symphonies by Galina Ustvolskaya and Nikolai Miaskovsky.
Dmitri Liss, Conductor and Artistic Director
Depth of interpretation, clever dramaturgy and an infallible creative drive are what characterize Dmitry Liss as a conductor. He is considered today as one of the most talented conductors of his generation.
Dmitry Liss has been Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra (UPO) since 1995. He has made the UPO, founded in 1936, into a leading, dynamic and creative symphony orchestra. Based in Yekaterinburg, on the border between Europe and Asia, it is a major cultural force in the Sverdlovsk region as well as a cultural ambassador on the international stage. Together with the orchestra, Dmitry Liss has been invited to such venues as the Kennedy Center Washington, Bunka-Kaikan Tokyo, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, KKL Lucerne, Essen and Berlin Philharmonic, Salle Pleyel Paris, Brucknerhaus Linz, Vienna Konzerthaus and Tonhalle Zurich. He also has been the guest of internationals festivals including the Beethovenfest Bonn, Bodensee Festival, Festival International de Piano de la Roque d’Anthéron and Radio France’s Montpellier Festival and has received repeated invitations to La Folle Journée in France, Spain, Japan and Russia.
Since 2016/17 season, Dmitry Liss has been the first Chief Conductor of the South Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra (Philharmony Zuidnederland Orchestra). As a guest conductor, Dmitry Liss has performed with renowned international orchestras such as the Orchestre National de France, Philharmonique de Radio France, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, MDR Leipzig Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra Moscow, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Orchestre de l’Opéra de Toulon, Dortmunder Philharmoniker, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Naples Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orchestra…
Dmitry Liss is highly appreciated by many renowned soloists such as the pianist Boris Berezovsky, with whom he has recorded all four Rachmaninov piano concertos, and Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 for Mirare label, and Khachaturian and Tchaikovsky piano concertos for Warner Classics. Dmitry Liss’ extensive discography includes recordings of Galina Ustvolskaya and Nikolai Miaskovsky’s symphonies, also lesser-known Russian repertoire, which he also enjoys including in his concert programmes.
Born in Balashov, he studied violin, clarinet and musicology before beginning his conducting studies at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory under Dmitri Kitajenko, where he later became his assistant. At the age of 31, he took over as Chief Conductor of the Kuzbass Symphony Orchestra, and was Associate Conductor of the Russian National Orchestra from 1999 to 2003.
Dmitry Liss has been honoured with many Russian and international awards, most notably with the honorary title of People’s Artist of Russia (2011), the country’s most prestigious award for achievements in the arts.