The orchestra was founded on the initiative of Vasily Safonov in 1895, at the same time as the Kursaal (spa). Over the years, the orchestra has collaborated with musicians including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Sergei Prokofiev, Sviatoslav Richter, Rudolf Kerer, Mstislav Rostropovich, Nikolai Petrov, Leonid Kogan, David Oistrakh, Leonid Sobinov and Antonina Nezhdanova. It has been conducted by Vasily Safonov, Alexander Glazunov, Nikolai Golovanov, Ilya Musin, Nikolai Rabinovich, Yuri Simonov, Juozas Domarkas, Valery Gergiev, Leo Kremer, Fabio Mastrangelo, Sergei Roldugin and Enkhe. In recent decades, the orchestra has been directed by Yuri Kochnev, Conrad van Alphen, Alexander Chernushenko and Stanislav Kochanovsky. Since 2015 Dimitris Botinis has been its Principal Conductor. In 1995 the honorific status of “Academic” was conferred on the ensemble, together with the name of its founder – Vasily Safonov.
In 2002 the orchestra gave a concert at the Grand Hall of the St Petersburg Philharmonia, and in 2008 there came another at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall. In 2010 the orchestra undertook a tour of Spain, followed by another in 2011 to Italy. In 2018 the orchestra performed at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the Great Hall of the Moscow Philharmonic Society and the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre among numerous other venues.
Since 2010 the orchestra has actively collaborated with the St Petersburg Music House and participated in the projects Music of the Stars and A Musical Team of Russia. As part of these projects, the orchestra appeared together with the violinists Alena Baeva, Nikita Borisoglebsky, Pavel Milyukov and Andrei Baranov, the cellists Alexander Bouzlov, Sergei Antonov and Alexander Ramm, the pianists Miroslav Kultyshev and Sergei Redkin and the mezzo-soprano Olesya Petrova among other musicians.
The orchestra has released numerous works in collaboration with the Kondrashin Classical Recordings, among them Mozart’s Requiem, Honegger’s Symphonie Liturgique, Mahler’s Tenth Symphony, van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, a cycle of symphonies and concerti by Rachmaninoff and Mozart, Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin and Piano and the world premieres of numerous works by contemporary Swiss composer Fabio Arnaboldi.
Information for September 2020