The Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia appoints esteemed Russian conductor Yuri Temirkanov as Lifetime Honorary Conductor. The only other lifetime appointment awarded by the Roman symphonic institution was to Leonard Bernstein as Honorary President from 1983 to 1990.
The celebrated conductor is delighted by his new appointment: "I am extremely honoured and pleased to receive this title of Honorary Director of the Orchestra and the Chorus of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. The collaboration with both ensembles, for many years now, has always been invaluable to me over these past 36 years, lengthier than my association with the Philharmonic of St. Petersburg. But above all, it has always been a great pleasure".
Santa Cecilia's President, Michele dall'Ongaro confirms: "the new and exciting quality achieved by Santa Cecilia strengthens an ancient relationship of affection and esteem between the Accademia and an important maestro like Termikanov".
In 1979 Temirkanov first appeared with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia on stage at the Basilica di Massenzio in the Roman Forum where the Accademia originally held their summer residency. Ever since, he has returned to conduct almost every season in Rome with many memorable performances of Russian late Romantic repertoire, multiple Gershwin programmes and with distinguished soloists such as Vadim Repin, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lang Lang and Martha Argerich in particular.
At his distinguished age with over 75 recordings to his name, Temirkanov performed most recently in October in Rome with his St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra with a programme of Rachmaninov's 2nd Symphony and Scheherazade of Rimsky-Korsakov. He returns next to the Auditorium Parco della Musica on 30 January for an all-Russian programme including Glazunov, Shostakovich and Rachmaninov in a concert where his new appointment will be celebrated. This concert will also mark the debut of the young Italian violinist Anna Tifu with the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia.
Unlike any other political appointment to a cultural organisation in Italy, the Accademia di Santa Cecilia has an Academic Board of Trustees which appoints the highest position of the orchestra's administration. In a throwback to the original concept of the Accademia instigated by composer Palestrina and his musical contemporaries in the late 1500s, the academicians are made up of distinguished musicians from across the globe (see below), who have ensured the organisation's independence and musical integrity since the orchestra's foundation in 1908.
The Honorary Academicians are: Josè Antonio Abreu, Martha Argerich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Norbert Balatsch, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Myung-Whun Chung, Placido Domingo, Peter Eötvös, Valery Gergiev, Philip Glass, Philip Gossett, Bernard Haitink, Gyorgy Kurtág, Friedrich Lippmann, Alexander Lonquich, Peter Maxwell Davies, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, Seiji Ozawa, Luis De Pablo, Arvo Pärt, Krzysztof Penderecki, Itzhak Perlman, Georges Prêtre, Simon Rattle, Gianfranco Ravasi, Grigory Sokolov and now Yuri Temirkanov.