Vassily Sinaisky

Vassily Sinaisky


• Born 1947


Vassily Sinaisky is among the more important Russian conductors to have emerged in the latter part of the twentieth century. He has established a reputation for his incisive interpretations in both the orchestral and operatic realms. His choice of repertory has been broad over the years, taking in many standards, but, not surprisingly, also tending to favor the Russians, particularly Shostakovich. He has received high praise for his Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, presented at the Oper Komische Berlin (November 2004), and for his series of recordings of Shostakovich's film music. Sinaisky has also led and recorded acclaimed readings of works by lesser-known Russians like Arensky, Lyapunov, Lyadov, Balakirev, Kabalevsky, Shchedrin, and by neglected composers of non-Russian heritage, especially Schreker and Szymanowski. Sinaisky's recordings are available on Chandos Records, Russian Disc, Campion Cameo, and the BBC label.

Vassily Sinaisky was born in Komi, USSR, on April 20, 1947. He studied conducting at the Leningrad Conservatory; his most important teacher there was Ilya Musin. As an assistant at the Moscow Philharmonic under Kiril Kondrashin, Sinaisky entered the 1973 Herbert von Karajan Competition in Berlin and captured the Gold Medal.

He held of string of important posts thereafter, including with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra (chief conductor), Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra (principal guest conductor), Russian State Orchestra (music director), and the Bolshoi Theater (principal guest conductor). Some of his earliest recordings were made with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra during his 12-year tenure there (1975-1987). They include a series of orchestral works and symphonies by Latvian composer Janis Ivanovs and a disc offering Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto and other works for violin and orchestra, with soloist Valdis Zarins, all available now on Campion Cameo.

Sinaisky served as music director of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra from 1991 to 1996. In that latter year he accepted the appointment of chief guest conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, a group with which he has made many recordings for the Chandos label, mostly in Russian repertory that includes symphonies of Balakirev and orchestral works of Lyadov, Lyapunov, Arensky, and Glinka.

As suggested above, Sinaisky has been active throughout his career in the operatic realm, achieving many critical successes: beside his Lady Macbeth, he scored notable triumphs with Carmen (2001), Der Rosenkavalier (2003), and Iolanta (2005), all at the English National Opera. In January 2007 Sinaisky assumed duties as principal conductor of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, and in 2010 was named chief conductor and music director of the Bolshoi Theater, Moscow, just before the Theater's reopening after a major refurbishment effort. Since leaving that position in 2013, Sinaisky has guest conducted several orchestras.