Leningrad Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1931 by a radio installation committee, the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra (now known as the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra) has, since its inception, given regular concerts on radio. Even during World War II, although they remained in the city, they managed to perform at various concert venues and many of these concerts were not only heard on USSR Radio but on foreign radio as well. After the war the orchestra's work broadened and they began to perform more frequently in public, increasing substantially the number of symphonic concerts in Leningrad. A large part of their repertoire includes works by Soviet composers and the orchestra has given many premieres of works by such composers as Shostakovich and Gliere.
Alexander Dmitriev took over the direction of the orchestra in 1977. Born into a musical family in Leningrad, he attended the Leningrad Conservatory, where he studied composition and conducting. After a period at the Vienna Music Academy he worked as assistant conductor to Mravinsky at the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra. As Principal Conductor of the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra he has conducted in most European countries as well as Japan and America. He is also one of the principal promoters of twentieth century music in the USSR.