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Yevgeny Aleksandrovich Mravinsky (1903-1988)

The great Russian conductor Y. A. Mravinsky was born in St. Petersburg on June 4 (O.S. May 22), 1903 to a noble family, and from early childhood grew up in an artistic environment. His aunt, Yevgeniya Mravinskaya, was a famous opera singer, who was performing at the Mariinsky Theatre under the pseudonym "Mravina".

After graduation from the high school with honours, Mravinsky was enrolled in the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Petrograd. His love towards nature and study had a tremendous influence on shaping the personality of Mravinsky. Observing of natural life remained his passion for many years.

In 1924, Yevgeny Mravinsky was enrolled in the composition class of the Leningrad Conservatory, and from that moment entirely devoted himself to music. Since 1927, he was engaged in conductor classes as well. After the graduation from the Conservatory, Mravinsky took up the post of Assistant Conductor of the Leningrad Opera and Ballet Theater.

After winning the 1st All-Union Conductors Competition in Moscow (1st Prize)
Mravinsky was appointed in the capacity of the Principal Conductor and Art Director of the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra. In this position he served for nearly half a century. Under Yevgeny Mravinsky, the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra became the first performer of many outstanding works of Russian symphonic music.

In the difficult years of the Great Patriotic War evacuated to Novosibirsk, the Orchestra gave more than 500 concerts, morally inspiring and supporting the people.
During the decades of work with Mravinsky, the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra turned into a group of exceptionally high level professionals. The accuracy of musical interpretation, culture of performance, impeccable taste in music and the great repertoire brought a legendary reputation to the Orchestra of Mravinsky and the conductor himself, bringing deserved prestige and international fame to the staff and conductor. The sounds of Orchestra conducted by Mravinsky have delivered great delight to a vast number of listeners from around the world: Finland, Czechoslovakia, German Democratic Republic, Federal Republic of Germany, Poland, Austria, Switzerland and Japan. For almost 40 years, from 1946 through 1984 Mravinsky was having overseas tours.

The national government appreciated the merits of Y. A. Mravinsky: he was awarded the honorary title of Honored Artist of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, the title of People's Artist of the USSR, Hero of Socialist Labour, the State and Lenin Prizes of the USSR. 

The last concert of Mravinsky was on March 6, 1987 in the Grand Hall of Leningrad Philharmonics.

Y.A. Mravinsky died on January 19, 1988, in the age of 85. The conductor is buried in the Theological Cemetery of St. Petersburg. On his tomb there is a monument with inscription - "To the Great Musician."


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