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Russian State Symphony Orchestra

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The Russian State Symphony Orchestra. (Государственный Академический Симфонический Оркестр России) is one of the premier orchestras in Russia. It is based in Moscow. It was founded in 1936 as the USSR State Symphony Orchestra and was intended to be the flagship orchestra for the Soviet Union. However, the older Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra claimed this distinction for most critics. The orchestra acquired its current name after the fall of the Soviet Union.

In 2000 longtime music director Evgeny Svetlanov was controversially fired by Russia’s minister of culture, Mikhail Shvydkoi. The reason given was that Svetlanov was spending too much time conducting abroad and not enough time in Moscow. In 2002 Svetlanov was replaced by Mark Gorenstein, who had initially refused to take the position.

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