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Sergei Skripka (Conductor)

Sergei Skripka was born in Kharkov, Russia in 1949, and began his musical studies at the local music school in that city. In 1972 he graduated from the Kharkov Institute of Arts, where he studied choral conducting. Following graduation, Skripka entered the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, studying opera and symphony conducting under Professor Leo Ginsburg, with whom he likewise pursued two years of post-graduate work. Shortly after completing his studies in 1979, Skripka began his association with the Russian State Symphony Cinema Orchestra, eventually becoming its chief conductor and artistic director in 1993.

Skripka has conducted a great many of the orchestra‘s concerts and recordings, including those with famous soloists such as Mikhail Pletnyov, Dmitri Hvorostovksy, Sergei Sudzilovsky, and others. He has likewise overseen the orchestra during its tours abroad. He has conducted a number of new orchestral works by Russian composers such as Artemyev, Mosolov, and Shebalin - some of which are featured here at the Classical Archives.

In addition to his work with the Cinema Orchestra, moreover, Skripka regularly conducts - since 1979 - the Zhukovsky Symphony Orchestra, which has toured in Switzerland and Hungary. He is currently a professor of orchestral conducting at the Gnessin Academy in Moscow. He also holds the honor of being a People‘s Artist of Russia. We are pleased to feature this talented conductor and his distinguished and historic orchestra.

The Russian State Symphony Cinema Orchestra began in 1924 as the resident orchestra at Moscow‘s famous silent movie house, Ars. The success at this theater soon led to invitations for founding conductor D.Block to take the orchestra to other theaters - and to this day the orchestra has been associated with cinema. The association solidified when, during the 1930s and 40s, the orchestra recorded the music to classic Russian films by directors such Aisenshtein, Pudovkin, Alexandrov, and Pyriev - with music by Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Khachaturian, and others. Subsequent classic Russian films for which the Cinema Orchestra has recorded the soundtrack include "War and Peace", "Moscow Doesn‘t Believe in Tears" and "Burnt by the Sun" - which received an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1995. The orchestra has thus mastered the particular demands required in producing a film soundtrack, including the need to operate under tight time restrictions. The range of styles and size of forces is likewise easily accommodated, from the large symphonic scores of Schnittke to the jazz-based scores of Andrei Eshpai.

Beyond its work for film, the orchestra likewise plays a role in Moscow concert life, performing both standard works of the Russian and European repertoires, as well as modern works. The orchestra performs regularly in the Moscow State Philharmonic Society subscription concerts, as well as participates in various music festivals in Russia - including those dedicated to contemporary works. More recently the orchestra has toured outside Russia, traveling, for example, to Berlin in 1991, where they performed Shostakovich‘s 7th Symphony and the War Requiem of Britten; other tours included to Vienna, Frankfurt, and Tunis. Their long and distinguished career has led to numerous recordings, not only of film scores but likewise of non-film compositions, both of the "standard" repertory and contemporary works.
Over the years, the Russian State Symphony Cinema Orchestra has been led by a number of talented conductors, including A.Gauk, V.Nebolsin, and A.Roitman. Today, the orchestra is fortunate to be under the strong leadership of Sergei Skripka.

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