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Vladimir Ponkin (Conductor)

Vladimir Ponkin was born in Irkutsk. He finished the Gorky Conservatory and completed his masters in operatic symphonic conducting at the Moscow Conservatory under Gennady Rozhdestvensky. In 1980 he was the first Russian to win at the 5th World Rupert Foundation Competition of Conductors in London. In the 1980’s he worked in the Chamber Opera Theater, and had many appearances with the philharmonic orchestras of Riga, Alma-Ata, Krasnodar, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Omsk, Tomsk, and other cities.

In different years he headed up the Symphonic Orchestra of Goskino and the Yaroslavl philharmonic. In 1996 he was invited to become the musical director in the Stanislavky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater. In the beginning of the 1990’s he was the principle conductor of the Krakow philharmonic Orchestra with which, by the invitation of Pope John Paul II, he performed at the Vatican. In 1996 he was awarded a medal "For Service before Culture" from the Polish ministry of culture and art. Since 1990 he has been the artistic director and principle conductor of the State Symphonic Orchestra of the Moscow State Academic Philharmonic.

Since 2002 he has been the principle conductor of the "Helikon-Opera" theater. He has been invited as a guest conductor and has worked with several orchestras from different countries.To this date he has worked in Australia, Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, The United States, Hungary and many other.

Working with him were such famous performers as M. Fedotov, N. Gutman, E. Virsaladze, N. Petrov, V. Krainev, O. Krisa, D. Pollak, I. Pogorelic. Other Conducting tours met with huge success in Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Australia and Japan.
He has conducted such orchestras as the BBC Orchestra, the Stockholm Radio Orchestra, the "Guido Cantelli" Milan Symphony Orchestra, the City Orchestra of Bergamo and others.
The Discography of Vladimir Ponkin includes both world classics and modern music. The State Symphony Orchestra under his direction performed for the first time in Russia K. Penderetzky‘s "Tenebrae" for soloists, chorus, and the orchestra. The repertory of Vladimir Ponkin is unusually wide, although his favorites are the Russian classics (mostly Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff) and the music of Mozart, Wagner, Bruckner, Brahms and Mahler.

He was the winner of the prestigious "Golden Mask" in 2001 and 2003 for the shows "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk" by D. Shostakovich and "Lulu" by A. Berg, staged by Dmitry Bertman in "Helikon Opera" theater. He was given the title of People‘s Artist of Russia in 2002.


“The Moscow State Symphony Orchestra plays with great technical skill and refinement, and its texture is always transparent and colorful.”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“The young orchestra plays with great enthusiasm; its principal players are brilliant. In addition, Ponkin‘s baton is superb and the mastery of this gifted, alert, and perceptive conductor must be mentioned.”
Corriere della Sera

“The audience shared the orchestra‘s primal joy in music making.”
Allgemeine Zeitung

“The gifted conductor, Vladimir Ponkin, knew how to share his joy of making music with the orchestra.”

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