It is rare that a conductor achieves international acclaim within a few years of his debut, but such was the case with Vladimir Jurowski, whose star is still on the ascent. When he made his debut in 1995 at the Wexford Festival in Ireland with Rimsky-Korsakov's May Night, he was only 23. That success led to his debut at Covent Garden later that season in Verdi's Nabucco. His first operatic recording appeared on Marco Polo in 1997, an acclaimed three-CD set containing Meyerbeer's rarely encountered L'étoile du nord, derived from live performances at the 1996 Wexford Festival. Soon he became known in the concert hall as well, earning a sequence of steadily more significant orchestral posts.
Jurowski was born in Moscow on April 4, 1972. His father is famed conductor Michail Jurowski, his grandfather, a composer, also named Vladimir Mikhailovich Jurowski. Vladimir's first serious music studies were in his teens at the Moscow Conservatory. The Jurowski family moved to Germany in 1990, where young Vladimir studied conducting with Rolf Reuter. Jurowski made his first recording, Kancheli's cantata Exil, in 1994 (ECM Records) even before his official debut the following year. After his appearances at the Wexford Festival and Covent Garden, he began conducting at the Komische Oper Berlin, where he worked as an assistant to Yakov Kreizberg during the 1996-1997 season. The following year he was appointed kapellmeister there.
Jurowski left his Berlin post in 2001, the year he assumed music directorship of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, remaining there through 2013. He was already busy (since 2000) as principal guest conductor of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, a post he held for three seasons. In 2003, Jurowski was appointed the principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and two years later began serving in the same capacity with the Russian National Orchestra. In 2007, he was named the principal conductor of the LPO; his conductorship of the orchestra has been extended several times, with his departure scheduled for the conclusion of the 2020-2021 season. He was one of ten conductors to endorse and participate in a major outreach program designed to introduce classical music to students. Jurowski was named the chief conductor and artistic director of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2015, and in 2018, the Bavarian State Opera announced his appointment, beginning with the 2021-2022 season. He also holds the position of principal artist for the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Jurowski's post as leader of the LPO has made him one of the most prolific conductors of the 2000s and 2010s. His recordings have focused on late Romantic repertory, by no means all of it Russian, and he has recorded music from Beethoven (the "Eroica" Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55) to contemporary repertory. In the U.S., Jurowski has had recurring guest conductor slots with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and he has returned to Russia for conducting and recording engagements with the Russian National Orchestra and the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation. In 2020, Jurowski was heard with Nicola Benedetti on a Decca album of Elgar's music and on a Hyperion album of Shostakovich violin concertos with Alina Ibragimova.
© Robert Cummings & James Manheim /TiVo