A protégé of renowned Chief Conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic Yevgeny Mravinsky, Vladimir Verbitsky was born in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) graduated its famous Conservatoire, conducts world-wide and has a huge discography of recordings made with numerous orchestras.
Vladimir Verbitsky made his Moscow debut at the invitation of the legendary Russian pianist Emil Gilels, and their musical association continued through numerous concert appearances. In Russia he regularly conducts the major Moscow and St. Petersburg orchestras, as well as continuing his long association with the Voronezh Philharmonic, of which he has been Chief Conductor and Music Director since 1972. Under his baton the Voronezh Philharmonic has improved enormously and was given a title of Academic Orchestra for truly great music making. He has served as Chief Conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic in Bratislava, and has been given the honorable title of People’s Artist of Russia.
As Guest Conductor on many international tours of Evgeny Svetlanov’s USSR State Symphony Orchestra, Vladimir Verbitsky conducted this mighty orchestra in France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Canada, USA, South America, Japan and Hong Kong.
He was introduced to Australian and New Zealand audiences in 1986, when he achieved a remarkable personal success as Guest Conductor on the USSR State Symphony Orchestra’s historic first Australasian tour. At the end of this tour he was invited to be Music Director of the State Orchestra of Victoria in Melbourne.
Vladimir Verbitsky has toured Australia each year since 1987 and regularly conducts all of the major Australian and New Zealand orchestras. This unique collaboration with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra has extended through twelve years, from 1987-1991 as a Guest Conductor and from 1992-1997 as the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor. He was appointed in 1997 Conductor Laureate. This important honor has been given for life in recognition of his depth of knowledge, artistic vision and wonderful rapport with the orchestra.
Vladimir Verbitsky’s recent engagements have included concerts with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Great Radio and Television Orchestra of Moscow and Svetlanov’s Orchestra; concerts with the Lucerne Symphony in Switzerland; recordings in Germany with the Baden-Baden Philharmonic, a six-concert Russian Music Festival with the Auckland Philharmonia in New Zealand; frequent concerts with the Florida Orchestra and the Tucson Symphony.
Among soloists he has performed with are Emil Gilels, Vladimir Spivakov, Gidon Kremer, Evelyn Glennie, Oleg Kagan, Natalia Gutman, Viktor Tretyakov, lgor Oistrakh, Evgeny Svetlanov, Paul Badura-Skoda, Frank Peter Zimmermann and André Laplante.
Vladimir Verbitsky’s repertoire includes more than two thousand works of classical music as well as numerous contemporary works. His long discography includes recordings with the USSR State Symphony Orchestra,the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Voronezh Philharmonic, Slovak Philharmonic, SaarbrÃ¼cken Radio Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, State Orchestra of Victoria, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and others.
“He directed Prokofiev’s lyrical melodies and sardonic touches with efficient, economical gestures…. this performance won a richly deserved standing ovation.” FULL REVIEW
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
“Verbitsky’s tender touch, especially as Orpheus ascended to its airy conclusion, was a suspenseful prelude to the concert’s grand finale, Bartok’s suite from The Miraculous Mandarin.”
St. Petersburg Times, Florida
“Verbitsky had them all at his fingertips. He and the orchestra performed like soul mates on both works. We hope Verbitsky, already a four-time guest here, returns.” FULL REVIEW
“The peak of the evening lay incontrovertibly in the keeping of Shostakovich, with impressive Verbitsky taking WASO through a performance of the Tenth Symphony that got to the heart of the musical matter…. This is not music to relax to. The scherzo, in particular, is a tour de force; it has a stringent, ominous quality. And Verbitsky, with his finger firmly on the pulse of the music, took his forces through a reading that riveted the attention.”
The West Australian
“Verbitsky highlighted the multicolored layers in Respighi’s glistening Three Boticelli Pictures and the players responded with most delicately etched sound pictures.”
The Courier-Mail Queensland, Ausrtralia
“An on-form WASO with Vladimir at the helm essayed Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 in fine style with some of the year’s most impressive playing in a reading that was invariably cogent and lucid.”
The West Australian
“…Verbitsky gave us a reading of pure delight, the lilting essence of the piece captured and conveyed to the nth degree by unusually responsive WASO”
The West Australian
“Conductor Vladimir Verbitsky found great drama, emotion – and more than a modicum of subtlety – in Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor, opus 64. Indeed, at times, it seemed as if the Tucson musicians had transformed themselves into a well-oiled, passionate Slavic machine. … More often than not, Verbitsky conducted without baton, urging the orchestra with gestures with his entire body. …it was Tchaikovsky at its most effective.”
The Arizona Daily Star
“Russian guest conductor Vladimir Verbitsky conquered the recognition of the audience through an impressive and insightful performance…Under convincing baton of Verbitsky the Luzern Symphony Orchestra was driven to a sparkling and truly outstanding performance. Technically clean, with balanced sound and impressive in its musical message Verbitsky offered all of himself to the audience”.
“I can not recall a more satisfying account by the WA Symphony Orchestra of a major work by Strauss than Vladimir Verbitsky’s direction of Zarathustra. … Paying the keenest attention to detail without for a moment losing sight of the work’s grand design, Verbitsky – positively reveling in the flare of brass and the fashioning of enormous tonal climaxes – coaxed from his forces a reading to remember. …an inspired Verbitsky took his musicians to the heights…”
The West Australian