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The National Philharmonic Orchestra of Belarus (Belarus State Symphony Orchestra) is one of the oldest cultural institutions in Belarus, founded in 1927. It has always ranked high with the distinguished conductors and soloists who have collaborated with it. In September 2001 Alexander Anissimov, People’s Artist of Belarus, Honoured Artist of Russia and Honoris Causa of the National University of Ireland, took up the position of chief conductor of the orchestra. In 2001–2003 the orchestra took part in the Irish Wexford Opera Festival, performing both in operatic and symphonic repertoire. The orchestra has toured in Germany, Italy, Greece, The Netherlands, Lebanon, France, Switzerland, Finland, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Japan, and China. It offers fifty programmes each season, and takes part in annual international festivals, including the Belarusian Musical Autumn, Minsk Spring, the Yuri Bashmet Festival, and Vladimir Spivakov Invites. The orchestra has a wide repertoire ranging from classical symphonic music of Russian and European composers to the works of Belarusian, Russian and West European composers of the 20th and 21st centuries.

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