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The Novosibirsk Academic Symphony Orchestra has been well-known outside Siberia for a very long time. It has become a cultural asset of not only the city of Novosibirsk and the Siberian region but of the whole of Russia. According to the opinion of some foreign and Russian critics, musicians and audiences, the orchestra can be classed with the orchestras of Moscow and St Petersburg. Established in 1956 and led by Arnold Kats (1924-2007), the People’s Artist of the USSR, and laureate of the National Award of Russia, the orchestra has given concerts in various Russian cities and towns, participated in numerous international musical festivals, and undertaken concert tours throughout Europe and to Japan.

The great event that formed the climax of the jubilee year, the most important in the history of the orchestra, took place on 8th June, 2006, when the Novosibirsk Symphony Orchestra was honoured to take part in the Festival of Symphony Orchestras from all over the world, for the state holiday, Russian National Day. On this unique occasion, organized by the Association of Symphony and Chamber Orchestras of Russia at the Column Hall of the Dom Sojuzov, the Novosibirsk Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Arnold Kats performed alongside the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta, the Toscanini Philharmonic Orchestra under Lorin Maazel, the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields and other orchestras, in the presence of the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. The orchestra has been conducted by many world-renowned Russian conductors, and appeared with leading soloists. In 1982 the orchestra acquired the title ‘Academic’. In 2002 Thomas Sanderling was appointed principal guest conductor. Fabio Mastrangelo took over this position in June 2007. Gintaras Rinkevičius (Lithuania) became artistic director and chief conductor in September 2007.

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