“Sinaisky, whose conducting is precise, sensuous and who has a near perfect technique must have sharpened the senses of the Gewandhaus. This orchestra rarely plays with such boundless generosity, with such flexible dynamic range, with such voluptuous use of colour, so rich in detail and with such a grasp of structure. A truly great Shostakovich – moving, truthful and unsettling.”
Vassily Sinaisky’s international career was launched in 1973 when he won the Gold Medal at the prestigious Karajan Competition in Berlin. His early work with Kirill Kondrashin at the Moscow Philharmonic and with Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatoire provided him with an incomparable grounding. Soon after his success at the Karajan Competition, Sinaisky was appointed Chief Conductor of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, a post he held from 1976 to 1987. He then became Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Moscow Philharmonic, leading numerous high-profile projects with the Orchestra both in Russia and on tour.
Sinaisky enjoys regular collaborations with such orchestras as the Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Berlin Radio Symphony, Stuttgart Radio Symphony and Czech Philharmonic. Recent seasons have also seen him conduct the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and NHK Symphony, Tokyo.
Sinaisky holds the positions of Conductor Emeritus of the BBC Philharmonic and Honorary Conductor of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Sweden. Memorable projects with the BBC Philharmonic have included the Shostakovich and his Heroes festival, tours to Europe and China, and many appearances at the BBC Proms. With the Malmö Symphony, Sinaisky has toured to the UK and to Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, and recorded an acclaimed four-disc series of the symphonies of Franz Schmidt. Sinaisky has also held the positions of Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Philharmonic and Music Director of the Russian State Orchestra. From 2010 until 2013, Sinaisky held the position as Chief Conductor and Music Director of the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow and conducted acclaimed productions including Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel directed by Kirill Serebrennikov and Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier directed by Stephen Lawless (the first ever staging of this work in Moscow).
Sinaisky has a distinguished pedigree as an operatic conductor. He recently conducted Iolanta and Francesca da Rimini in new productions by Stephen Lawless at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien. He also recently conducted Boris Godunov at San Francisco Opera. Other projects have included productions of Carmen and Der Rosenkavalier for English National Opera and an acclaimed Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk with Hans Neuenfels at the Komische Oper Berlin.
Vassily Sinaisky’s recordings include the aforementioned set of the symphonies of Franz Schmidt for Naxos with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra. His other recordings include many with the BBC Philharmonic including works by Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Shchedrin, Glinka, Liadov, Schreker and Szymanowski. Vassily Sinaisky is a noted and influential teacher, and holds the position of Professor of Conducting at the St Petersburg Conservatoire.
Vassily Sinaisky is represented by Intermusica.
September 2014 / 421 words. Not to be altered without permission.
London Philharmonic Orchestra / Rachmaninov
“It’s a salutary lesson to realise just how much of this movement is scored at piano or pianissimo – Kolesnikov and Sinaisky made you listen with fresh ears.”
BachTrack, October 2014
“Sinaisky is a greatly experienced conductor in this repertoire, and at once he brought this composer’s slightly forbidding but aristocratic and generous musical personality. His was a very subjective approach to the score, with expressive exploration of detail at all turns… The lyrical third movement was lovingly shaped, with a beautifully played clarinet solo by Robert Hill.”
Classical Source, October 2014
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Smetana, Bruch & Dvorák
“The CBSO strings and wind were immensely persuasive here under conductor Vassily Sinaisky.
…Sinaisky directing a thrilling performance with the CBSO’s horns and heavy brass storming on impressively”.
Birmingham Post, October 2014
Malmö Symphony Orchestra / Stravinsky & Ravel
“Rarely has an ovation been so well deserved.
Vassily Sinaisky’s interpretation was formidable. Entirely in the spirit of Stravinsky…he let the music speak for itself with great care for both small details and the big picture.”
Skanskan, October 2014
BBC Philharmonic / R. Strauss
“Sinaisky, a fine Straussian, conducted with great intelligence and wit…”
Guardian, February 2014
The Cleveland Orchestra / Liadov, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev
“Every artist animates a score through performance. Sinaisky, however, endowed his Cleveland Orchestra program with physical, three-dimensional traits, such that one felt practically surrounded, able not only to hear but almost to touch the music.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 2013
Bolshoi Opera on tour in Israel / Tchaikovsky / Eugene Onegin
“Conducted by Vassily Sinaisky, the excellently coordinated Bolshoi opera orchestra excitedly contributed the work’s dramatic tension and emotional intensity.”
The Jerusalem Post, July 2013
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Shostakovich
“This stunningly well played concert of violent emotional contrasts was a triumphant display of the powers of concentration of both conductor and players….And so to the enigma of Shostakovich’s Symphony No.6. Vassily Sinaisky is one of a great line of Russian conductors in this repertoire, and he gave us an intense and disturbing performance, part apocalypse and part circus.”
Birmingham Post, April 2013
The Cleveland Orchestra / Tchaikovsky
“In some hands, the symphony’s slow movement, “Land of Desolation, Land of Mists,” resembles its title all too closely. With Sinaisky, however, the scene was anything but dull or hazy. Rather, it moved along swiftly and compellingly, fueled by a strong current and clear sense of purpose. Likewise, both “Reveries of a Winter Journey” and the Finale evinced the sparkle, drama and propulsive force of a master who’s traversed the territory many times before. Saturday was Sinaisky’s debut in Cleveland, but it was far from his first foray into the realm... the orchestra sounded magnificent.”
The Plain Dealer, July 2012
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra / Shostakovich
“Vassily Sinaisky refuses to draw attention to himself, so one can easily underestimate him. He certainly proved his great quality during this performance of Shostakovich’s eigth symphony, creating tension, brilliance and drawing the finest possible playing from the RSB. The orchestra created a completely homogenous sound and a sense of shared experience... This was a most impressive evening. 5 stars”
RBB KulturRadio, February 2012
“The symphony lasted for more than an hour, and yet the time seemed to fly by. Sinaisky and the RSB created a vivid, apocalyptic sound-world... like a memorial in music for all those who had died.”
Tagesspiegel, February 2012
“This was a weighty evening of lamentation, mourning, and in the end, hope... The RSB, under Sinaisky’s baton, managed a finely nuanced balancing act between cries of victory and of plaintiveness, with complete unanimity and excellent performances.”
Kultur-info, February 2012
Czech Philharmonic / Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich
“It was quite possibly the best Tchaikovsky this critic has ever heard, rich and full-blooded, unveiling vivid colours and shimmering textures at every turn... After intermission, Sinaisky served up a masterful interpretation of Shostakovich’s Symphony No.10. The conductor lingered over the fractured, brooding passages of the first movement, teased out delicate sonorities in the third, and showed perfect control throughout, even when whipping the sound into a piercing shriek. The balance he struck between solo lines and the full orchestra was phenomenal, producing an almost completely transparent sound. The overall effect was powerful without a hint of bombast.”
Prague Culture, February 2012
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France / Prokofiev and Shostakovich
“Sinaisky grabbed the reins and presented the audience with a performance of great power and sheer sound... Remarkable conducting.”
ConcertoNet, February 2012
Theater an der Wien / Tchaikovsky Iolanta and Rachmaninov Francesca da Rimini
Dir. Stephen Lawless
“Tchaikovsky’s strongly evocative score was championed with precision, affection and passion... The Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Vassily Sinaisky, Chief Conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Sinaisky, a master conductor of the old school, led with consummate technique and with every possible attention to detail. When he coaxed the melody from the strings or the woodwind in some of the most beautiful passages, it even brought a tear to the eye.”
Neue Musikzeitung, January 2012
These are featured projects related to Vassily Sinaisky:
Interpreters on Shostakovich
Vassily Sinaisky on conducting Shostakovich
Interview reproduced by kind permission from the DSCH Journal
Earlier this year the DSCH Journal had the good fortune to speak with maestro Sinaisky from his Amsterdam home:
DSCH Journal: Tell us something about early musical impressions and influences as a young conductor.
Vassily Sinaisky: It was a very interesting musical life in Leningrad at that time, the 1960s;...