Founded in 1992, The St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra Classica was initially a chamber ensemble made up of graduates from St. Petersburg’s state conservatories and winners of international competitions. Today, more than seventy musicians work for us. The young ensemble is developing dynamically, its artistry has won the popularity and love of its listeners, and the approval of the music profession.
Orchestra Classica follows in the steps of the best of St. Petersburg’s musical tradition. At the base of the ensemble’s repertoire is the heritage of ‘St. Petersburg’s Classics’ — Borodin, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov, Liadov, Stravinsky and also the works of composers from abroad — from Mozart to Mahler.
The ensemble is not limited to a merely symphonic programme but often joins the singers of the Marinsky Theatre in the performances of operas such as Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro”, “Cavalleria Rusticana” of Mascagni, “La Sonnambula” of Bellini, “The Pearl Fishers” of Bizet, “Samson and Delilah” of Saint-Saens, “The Barber of Seville” of Rossini and “Eugene Onegin” if Tchaikovsky. The ensemble also performs with St. Petersburg’s ballet troupes in stagings of Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “The Nutcracker” and Adam’s “Giselle”.
Classica regularly appears in St. Petersburg’s State Bolshoi and Maly Concert Halls, and also Colonnade Hall of the A.I. Herzen Pedagogical University. The ensemble has toured Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Finland, The United States, Canada and Japan.
In 1996, Orchestra Classica appeared in Finland with Placido Domingo. The prominent musician remarked: “St. Petersburg brought an unexpected and pleasant surprise – the young Symphony Orchestra Classica, which accompanied me at a concert in Turku... The majority of the musicians were young, but played superbly. They laid bare all their soul, their emotions in the performance of classical music. I believe that the creativity of the Orchestra Classica will enrich the cultural life of St. Petersburg and all Russia, and I send my best wishes to this young ensemble, the Maestro and especially the St. Petersburg audience.”
At the orchestra’s appearance in Great Britain, the influential London newspaper The Independent noted the delightful performance of the music of “Sleeping Beauty” in its pages. “This orchestra would have made Tchaikovsky proud.” — one Belfast newspaper estimated.
The label “Melodia” has issued compact discs of Orchestra Classica: “The P.I. Tchaikovsky Festival”, “Symphonic Dances”, “Symphonic Waltzes”, “The Symphonies of Mozart” and Handel’s Oratory “St. Cicilia”.