Conductor Emeritus - Vassily Sinaisky

Vassily Sinaisky is renowned across Europe as a conductor of operas and symphony music concerts. He has performed in top opera houses and concert halls and is an esteemed and sought-after conducting teacher. He is one of the best Chief Conductors in the history of the LNSO, a remarkable conductor of works by Latvian composers. Sinaisky is best known for his command of the Russian, German, and English symphony music repertoire.


Vassily Sinaisky was born on 20 April 1947 in the Abez settlement (town of Inta, the Komi Republic, Russia) in an earth house near the Arctic Circle. The family acquired their first piano after moving to Pechora. The boy started to play the piano at the age of five.
In 1957, his father was permitted to return to Leningrad, his birthplace, where Vassily would study music theory and piano playing. He learned conducting basics at an early age, and the legendary Ilya Musin served as his conducting guru.

From 1971 to 1973 Vassily Sinaisky was the second conductor of the Novosibirsk Symphony Orchestra, whose Chief Conductor was

Arnold Kats. In 1973, Sinaisky participated in the Herbert von Karajan Foundation competition, earning the Gold Medal. Afterwards, he was invited to conduct Moscow’s top orchestras in concert. Having earned Kirill Kondrashin’s support, he was appointed his assistant conductor in the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, where he worked until 1976. Sinaisky’s performance in Dzintari Concert Hall on tour with the orchestra caught the attention of Filips Šveiniks, director of the Latvian State Philharmonic. Šveiniks invited him to conduct the LNSO in concert, and on 28 September 1974, Vassily Sinaisky conducted the orchestra in the world premiere of Jānis Ivanovs’ Symphony No. 16. Following the performance, the time seemed right for Leonīds Vīgners to retire and be replaced by the young Sinaisky, aged 27 at the time. According to the maestro himself, the idea came from Filips Šveiniks and Jānis Ivanovs.


On 18 September 1975, Sinaisky conducted his first concert as Chief Conductor of the LNSO. The programme included Poem-Fantasia by Romualds Kalsons (new work), Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini by Rachmaninoff (solo by Ilze Graubiņa), and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Over the course of his career, Vassily Sinaisky has conducted the Moscow Philharmonic SO, the Russian State SO, the Malmö SO; he is the former Chief Conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre Moscow (2010–2013), the BBC PO (Conductor Emeritus) and Chief Guest Conductor of the Netherlands PO. Sinaisky’s top opera performances include productions at the Komische Oper Berlin, Vienna’s Theater an der Wien, the Hungarian State Opera, and the English National Opera. Sinaisky’s contribution to Latvian music earned him Latvia’s Grand Music Award (1999) for promoting Latvian music in the 1970s-80s.

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