With Dmitrij Kitajenko we honor one of today’s finest conductors, with a long list of first-rate recordings including outstanding complete recordings of the symphonies of Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Scriabin and Tchaikovsky. As a master of color and shading, he has left his mark on the interpretation of these works like nobody else. His inspirational charisma is as strongly felt by orchestras as it is by audiences. Today, he continues to perpetuate his art, generously combining enthusiasm and excellence.
ICMA Jury Statement 2015
Dmitrij Kitajenko is one of the great maestros of our time. For decades now he has regularly conducted prestigious orchestras across Europe, America and Asia.
Born in 1940 in Leningrad (now St Petersburg), Dmitrij Kitajenko studied at the famous Glinka School of Music and the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory, before leaving to study with Leo Ginzburg in Moscow as well as Hans Swarowsky and Karl Österreicher in Vienna.
In 1969, he was a prize-winner at the first International Herbert von Karajan Conducting Competition, and at the age of twenty-nine he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Stanislavsky Theatre in Moscow. In 1976, he assumed the post of Principal Conductor of the Moscow Philharmonic.
In 1990, Dmitrij Kitajenko moved to the West, successively becoming Principal Conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of Bern/Switzerland and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as Principal Guest Conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. From 1999 until 2004, he was Chief Conductor of the KBS Symphony in Seoul. From 2012 to 2017, Dmitrij Kitajenko has also been Principal Guest Conductor of Berlin’s Konzerthausorchester. In September 2015, he was named Conductor of Honor by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.
Dmitrij Kitajenko and the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, of which he has been Honorary Conductor since 2009, have recorded the complete symphonies by Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. These recordings have been awarded with numerous international prizes and are considered important reference recordings. Their recording of Tchaikovsky’s opera Iolanta in 2015 (with Olesya Golovneva, Alexander Vinogradov and Andrei Bondarenko in the lead roles) caused a sensation, and it received the Opera of the Year Award of the International Classical Music Awards (ICMA).
In 2018, OehmsClassics released Stravinsky’s Symphony op. 1 and his Suites Nos. 1 & 2 as well as Glazunov’s Seasons and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings with the Zagreb Philharmonic. The Second Symphony by Jean Sibelius, recorded with the Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne received the ICMA Award 2019 as best recording in the category Symphonic Music.
Dmitrij Kitajenko’s discography encompasses a total of more than 250 recordings, mostly with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra.
In recognition of his life’s work and outstanding recordings, including the complete symphonic works by Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Scriabin and Tchaikovsky, Dmitrij Kitajenko received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the ICMA (International Classical Music Awards) in 2015.
(Updated March 2019)