Yevgeny Svetlanov (conductor)
Yevgeny Fyodorovich Svetlanov was a Russian conductor, composer, and also an extremely fine pianist. Born in Moscow in 1928 he studied conducting at the Moscow Conservatory. From 1955 he conducted at the Bolshoi Theatre, being appointed principal conductor there in 1962. From 1965 he was principal conductor of the Russian State Symphony Orchestra but in 2000 was fired from this post by the minister of culture of Russia, Mikhail Shvydkoi. The reason given was that Svetlanov was spending too much time conducting abroad and not enough time in Moscow. Svetlanov was particularly noted for his interpretations of Russian works—he covered the whole range of Russian music, from Mikhail Glinka to the present day. He was also one of the few Russian conductors to conduct the entire symphonic output of Gustav Mahler. His own compositions included a string quartet, Russian Variations for harp and orchestra and a piano concerto, among other works. He died in Moscow in 2002 and was interred in the Vagankovo Cemetery.