Roman Leontiev , Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Tchaikovsky St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, is regarded as one of the preeminent conductors of his generation.
Born in 1963, he graduated from the special musical school of the Glinka Novosibirsk Conservatory of Music - one of the most famous music schools in Russia. In 1981 he began to study conducting at the Gnesin Russian Academy of Music in Moscow. He graduated in 1986, and has continuied his conducting education at Novosibirsk Conservatory (Prof. Arnold Kats, People's Artist of Russia). Upon his graduation from Novosibirsk Conservatory of Music, Mr. Leontiev was accepted to the N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music (1991–1999) as a pupil of the famous Professor Ilya Musin, in his postgraduate class.
These honors led Leontiev to become engaged to conduct in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, and to participate in the variety of the European festivals. The critical acclaim of these engagements led to Mr. Leontiev being invited to conduct in Western Europe and throughout Russia. Mr. Leontiev's additional engagements included other performances in Germany, Finland and Sweden.
Maestro Leontiev's first professional acclaim was received in 1985 when he was the Prize Winner of the International Moscow Festival. For his participation at the Festival he was awarded the USSR Government Medal. This success was followed in 1986 when Maestro Leontiev was awarded a Special Award at the Third Annual Russian National Folk Music Festival and Competition. At the mid-1990s Leontiev started the Tchaikovsky St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, comprised by the graduates of the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music, and he became its Music Director and Conductor. The orchestra toured successfully to Finland, Serbia and Latin America, participating in the festivals and various International projects. In 1997 Roman Leontiev became the Prize Winner of the International Conducting Competition in Pereno (Switzerland-Austria). He was also awarded the Special Prize for the best performance of the contemporary compositions. After this success he was engaged to conduct the Symphonica Toscanini, which followed by engagements in Hungary with the Radio and Television orchestra (Hungary). His conducting career brought him to the North of Europe and the U.K. In 1997 he made a successful debut with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, which was soon followed by concerts in the D. Shostakovich St. Petersburg Philharmonics Grand Hall, conducting the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra "Klassika". The other engagements were with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre. The concert with the Mariinsky Theatre was dedicated to his Professor and Maestro Ilya Musin. From 1997 till 2012, Maestro Leontiev has been in the position as a regular conductor of the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra "Klassika". With this orchestra he has performed the complete L. van Beethoven's symphonies cycle which was met with critical acclaim, the rare performed cycles of the of Russian and foreign composers. He was the first conductor who presented many contemporary compositions to St. Petersburg public . These compositions were also recorded by Mr. Leontiev in St. Petersburg. During 1999-2000 season, he was the conductor of the "St. Petersburg Opera" Theatre. During 2001 -2006 has conducted more than 100 ballet productions in the UK during the tour of the St. Petersburg Ballet Theatre. In 2002 keeps the position of the Principal guest conductor of the Youth-West Symphony in Germany. From 2004 appears with the one best Russian orchestras- Russian Philharmonia (Moscow), conducts leading orchestras all over Russia - Novosibirsk Philharmonics, Ekaterinburg Philharmonics,Tomsk Philharmonics, Volgograd Philharmonics, Barnaul Philharmonics, symphony orchestras of Rjazan, Tula, Sochi and many others. Regular guest conductor of all the St. Petersburg orchestras - State Symphony orchestra of St. Petersburg, Governor Orchestra, State Hermitage Orchestra, State St. Petersburg Capella Orchestra, Youth Philharmonic of St. Petersburg and others. Works with the singers of Mariinsky Theatre in the various concert halls of St. Petersburg. Mr. Leontiev's engagements with the "Tchaikovsky" St. Petersburg Symphony orchestra led to the "Tchaikovsky" orchestra engaging Mr. Leontiev as a Principal Guest conductor in 2001. In 2002 Maestro Leontiev was named Music Director of the "Tchaikovsky" St. Petersburg Symphony orchestra. He was among the founders ( 1999) of the "Cultural Initiative Foundation" which goal is to support the young composers of St. Petersburg. In 2003 conducted the world premier of the work "Vladimirskaya Square" in commemoration of the 300th Anniversary of the foundation of the City of St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2012 Mr. Leontiev led the "Tchaikovsky" St. Petersburg Symphony orchestra in its inaugural trans-continental tour of the USA in co-operation with the Columbia Artists Management with totally 46 concerts.