Vakhtang Jordania

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Born in the Soviet Republic of Georgia in 1943, Maestro Jordania received his training in symphonic and operatic conducting at the Leningrad Conservatory, graduating with honors.  A top prize at the 1971 Herbert von Karajan Competition catapulted him to the highest circle of Soviet artistry.  From his assistantship with the legendary Yevgeny Mravinsky until his defection to the United States in 1983, Mr. Jordania held positions as music director of the Leningrad Radio Orchestra, the Saratov Philharmonic, and the Kharkiv Philharmonic.  The Tchaikovsky Competition was under his baton twice.  Conducting for more than one hundred concerts a year, he regularly toured the USSR, collaborating with musicians such as David and Igor Oistrakh, Leonid Kogan, Dmitri Shostakovich, Kiril Kondrashin, and Emil Gilels.

Immediately after his defection, he made his Carnegie Hall debut, which was hailed by the New York Times as "a confident and spirited performance ... the full house leaped to its feet." Success followed in England, France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Japan, Korea, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and South America. In the United States, his appearances in New York, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Portland, Minneapolis, Rochester, Denver, and Fort Worth brought more critical acclaim. After his defection, he held music director and/or principal guest conductor positions with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, the Spokane Symphony, the KBS Symphony Orchestra in Seoul, the Russian Federal Orchestra of Moscow, Daegu City Symphony of South Korea, the St. Petersburg Festival Orchestra of Russia, and Kharkiv Philharmonic of Ukraine, with whom he was appointed for life. Jordania's homeland, the Republic of Georgia, bestowed on him the highest award given to outstanding Georgians, the Ordin of Honor. Also, Ukraine awarded him their highest Medal of Honor for Musical Excellence.

Maestro Jordania has regularly conducted at many prestigious opera houses in Russia, the United States, Ukraine, and Korea, including the Bolshoi and Kirov Theaters. In the United States, he conducted the North American premiere of Dvorák's Rusalka. Right before he died he was the Principal Guest Conductor of the Kharkiv Opera and the Korean American Opera Company.

As a favorite guest conductor across the globe, he has lead many of the world's prestigious orchestras and opera houses.  A three-time Grammy Award nominee, Maestro Jordania conducted the North American premiere of Dvorák's Rusalka in the USA.

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