DMITRI LISS is recognized as one of today's most exciting young conductors. As Associate Conductor of the Russian National Orchestra and Principal Conductor of the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra, he has won praise and rave reviews for his interpretations of the Russian masterworks as well as of contemporary music and jazz.
Liss was born in the former Soviet Union in 1960 and graduated with honors from the Moscow Conserva-tory, where he studied under Dmitri Kitayenko. In 1984 he joined the Kuzbass Symphony and, in 1989, accepted a position with the Omsk Symphony, working with both orchestras simultaneously. He was named Principal Conductor in Kuzbass in 1991, becoming the youngest chief conductor in Russia at that time.
In 1995 Liss won the First International Competition of Young Conductors in Zagreb, Croatia. The same year he was appointed Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra. His debut with the Russian National Orchestra came in 1997 with a concert featuring Music Director Mikhail Pletnev as soloist; in 1998 Liss was appointed Associate Conductor.
As a guest conductor, Liss has led such orchestras as the Moscow Philharmonic, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Dutch Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Estonian National Orchestra, the Budapest Philharmonic, and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra of California.
Liss' last-minute substitution to lead the RNO's summer 1999 residency at the Hollywood Bowl was enthusiastically received. The Orange County Register wrote, "He threw himself into conducting the as-scheduled agenda as if it had been his own choicest repertory to begin with, extroverted and sweeping in his motions in the big music, lyrical and elegant in the quiet, firmly on top of cues everywhere. The performances came off strongly defined, sharply inflected and lucidly textured."
In addition to Mikhail Pletnev, soloists who have performed under Liss' baton include Yuri Bashmet, Peter Donohoe, Gidon Kremer, and Mstislav Rostropovich. He has led Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in its multi-year collaboration with the Russian National Orchestra.
Critics praise Liss' elegant style and artistic execution. Compared by some to Leonard Bernstein, he is considered among the world's finest interpreters of Tchaikovsky and of contemporary music, and has a special gift for working with young people. Of his debut with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic in 1998, conducting Tchaikovsky's Pathétique Symphony, one critic wrote, "Dmitri Liss was possessed of absolute power both over the orchestra and the audience. It was a dialogue with eternity."