|Country Of origin:||Russia|
One of the most respected conductors of his generation of former Soviet artists, Mark Ermler conducted in concert halls and opera houses all over the world, from Seattle to Tokyo. He was well known for his performances and recordings of late romantic Russian music, but also recorded the works of Estonian Arvö Pärt.
Ermler studied at the Leningrad Conservatory and made his debut at the podium with the Leningrad Philharmonic in 1952. A year later, he conducted his first operatic performance, of Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio, in Leningrad. He joined the staff of the Bolshoi Opera in 1956, and conducted performances of Beethoven's Fidelio, Rossini's The Barber of Seville, Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, and Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, among other works, during his first season. In 1964 he made his debut as a ballet conductor, with Stravinsky's Petrushka and The Firebird, and he made his British debut with the Bolshoi company in 1974. Ermler's international career included performances in Milan, Prague, London, Montreal, Tokyo, Berlin, with the Bolshoi orchestra and also as the guest conductor of the Royal Philharmonic, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and the London Symphony Orchestra. He also conducted at such distinguished opera venues as Covent Garden, the Seattle Opera, and the Edinburgh Festival.
Although he started his career in the works of Mozart and Beethoven, Ermler proved strongest in his approach to the music of his own country, most notably Tchaikovsky, Borodin, and Rimsky-Korsakov. His approach to conducting yielded very finely played and sung performances, which are also uncommonly rousing and vigorous, and rich in color as well as details.
Ermler's recording career largely centered on the Melodiya label, the former state-run record label of the now defunct Soviet Union. This resulted in the sporadic availability of much of his work over the previous decades, as Melodiya's various licensing agreements caused recordings to appear and disappear very suddenly. His operatic recordings, especially of the Russian romantic repertory, are all highly praised, and considered among the best performances available, although they've only lately become easily accessible to American purchasers, through BMG's purchase of the Melodiya catalog. ~ Bruce Eder~ Rovi