Tugan Sokhiev

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Tugan Sokhiev became one of the world’s most prominent conductors in the 2010s, with directorships at the Bolshoi Theater and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse in France. He has made guest appearances with many of the world’s premier symphonic ensembles.
Sokhiev was born on October 10, 1977, in Vladikavkaz, Ossetia, then in the Soviet Union, now part of Russia. He started piano lessons at seven, but seeing the work of Anatoli Briskin, conductor of the North Ossetia State Philharmonic Orchestra, inspired him to try conducting instead. Sokhiev attended the St. Petersburg Conservatory, where he became one of the last students of famed conductor and teacher, Ilya Musin. In 1999, Sokhiev made his debut, leading a performance of Puccini’s La bohème in Iceland, and he later conducted a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. These early successes inspired Welsh National Opera executives to hire Sokhiev as music director in 2003. He resigned the following year after disagreements with musicians there, but he bounced back in 2005 with a principal guest conductor post at the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. He was elevated to music director in 2008 and has remained in that post into the 2020s, broadening the group’s repertoire past its traditional concentration on French music. From 2010 to 2016, Sokhiev served as the principal conductor of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, stepping down only so that he could devote more energy to his new post as the music director of the Bolshoi Theater in 2014. He has continued to hold that position, while also making a series of increasingly prestigious guest appearances with such groups as the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, and the Berlin Philharmonic, which he led on two separate multi-city tours.
Beginning with a recording of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, in 2006, Sokhiev made multiple recordings with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse for the Naïve label. He moved to Sony Classical in 2016 and made several recordings there with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. In 2020, Sokhiev and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse moved to Warner Classics for a recording of the Shostakovich Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65. ~ James Manheim