Death of a much-recorded Russian music director, 79

Founder of two major Russian symphony orchestras, in Volgograd and Ulyanovsk, Edward Serov was a runner-up in the first Herbert von Karajan conducting competition.

After a term as assistant to Yevgeny Mravinsky at the Leningrad Philharmonic, he became chief conductor of the city’s chamber orchestra, from 1974 to 1985.

Abroad, Serov was music director in Odense, Denmark, in the early 1990s.

He made more than 50 commercial recordings and particularly championed the music of Boris Tchaikovsky and Boris Tischenko.


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  • I recall him guest conducting the orchestra at which I was employed in the Midwest US (leave it at that) in the early 90’s. We played Tchaikovsky 5 and the second trumpet dropped his mute at a most inopportune moment during the performance in the slow movement. A flow of Russian cursing ensued all while he continued to conduct the orchestra.

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