Death of a well-travelled Russian conductor, 73

Death of a well-travelled Russian conductor, 73


norman lebrecht

October 17, 2017

The death is reported in Moscow of Fedor Glushchenko, an accomplished conductor who worked with many UK and European orchestras and made recordings for Hyperion and Chandos, among other labels.


In the 1990s he was head of the Arturo Toscanini orchestra in Italy and the RTVE Symphony in Madrid.

Latterly he was principal guest of the national symphony orchestra of Ukraine.


  • Peter Owen says:

    What a bloody awful racket – I hope the poor orchestral players were given earplugs.- yet, like a sonic version of rhe rabbit frozen in the headlights, I found myself listening to the welcome end.

  • Lawrence Kershaw says:

    This is very sad news. I was Fedor’s agent during the early 90’s and he was a fine conductor whom British orchestras really began to take to. He was a particular favourite of the BBC Scottish Symphony and, indeed, gave his Prom debut with them in (I think) 1994. His range of repertoire was astonishing and he brought a truly informed interpretation to everything he conducted. He was very happy to dig out less well-known scores when asked and made very persuasive arguments for less performed pieces. I shall remember the Chandos recording sessions with the BBC Philharmonic for an astounding quality of sound in the Khachaturian (particularly the Triumphal Poem which I’d never heard before) but also transporting us all to Russia with Ippolitov-Ivanov; Leeds Town Hall was truly rocking!
    His facility with contemporary music was remarkable and I remember one particular occasion – as a late replacement – when he made sense of a new score receiving its world premiere which he was handed at the airport and read during the taxi-ride to rehearsals. Two hours later he conducted it as if he’d been performing it for years.
    It can’t be ignored that he had a somewhat difficult demeanour – perhaps too much of the old maestro mentality – and this ultimately put a stop to his performing in the UK, which was a genuine loss. He was a very charming man off the podium, but this didn’t always translate to his working patterns and there were too many ‘confrontations’. I recall one orchestral director calling me after a week of his working to say that the level of music-making was amazing and that he had never heard the Orchestra sound so good….but they never wanted to have him back again!
    He continued to enjoy success elsewhere and we maintained a little contact but not for some time. I think most who heard and played with him will see past the awkwardness and recall a serious and genuinely fine conductor and musician.

    • Malcolm Warne Holland says:

      Sad news Lawrence! I have nothing to add to your fair assessment of his talents and his failings! A pity he didn’t “fit” in the UK.
      Best Wishes
      Malcolm Warne Holland – Manager BBC Philharmonic 1989-1995

  • Bratsche-scratcher says:

    His name went down in the ‘folklore ‘ of BBC Welsh Orchestra , but not in the best way! It’s a shame because he knew his stuff , but orchestras don’t exactly warm to bullying tactics nowadays . Still , I now have have some good stories to tell….

  • Suzana Stefanović says:

    Head of the RTVE orchestra in Madrid ?! Not.