< Republic’s Honoured Collective The Belarusian State Chamber Orchestra (BelSCO) was founded in 1968, under the name of “Minsk Chamber Orchestra”, by a well-known musician Oleg Yanchenko, an organist, composer and conductor. For twenty-five years the orchestra was lead by Yury Tzyriuk, who came from the Minsk and St.Petersburg (then Leningrad) Conservatories. The highest performing achievements of the ensemble are associated with his name.
In 1975, the orchestra received great accolades at the International Festival of Chamber Orchestras in Vilnius, Lithuania, where it was proclaimed to be one of the very best ensembles of the then Soviet Union. In 1977, the orchestra won the All-Union competition of the Professional Performing Ensembles. The Chamber Orchestra has performed in such halls as the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatoire, The Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, and all main halls of the capital of the former USSR. The ensemble received numerous awards, among them – the Honorary Diplomas and Certificates of the Supreme Soviets of Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Moldavia (Moldova) and the republics of Caucasus and Middle Asia.
In 1977, the State Chamber Orchestra was the very first of all Belarusian professional ensembles chosen to tour Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Bulgaria. The tour was a resounding success. Since then, the orchestra has toured Germany, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Finland, Lebanon, Turkey, and many other countries.
The orchestra enjoys performing extensively in its native Belarus, and there is not a place on the Belarusian map where the orchestra has not performed. In fact, BelSCO was instrumental in establishing chamber orchestras in many Belarusian cities, such as Hrodna, Brest, Gomel, Molodechno, and others.
The most outstanding artists who have performed with the orchestra include pianists Sviatoslav Richter, Paul Badura-Skoda (Austria), Nikolay Petrov, Tatiana Nikolaeva, Halina Czerny-Stefańska (Poland), Elisso Virsaladze, Mikhail Voskressensky; cellists Mstislav Rostropovich, Natalia Gutman; violinists Victor Tretyakov, Liana Issakadze; vocalists Irina Arkhipova, Katia Ricciarelli, Alla Ablaberdyeva, and others. The ensemble has collaborated with such renowned conductors as Rudolf Barshai, Gennady Provatorov, Vitaliy Kataev, Petr Vandilovsky, Dmitri Zubov, Mikhail Katz, Valeriy Polyansky, Alexander Polianichko, Ingo E.Rheil (Germany), Saulius Sondeckis (Lithuania) and others.
The orchestra’s repertoire is multifaceted and extensive, ranging from the 17th century to the 21st. BelSCO became a unique creative laboratory for many Belarusian composers, including Smolsky, Kondrusevich, Kopytsko, Soltan, Gorelova among others. The ensemble has performed and recorded practically every piece of music composed by Belarusian composers.
Currently, the orchestra is comprised of former graduates of Belorussian and Moscow Conservatories.
Among them are five winners of national and international competitions; six performers hold master’s and doctoral degrees from Belarusian Academy of Music; five more also teach in colleges and conservatories.
At present time, the Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Belarusian State Chamber Orchestra is the Honored Artist of Russia, Evgeny Bushkov.
During last seasons the orchestra under Evgeny Bushkov’s leadership has presented over 40 new programs including numerous World and National premieres of works by such composers as Benjamin Britten, Giya Kantcheli, Erik Freitag, Gabriele Proy, Sergey Cortes, Larissa Simakovich, Vladimir Kurian, Hidayat.I Khan, Efrem Podgaits, Mikhail Bronner, Aldemaro Romero, Sulkhan Tsyntsadze, Peteris Vasks, Kurt Atterberg, Paul Patterson.
Orchestra concerts feature the world renowned soloists such as Paul Badura- Skoda, Elisso Virsaladze, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Geza Hosszu-Legocki, Denis Kozhukhin, Alexander Mogilevsky, Friedrich Lips, Guy Touvron and Lucas Debargue among others.
The Belarusian State Chamber orchestra received the most enthusiastic response of conductors who collaborated with it in last years: Saulius Sondeckis (Lithuania), Jaacob Bergman (USA), Cristian Florea (Romania-Spain), Valentin Zhuk (Netherlands), Alexander Anissimov, Alexander Rudin and most recently Gerardo Estrada (Venezuela).
The important part of the orchestra’s activity is Children educational concerts initiated and conducted by Evgeny Bushkov. Several World and National premieres of children operas, choir and instrumental works took place in the frame of season subscription series.
The BelSCO extensively toured in 2013-14 visiting countries like Italy, Lithuania, Russia, Slovenia, Azerbaijan, Germany and Norway.
In June 2015 the BelSCO made the most successful debut at the “Wörthersee Classics Music Festival” in Klagenfurt (Austria) performing the Brahms String Quintet op.111 arranged for the orchestra by Evgeny Bushkov and had an excellent review.
The month of July brought the BelSCO re-invitation to the 63d International Music Festival in Ljubljana (Slovenia), and in October 2015 came back to its annual two-weeks workshop in Norway, followed by debut performances in Turkey (Istanbul, Izmir) in December featuring two different programs with extraordinary soloists: Belgian violinst Marc Bouchkov and Belarusian dulcimer player Alexandra Dzenisenia.
In April-May 2016 the BelSCO made historical first ever Belarusian philharmonic orchestra tour to the US taking part in the “Stay in May” International Music Festival in Naples (Florida). The Orchestra under Evgeny Bushkov’s direction gave 5 concerts including a program featuring only Belarusian music. Later the same year the orchestra toured in France with famous French trumpet player Guy Touvron and in November gave a debut performance in prestigious “Salle Gaveau” in Paris featuring extraordinary French pianist Lucas Debargue.
Upon the initiative of its Artistic director for the first time in Minsk Philharmonic Society Belarusian composer Kanstantsyn Yaskou was appointed composer-in-residence at the BelSCO during the season 2016-2017. This unprecedented collaboration resulted in a creation of the new large work – Mysterium “Krosny Makoshy/Mokosha’s Spindles” for folk voice, strings, piano and percussion. It premiered on September, 20′ 2017.
In February 2018 the Orchestra celebrated its 50th Anniversary with Gala concert on the stage of Philharmonic Grand Hall with participation of composers and solists from five countries.
On May, 31 2018 by appointment of the Minister of Culture of Belarus the BelSCO was awarded a title of “Republic’s Honoured Collective”.
Orchestra founder – Oleg Jantchenko (1968-1969)
Yury Tsyriuk (Chief conductor: 1969-1986, 1992-1993)
Alexander Polianichko (1986-1989)
Viktor Sobolev (1989-1992, Russia)
Ingo Ernst Reihl (1993-1999, Germany)
Dmitry Zubov (1999-2001, Russia)
Vladimir Baydov (2001-2003, Belarus)
Piotr Vandilovsky (2003-2009, Belarus)