Artistic and General Director — Yuri Temirkanov.
The orchestra was created in 1882 at the behest of Alexander III as the Court Musicians’ Choir. In the beginning of the 20th century the orchestra gave the Russian premieres of works by Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Anton Bruckner, Alexander Scriabin, and Igor Stravinsky. In 1921 the ensemble was the basis for the newly formed philharmonic, the first of its kind in the country, and it performed with Otto Klemperer, Bruno Walter, Felix Weingartner, Vladimir Horowitz, and Sergei Prokofiev. In 1934 the orchestra received the title of Honoured Ensemble of the Republic. Beginning in 1938 the ensemble was led for more than a half century by Evgeny Mravinsky.