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Yuri Temirkanov on his BSO return and, yes, still disliking the idea of female conductors

Yuri Temirkanov on his BSO return and, yes, still disliking the idea of female conductors

After a decade-long absence, Yuri Temirkanov is back in town this week to conduct the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which he led for seven memorable seasons. Now music director emeritus, Temirkanov is leading the BSO in Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 and, with powerhouse soloist Denis Matsuev, Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3.

Following the final rehearsal, which generated hearty applause from the BSO players, the 77-year-old Russian conductor sat for an interview in his dressing room, speaking in between puffs on an electronic cigarette. (Questions and answers were communicated through his longtime translator, Marina Stokes.)

About a third of the players are new...

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