The Symphony Orchestra of the Rimsky-Korsakov St Petersburg State Conservatory was founded by its first director, Anton Rubinstein, who established classes in orchestra music and ensemble playing. Rubinstein was later succeeded by Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov. When the conservatory opened its Conducting Department (subsequently Faculty of Composition and Conducting), it also began a collaboration between the orchestra and that department students. Notable alumni of the department/faculty include such renowned musicians as Alexander Melik-Pashayev, Yevgeny Mravinsky, Ilya Musin, Nikolai Rabinovich, Yuri Temirkanov, Valery Gergiev and Vladislav Chernushenko.
The Symphony Orchestra was revived in 2004, after a long break, to help students practice in an orchestral set-up. Over this period the ensemble has prepared a number of fascinating concert programmes under the supervision of such conductors as Mariss Jansons, Vassily Sinaisky, Sergei Stadler, Alexander Titov, Alexander Sladkovsky, Alim Shakhmametiev, Dmitry Ralko and Mikhail Golikov. The orchestra performed together with Luciano Pavarotti at his concerts in St Petersburg. It has also performed at various music festivals in Russia, Germany, France, Italy, the Czech Republic and Lithuania.
Information for October 2021