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As a conducting pupil of Ilya Musin and Leo Ginsburg, in 1972 the young Maestro gave his debut with the USSR State Symphony Orchestra and subsequently focused more on conducting. In the years that followed he conducted the leading Soviet orchestras both at home and on tour abroad at the invitation of Mravinsky, Kondrashin, Svetlanov and Rozhdestvensky.
In 1988, as a conductor of the Bolshoi Opera, Kogan opened the season with a new production of Verdi’s La Traviata. That same year he became the head of the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra.
Since 1989 Pavel Kogan has been the Music Director and Chief Conductor of the eminent Moscow State Symphony Orchestra (MSSO), building it into one of Russia’s most widely known and highly acclaimed orchestras.
From 1998-2005 he served as principal guest conductor of the Utah Symphony Orchestra.
Maestro Kogan appeared with many prominent orchestras including the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, USSR State Radio & TV Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Belgique, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, RTVE Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires, L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre National de France, Houston Symphony, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra.
Pavel Kogan has recorded countless works with the MSSO and other ensembles, which became a major contribution to the world’s musical culture. Many of his albums have garnered great acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Gramophone called Kogan’s Rachmaninoff cycle (Symphonies 1, 2, 3, Symphonic Dances, “Isle of the Dead,” “Vocalize & Scherzo”) “…sparkly, strongly communicative Rachmaninoff... vibrant, soulful and involving.”