Russian-born Conductor Vladimir Verbitsky returns each year to the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, where he is a much beloved figure. He began his association with WASO in 1987 as guest conductor after touring Australia the year before with the USSR State Symphony Orchestra, a tour that saw him invited afterwards to become Music Director of the State Orchestra of Victoria, Melbourne. After five years, he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of WASO, and in 1997 made Conductor Laureate. On 6 June 2009, in a special ceremony from the stage of the Perth Concert Hall, Australian Senator Chris Evans publicly conferred citizenship on the Maestro at the conclusion of his WASO concert, recognising his more than 22 years' association with the country and speaking to his significant contribution to the country's rich cultural diversity.
In Russia, Verbitsky continues to tour and give concerts widely, regularly conducting the major Moscow and St Petersburg orchestras, as well as continuing his long association with the Voronezh Philharmonic of which he has been Chief Conductor and Music Director since 1972. Under his baton the Voronezh Philharmonic was accorded the distinguished designation "Academic Orchestra". Verbitsky himself holds the Decorated Order Badge of Honour Moscow, Order for Services to Fatherland, and was named People's Artist of the Russian Federation from President Vladimir Putin.
As a Guest Conductor, Verbitsky has appeared in France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Hungary, Czech Repulic, Slovakia, Canada, the United States, Mexico, South America, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong. He has also led numerous festivals, competitions, and works frequently with youth orchestras.
In early 2010 Verbitsky conducted the Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as a series of concerts with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra in Naples, Florida, another orchestra with which he has had a longstanding relationship. 2008 was one of his busiest Australasian seasons, with multiple engagements in Queensland and Perth, as well as appearances in Adelaide, Hobart, Christchurch and Dunedin. In 2009 he conducted all three Young Performers Award semi-finals in Perth, Brisbane and Hobart, conducted three concerts with WASO, and returned again to Queensland in September 2010.
Vladimir Verbitsky is a graduate of the Leningrad Conservatoire where his main study was piano together with choral, operatic and symphonic conducting. Following graduation, he studied with Yevgeny Mravinsky, Chief Conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic and made his Moscow début at the invitation of pianist Emil Gilels, subsequently appearing with him on numerous occasions.
Vladimir Verbitsky's repertoire includes more than two thousand works from the standard repertoire as well as contemporary music, opera and ballet. He has made recordings with numerous international orchestras on labels such as ABC Classics, Melodia, Olympia, Opus, Prestige Classics, Musicline London Ltd., Classic Visions, International Music Co. AG, Sontel AG, Vista Vera, and he continues to perform with some of the world's most distinguished soloists.