Principle conductor of Moscow musical theatre "Helikon-opera"
Principle conductor of Kuban Symphonic Orchestra
Professor of Moscow State Conservatory
Head of the Department of opera and symphonic conducting of State Music and Pedagogical Institute named after M. Ippolitov-Ivanov
Laureate of "The Golden Mask" Russian National Theatre Prize (2000, 2002)
Vladimir Ponkin was born in Irkutsk. He graduated from the Gorky Conservatory and completed his masters in operatic symphonic conducting at the Moscow Conservatory under Gennady Rozhdestvensky. In 1980 he was the first Russian to win at the 5th World Rupert Foundation Competition of Conductors in London. In the 1980’s he worked in the Chamber Opera Theater, and had many appearances with the philharmonic orchestras of Riga, Alma-Ata, Krasnodar, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Omsk, Tomsk, and other cities.
In different years he headed up the Symphonic Orchestra of Goskino and the Yaroslavl Philharmonic. In 1996 he was invited to become the musical director in the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater. In the beginning of the 1990’s he was the principle conductor of the Krakow philharmonic Orchestra with which, by the invitation of Pope John Paul II, he performed at the Vatican. In 1996 he was awarded a medal "For Service before Culture" from the Polish ministry of culture and art. Since 1990 he has been the artistic director and principle conductor of the State Symphonic Orchestra of the Moscow State Academic Philharmonic.
Since 2002 Vladimir Ponkin has been the principle conductor of the "Helikon-Opera" theatre.
He has been invited as a guest conductor and has worked with several orchestras from different countries (Australia, Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, The United States, Hungary and many other).
Such famous performers as M. Fedotov, N. Gutman, E. Virsaladze, N. Petrov, V. Krainev, O. Krisa, D. Pollak, I. Pogorelic collaborated with Vladimir Ponkin. He conducted such orchestras as the BBC Orchestra, the Stockholm Radio Orchestra, The Cantelli Orchestra of Milan, the City Orchestra of Bergamo and others.
The Discography of Vladimir Ponkin includes both world classics and modern music. The State Symphony Orchestra under his direction performed K. Penderetzky's "Tenebrae" for soloists, chorus, and the orchestra for the first time in Russia. Vladimir Ponkin’s repertoire is unusually wide, although his favorites are the Russian classics (mostly Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff) and the music of Mozart, Wagner, Bruckner, Brahms and Mahler.
Vladimir Ponkin was the winner of the prestigious "The Golden Mask" National Theatre Prize in 2000 and 2002 for the shows "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk" by D. Shostakovich and "Lulu" by A. Berg, staged by Dmitry Bertman in "Helikon-opera" theatre.
Maestro Ponkin received The People's Artist of Russia title in 2002.
Since 2004 Vladimir Ponkin is a Professor at Moscow State Conservatory named after P. I. Tchaikovsky.
From 2002 to 2006 Vladimir Ponkin had been the Principle Conductor of Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Centre.
Among Vladimir Ponkin's awards is the Medal "For the merits in development of Cuban region" of the II grade (2001), Cross "The Defender of Russia" of the Ist grade, "For the Service to Russia" (2006), "For the Love and Faith to the Homeland" of the Ist grade (2006).
In 2012 Principle Conductor of "Helikon-opera" Vladimir Ponkin was awarded with and Order of Friendship of Russia for his great merits in the development of Russian culture and art, and for his long-term fruitful activity.
Vladimir Ponkin's personal website www.vladimirponkin.ru