Тhe Orchestra started as an ensemble, organized back in 1931 at the Leningrad radio. Soon the ensemble grew to the level of a symphony orchestra and at the same time had acquired its particular individual features. One of the characteristics innate to the orchestra by virtue of its origin was its diverse and unique repertoire.

The orchestra had been working with many conductors, including Evgeny Mravinsky and Ilia Musin, thus becoming mobile and flexible.

The orchestra of Leningrad radio was the only symphony orchestra remaining in the besieged city during WWII. Despite the fact that by the end of the first war year the orchestra all but ceased to exist, still in the August of 1942 it played the historical Leningrad premiere of Shostakovich Seventh Symphony with the conductor Karl Eliasberg.

During the Siege the orchestra performed over three hundred recitals. Orchestra recitals at the Philharmonics continued after the war, and in the summer of 1953 it becomes Leningrad Philharmonic’s second orchestra.

The orchestra gets itself a fame of the best accompanying orchestras in the nation, performing with Van Clyburn, Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels, Yehudi Menuhin and David Oistrakh.

In 1968 Yuri Temirkanov joins the orchestra right after completing his PhD studies at Leningrad Conservatoire, his energy promoting rapid extension of repertoire and important tours.

In 1977 the orchestra had been taken over by its today’s artistic director Alexander Dmitriev. With him, the orchestra matures, and receives its academic statues. It regularly tours abroad, participates in the prestigious international festivals, performs with world-class musicians (G. Sokolov, N. Gutman, E. Virssaladze, Y. Bashmet).

The orchestra season of 2006–2007 was marked by the anniversary dates: its 75th anniversary and thirty years of Alexander Dmitriev’s working with the St. Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra.