The Moscow State Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1943 by Leonid Steinberg, then conductor of the Bolshoi Theatre. Steinberg was succeeded by Moscow Conservatory professor Leo Ginzburg, under whom the orchestra became one of the best ensembles of the Soviet Union. He kept close ties with Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and other composers, premiering many of their works. Veronika Dudarova followed Ginzburg and served as music director for 20 years. Throughout its history, the orchestra concentrated on presenting the works of Russian masters. With the 1990 appointment of Pavel Kogan as music director, that changed. He has expanded the orchestra's repertoire to include works by German, Austrian, French, and American composers, and more contemporary Russian works. Kogan and the orchestra presented a full cycle of Mahler's symphonies in 1996. David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich, Janos Starker, Vadim Repin, Maxim Vengerov, Shlomo Mintz, Emil Gilels, Leonid Kogan, Irina Arkhipova, and Victor Tretyakov are just some of the many soloists the orchestra has hosted, and Kiril Kondrashin, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Evgeny Svetlanov, and Valery Gergiev are some of its guest conductors. In addition to its regular appearances at music festivals in Russia and Europe, under Kogan the orchestra has toured around the world, and been recorded on video by RCA. At home in Moscow, it consistently sells out its concerts.