A Russian conductor, born in 1931. He studied at the Moscow Conservatoire and began conducting at the Bolshoi Theatre. He returned there in September 1990 as artistic director, but resigned nine months later in frustration over what he saw as obstacles to staging, including mismanagement and lack of funding.

Rozhdestvensky (the name means Christmas in Russian) was chief conductor of the Moscow Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra between 1961 and 1973, of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic between 1974 and 1978, of the BBC Symphony Orchestra between 1978 and 1982, and returned to Stockholm between 1991 and 1995. He is also a guest conductor with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra. In later years he founded the Soviet Philharmonic Orchestra, now renamed the Russian State Symphony Orchestra.

His final years with the Moscow orchestra were clouded by his attempt to get the first symphony of the out-of-favour composer Alfred Schnittke played. Unable to do it in Moscow, he premièred the work in Gorkiy (now Nizhniy Novgorod) on 9 February 1974. He also orchestrated Schnittke's 1985 ballet Sketches.