Mikhail Pletnev, who founded the RNO in 1990, will give up his title of artistic director. He will remain the head of the orchestra's "Conductor Collegium," a group of guest conductors that oversees artistic policy.
The 32-year-old Jurowski, music director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera and principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, will assume his new post at the beginning of the 2006-07 season. He will lead eight to ten weeks of concerts each year.
"It is a unique and exciting opportunity," said Jurowski. "The Conductor Collegium allows the orchestra to benefit from the input of a very strong team of conductors. Rarely does a music director have so much collaborative support in the execution of this position's important responsibilities."
According to the Russian news agency Novosti, Pletnev is stepping down in part because of frustration with the lack of government funding. "In the early 1990s we did not ask the authorities for money because the state had none," he is quoted as saying. "Today the state sponsors new orchestras and new concert halls but nothing is given to us."
The RNO was the first independent Russian orchestra, dependent—at least at the outset—on private funding rather than state support. The group frequently tours the United States and has made 30 recordings for Deutsche Grammophon and PentaTone Classics.
Jurowski was born in Moscow and studied there and in Germany, where he moved with his family in 1990. He made his international debut at the Wexford Festival in 1995 and has since become a frequent guest conductor of opera companies and orchestras in Europe and North America. He has been a member of the Conductor Collegium since 2003.