"Awe-inspiring...should human beings be able to play like this?" Gramophone has said of the Russian National Orchestra. Britain's premier classical magazine is not alone in its praise of the RNO, which in 2008 was named one of the world's top orchestras by a panel of international critics.
Innovation and excellence are the RNO's hallmarks. Under the leadership of founder and artistic director Mikhail Pletnev and principal guest conductor Vladimir Jurowski, the RNO has pioneered a new structure for the performing arts in Russia, as well as path-breaking artistic programs.
The RNO is a frequent guest to the music capitals of Europe, Asia and the Americas. Of the orchestra's 1996 debut at the BBC Proms in London, the Evening Standard wrote, "They played with such captivating beauty that the audience gave an involuntary sigh of pleasure." They have been described as "a living symbol of the best in Russian art" (Miami Herald) and "as close to perfect as one could hope for" (Classics Today). Recently the RNO was called "the most important cultural story of our time" (International Piano).
The RNO's for-charity recording of Peter and the Wolf and Wolf Tracks, conducted by Kent Nagano and narrated by Sophia Loren, Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev, received a 2004 Grammy Award, making the RNO the first Russian orchestra to win the recording industry's highest honor.
A regular visitor to the Schleswig-Holstein, Gstaad and Rheingau festivals, the RNO is also the founding orchestra of Napa Valley Festival del Sole, Festival of the Arts BOCA in Florida, and the Singapore Sun Festival. The RNO will launch its own annual festival in 2009, which will be held at Moscow's Bolshoi Theater.
The RNO is unique among the principal Russian ensembles as a private institution funded with the support of individuals and corporations in Russia and throughout the world. In recognition of both its artistry and path-breaking structure, the Russian Federation recently awarded the RNO the first ever grant to a non-government orchestra ... read full bio