The Russian National Orchestra (RNO), which many consider to be Russia’s finest symphony orchestra, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. But it is not resting on its laurels. The orchestra continues to perform actively both at home and abroad, to release new recordings, and, in general, to overcome difficulties that might sink a lesser organization.
Last September, the capital’s classical music season began with an unprecedented event by Moscow (and perhaps even international) standards. It was the RNO Festival at the Bolshoi, whose star performer was not a conductor or a soloist, but an orchestra. Over seven nights, one of Russia’s finest orchestras performed seven different programs under the baton of its founder, Mikhail Pletnev. The featured composer was Tchaikovsky, and the festival included a number of his works, but there was also Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute, Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt, and many other composers.
According to renowned music critic Yulia Benderova, “the RNO demonstrated variety, an incomparable subtlety, and the lush essence of orchestral mastery.”
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