The RUSSIAN NATIONAL ORCHESTRA, now in its twelfth season, is firmly established in the front rank of world ensembles. The path taken by the RNO is marked by enthusiastic critical acclaim, award-winning recordings, and sold-out concerts at home and on international tours.
The success of the RNO's Moscow debut in 1990 led to a recording contract and the 1991 release of its first CD - Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony. Gramophone, Britain's premier periodical on classical music listed it as the best recording of the Pathétique in history.
The RNO was in immediate demand throughout the music world and became the first Russian orchestra to play at the Vatican and to tour Israel. Engagements throughout the 1990s brought the RNO to the USA, Asia, Europe, and to major international festivals including Edinburgh, Lucerne, Sydney, and the 1996 Olympics Arts Festival in Atlanta.
The RNO began recording for Deutsche Grammophon in 1993 and has produced a highly acclaimed discography of works by Russian and European composers. The orchestra's recording of Rachmaninoff's Second Symphony has been called "breathtakingly beautiful..." (Classic CD). Gramophone described their recording of Prokofiev's Cinderella as "one of the best records not only of the year but of the 1990s."
In 1996 the RNO launched the Magic of Music, a path-breaking art and music program for young people. In Russia, the orchestra works with orphanages and homes for disabled youth to bring the joy of creative self-expression into the lives of needy, often ignored children. The Magic of Music is also an integral part of the orchestra's annual Western U.S. concert season.
In 2001 the RNO created Cultural Allies to foster artistic exchange and cultural dialogue between the peoples of Russia and the West.
Musician-musician exchanges, partnerships with orchestras and arts companies in the U.S. and Europe, co-commissioning programs, and other initiatives enrich the cultural lives not only of the participants and their institutions, but also of audiences and communities. Dave Brubeck, Michael Tilson Thomas, Jessye Norman, Kent Nagano, and Wynton Marsalis are among the RNO's Cultural Allies artistic partners.
The RNO is Russia's first orchestra since 1917 to be free of government control. It is supported entirely by private funding and governed by a distinguished multinational board of trustees. The Russian National Orchestra is an artistic treasure that truly belongs to the entire world.