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Russian National Orchestra

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The Russian National Orchestra (Russian: Российский национальный оркестр) premiered in Moscow in 1990.

It was the first Russian orchestra to perform at the Apostolic Palace, Vatican and in Israel.
Gramophone magazine described the first RNO CD (1991) as the best recording of Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique in history. Since then, the orchestra has made over 50 recordings for Deutsche Grammophon and PentaTone Classics, with conductors that include RNO Founder and Artistic Director Mikhail Pletnev, Principal Guest Conductor Vladimir Jurowski, Kent Nagano, Alexander Vedernikov and Paavo Berglund.

The RNO’s recording of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Beintus’s Wolf Tracks, conducted by Kent Nagano and narrated by Sophia Loren, Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev, was the winner of a 2004 Grammy Award, making the RNO the first Russian orchestra ever to win this recording industry’s honor. A Spanish language version narrated by Antonio Banderas was released in 2007, following a Russian version narrated by actors Oleg Tabakov and Sergei Bezrukov, with Mandarin and other editions to follow. The RNO Wind Quintet has performed its special arrangements of Peter and the Wolf and Wolf Tracks in Russia, Bermuda, the USA, the UK and Singapore. Narrators for these performances have included actors Diana Douglas and Sean Dill, Russian supermodel Tatiana Sorokko, Singaporean violinist Min Lee, and BBC anchor Seva Novgorodsev.

Unique among the principal Russian ensembles, the RNO is independent of the government and has developed its own structure. Artistic policy is shaped and guided by the RNO Conductor Collegium, a group of conductors led by Artistic Director Mikhail Pletnev.

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