Russian National Orchestra

Short Form Biography

Short Form Biography

Full biography

The Russian National Orchestra was founded in 1990 by pianist and conductor Mikhail Pletnev and today is widely recognized as one of the world’s top orchestras.  Maintaining an active international tour schedule, the RNO appears throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas, and is a frequent visitor to major festivals  such as Edinburgh, Shanghai and the BBC Proms. The orchestra presents its own RNO Grand Festival each September to open the Moscow season, and is the founding orchestra of Festival Napa Valley, held every July in California’s Napa Valley. 

RNO concerts are regularly aired on National Public Radio in the United States, the European Broadcasting Union, and Russia’s Kultura channel. The orchestra’s critically acclaimed discography, launched with a 1991 CD cited as the best recording of Tchaikovsky's Pathétique in history, now numbers  more than 80 recordings on Deutsche Grammophon, Pentatone and other prestigious labels. The orchestra’s recording of Sleeping Beauty, conducted by Mikhail Pletnev, is, according to the BBC, among the most listened to classical music recordings of the last 75 years. In 2004 the RNO became the first orchestra in Russian history to win a Grammy Award, the most prestigious of music prizes. In 2008 Gramophone magazine included the RNO in its list of the world’s 20 best orchestras.

​The RNO is unique among the principal Russian ensembles as a private institution funded with the support of individuals, corporations and foundations in Russia and throughout the world.