Russian National Orchestra

RNO Announces Ninth Grand Festival

Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, September 11-October 2, 2017

On September 11, 2017, the Russian National Orchestra opens the Moscow concert season with the RNO Grand Festival. The festival, now in its ninth year, runs September 11 to October 2, with six performances in Tchaikovsky Concert Hall.

It has become a September tradition in the Russian capital for the RNO, led by Founder and Artistic Director Mikhail Pletnev, to present a festival featuring world-renowned soloists and conductors, rising stars, and the unrivaled musical talents of the RNO.

Critics have praised the RNO Grand Festival as among Russia’s top music festivals. In its short history, the festival has become an essential part of Moscow’s music scene and one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. With original artistic ideas and refined programming, the festival attracts both music aficionados and new fans.

The 2017 festival opens with a concert conducted by Mikhail Pletnev of works by French composers Georges Bizet and Maurice Ravel, as well as Alexander Scriabin’s symphonic poem, Prometheus. The concert features French pianist Lucas Debargue as soloist in Ravel’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Though he placed “only” fourth at the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2015, Debargue was the only musician to be awarded the coveted Moscow Music Critics Prize as an artist “whose incredible gift, artistic vision and creative freedom have impressed the critics as well as the audience.” This concert marks Debargue’s first post-Tchaikovsky Competition performance in Moscow.

On September 14, Moscow will witness the Russian premiere of Scottish composer James MacMillan’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. The world premiere took place in London in 2010, with soloist Vadim Repin, to whom the composer dedicated that concert. The distinguished Russian violinist will reprise the concerto with the RNO conducted by Pletnev. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” is also on the program.

In recent years, Mikhail Pletnev has appeared in the festival not just in the role of conductor, but also as soloist. This year, on September 23, Pletnev, one of the most distinctive pianists of our age, will perform Camille Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 2. The program will be filled out with two rarely performed works: Sergei Prokofiev’s Dreams, a symphonic image for large orchestra; and Ukrainian composer Boris Lyatoshinsky’s Symphony No. 3. On the podium will be Ukrainian maestro and Chief Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Kirill Karabits, who is a frequent guest conductor with the RNO.

The festival is known for programs that blur genre boundaries, as will be the case with the September 27 performance unifying music and fiction prose, The Last Night of the Last Tsar. Author, dramatist and television personality Eduard Radzinsky, whose musical-theatrical evening, Several Meetings With the Dearly Departed Mozart, was one of the highlights of the festival’s third season, will narrate this special performance to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Revolution. Vladislav Lavrik will conduct.

In recent years, operas in concert performance have become a highlight of the RNO Grand Festival. This tradition continues with the final concert on October 2, featuring Pletnev conducting excerpts of Alexander Dargomyzhsky’s opera Rusalka, adapted from Pushkin's poem of the same name.

For more information and ticket availability, browse the RNO’s concerts listing in English or Russian.