February 2001: Tenth Anniversary US Tour


Los Angeles Times

Russia may not usually present the ideal model for the smooth transition of power. But in the often fractious world of orchestras, it has done remarkably well with the Russian National Orchestra.... Individual players are exceptional—there were breathtaking solos from the concertmaster, first cello, as well as from trumpet and harp—but even more remarkable is the focus of sound. No one had to tell the [audience] to be quiet; the music and the wonderful players simply gave them no choice.

The Tribune (San Luis Obispo)

You might think your Corvette offers everything in a sleek and powerful sports car, but get behind the wheel of a Ferrari and life will never be quite the same. That was the experience of Tuesday evening’s capacity crowd when the Russian National Orchestra came to town. Simply put, the Russian National Orchestra offered some of the most expressive and revelatory music making ever heard in San Luis Obispo.

Sun-Sentinal, Fort Lauderdale

The Russian National Orchestra remains in the top handful of the world’s finest. The polish and ensemble brilliance in every section are things of wonder, from the silky sheen of the strings to the ripe, character-filled woodwinds and warmly rounded brass.

San Francisco Chronicle

The RNO is now a global orchestra of the first rank, one endowed with abundant resources, an undeniable grandeur and a fiery spirit maturing with a grace and a confidence that may even be startling to its founders reading as winning in its expressivity as it was remarkable in its restraint.

The Oakland Tribune

The Russian National Orchestra gave an ideal concert Sunday afternoon in Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. I doubt if the hushed, packed house wanted to be anywhere else. A decade of traveling and making prize-winning recordings has honed the group into one of the world’s most responsive orchestras. The massed strings are led by a sensational concertmaster and principal cello. The winds are fabulous; the flute playing was celestial. The brass is sonorous and yearning his orchestra is pure pleasure to hear.

The Kansas City Star

I saw the greatest orchestra in the world play Friday night. If you think that’s hyperbole, ask anyone who was in Yardley Hall that night.The Russian National Orchestra is the Rolls-Royce of orchestras, no ordinary ensemble. It is like nothing we are used to in America, even from our very best.

The Seattle Times

The audience, so fervent and vocal in the ovations that you half expected them to rush the stage and hoist the players to their shoulders, stood and shouted approval again and again.

Palm Beach Daily News

The Russian National Orchestra is a virtuoso ensemble, capable of the most delicate pianissimos, the most sumptuous string tone, the most vigorous rhythms and the most accurate precision.

The Orange County Register

The Russian National's expressive string sections brought aching warmth and nuance to the big tunes [of Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony]. ... Suddenly, even the familiar sounded new.

What They’re Saying

"In a modern classical world, rife with reports of under-funded and dying ensembles, curtailed schedules and shrinking audiences, the foundation and continued growth of [the Russian National Orchestra] seems not only miraculous; it just may be the most important cultural story of our time."

International Piano