Mikhail Pletnev

Founder and Artistic Director

Full Biography

Short Biography

Mikhail Pletnev's genius as pianist, conductor and composer enchants and amazes audiences around the globe. He was Gold Medal winner of the 1978 Tchaikovsky Competition, a prize that earned him recognition worldwide.

In 1990 Pletnev formed the Russian National Orchestra, the first independent orchestra in Russia's history. Under his leadership, the RNO has achieved a towering stature among the world's orchestras. Pletnev describes the RNO as his greatest joy and serves as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor.

Pletnev's recordings have earned numerous prizes including a 2005 Grammy Award. His compositions include works for orchestra and piano, and his transcriptions of Nutcracker Suite and Sleeping Beauty were selected for Philips Classics’ anthology “Great Pianists of the 20th Century”.

Today he is one of Russia's most respected artists. Pianist, conductor, composer and cultural leader — all are facets of Mikhail Pletnev's life as an artist. Yet he considers himself, simply, a musician.

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