Press Acclaim for Mikhail Pletnev

"Prokofiev's ballet score "Cinderella" ... is available in a splendid recording with the Russian National Orchestra, conducted by Mikhail Pletnev, who deftly conveys the kinetic vitality, grandeur and refinement of this inspired music."

New York Times (July 2003) [more]


"The results are breathtaking, replete with muscle and magic. There's no suggestion of cheap barnstorming or soupiness in the much- maligned 'Rach 3': instead Pletnev transforms into dreamer and prophet, spinning the most delicate of aural cobwebs or building up the cadenza into a devasting climax. The Prokofiev shines out with brightness, wit and modern idiosyncrasy.Go and buy this immediately.? [Prokofiev, Rachmaninov: Piano Concerti No.3]"

Classic FM Magazine (June 2003)


"Pletnev's performance with the RNO of Prokofiev's Symphony No. 7 and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 15 -- the last symphonies and last major works of these two titans of the Soviet-era musical world -- was as close to perfect as one could hope for.

[Prokofiev's Symphony No. 7] is a solid, even masterful, symphonic work, with strong, memorable, Prokofiev-y themes and clear, conventional sonata-form structure. Pletnev and his players, unsurprisingly, were in total command of the idiom, and delivered a nearly flawless performance...

It would be hard to imagine a better performance of the Shostakovich. [It] all worked beautifully. The audience, knowing full well the worth of what it had heard, gave long and well-deserved ovations at the end of both symphonies. Spectacular."

—Stephen Miller, (April 2003)


"Stupendous virtuosity and glittering ingenuity are the hallmarks of his piano performances. His meteoric career as a conductor seems to have made his playing even more symphonic, and his sound more imaginative."

Die Welt (November 2001)


"from Pletnev's fingers and brain come ideas that vitalise the music and make it teem with freshness and wit. [He] made the music positively leap for joy."

London Telegraph (November 2001) [more]


"The playing of the Russian National Orchestra under Pletnev is refined and elegant to match. This is a unique and generous coupling which brings out the mastery of this brilliant artist more compellingly than ever. [Beethoven & Mozart Clarinet Concertos]"

Gramophone (July 2000)


"... More than anyone before him on disc, Pletnev brings out the essence of the poetic and descriptive injunctions with which Scriabin peppers his score [Symphony No. 3 and The Poem of Ecstasy]. ... His masterly direction of his hand-picked orchestra reaps rewards in the emotional sweep with which he expounds the music's intent."

BBC Music Magazine (January 2000) [more]


"... Mikhail Pletnev's achievement is to make us hear the music afresh. ... The extraordinary delicacy of the strings skittering into play at the start of the exposition proper is a miracle of control, ... the development is as passionate and driven as anyone could wish..."

Gramophone (June 1994) [more]


Like everything else about how Pletnev runs this orchestra, he takes nothing for granted... And also like everything else about this remarkable organization, he makes it seem not just new but newly worthwhile.

Los Angeles Times


Mikhail Pletnev has consistently demonstrated that he is not just another assembly-line virtuoso, but a probing interpreter who always puts his formidable technique at the service of a very individual musicality.



Pletnev evokes music with the RNO which satisfies the appetite and leaves you breathless.

Kölnishe Rundschau, Köln

What They’re Saying

"[The] American-Russian Festival Orchestra, featuring distinguished players from the Russian National Orchestra and a number of prominent American orchestras...[conveys] a vital message to our participants and observers, that by working together we can share our musical and historical cultures and increase our understanding of one another."

Athena T. Blackburn

Founding board member, Festival Napa Valley