RNO Reaches for the Stars for Scriabin's Birthday

RNO performs for Kultura TV's "Scriabin-150" series.

In September, the Russian National Orchestra and Russia's Kultura TV channel prepared, performed, and filmed a to-be-televised performance to commemorate the 150th birthday of Russian composer Alexander Scriabin.

The concert will be part of a series of programs to air on Kultura in January 2022, all surrounding Scriabin's birth, that will be called "Scriabin-150."

"We're trying to make it very interesting and original for our viewers, and somehow convey the spirit of Scriabin's music, which seems to struggle to break out of our world," said Igor Winds, the project's artistic director. For the concert, the RNO was conducted by People's Artist of Russia Alexander Sladkovsky.

A talented musician from a young age, Scriabin also created his own metaphysical life philosophy, influenced by music and color, alongside his career as a well-known composer. While his early work is fairly standard for late-nineteenth-century romanticism, much of Scriabin's later work is known for its atonal, almost alien sounds. To complement this, Kultura and the RNO filmed the concert inside VDNKh's space exhibition pavilion in Moscow, setting up film equipment, a stage, lighting, and instruments alongside thrusters, space suits, and satellites.

"Scriabin should be seen in this context," said RNO director Svetlana Rips, "Then we understand, yes, this is the cosmos, this moving thing. That was the leitmotif of his work, what he wanted to convey."

– Olga Yenina, smotrim.ru

Watch a Russian news story on the project, below:

What They’re Saying

"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."

The Kansas City Star