Press Acclaim

Acclaim for 2016-2017 Season

"It is rare when an orchestra, choir, conductor and soloists coexist so organically. [Dinara Alieva Festival]"

Moscow Komsomolets (March 2017)

"Along with Alieva, everything was perfection, including Lev Kontorovich's "Masters of Choral Art," and especially the Russian National Orchestra – the expressiveness of their sound was a true holiday for the capital's music lovers. [Dinara Alieva Festival]"

Nezavisimaya Gazeta (March 2017)

"The performance of Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony was an event... Pletnev has a complete clarity of thought, demanding the ultimate possibilities from each instrument. How well he feels the orchestra, its powerful sound, the absoluteness of the musicians' mutual understanding. I would especially single out the wind instruments: Vladislav Lavrik's trumpet, Maxim Rubtsov's flute. They are incomparable. As, however, are all the orchestra's musicians."

Literaturnaya Gazeta (March 2017) [more]

"[In Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony] Pletnev senses the tragic introduction like few others. When he is on the conductor's dais, it is as if he is at his adored piano: there is complete clarity of intention, and he demands of each instrument everything it can be. How well he feels the orchestra; there is such a powerful sound, such complete understanding among the musicians. I would single out the group of wind instruments in particular – Vladislav Lavrik on trumpet, Maxim Rubtsov on flute – as peerless. Just like the rest of the orchestra, actually."

—Yuri Danilin, Literaturnaya Gazeta (March 2017) [more]

"When the names Nikolai Lugansky and Mikhail Pletnev are on the playbill, for listeners it is a sure sign that it will be an excellent concert, and for organizers a sure means to fill the hall. So it was on February 15 in the Conservatory's Great Hall... The Lugansky-Pletnev performance, as always, was pleasing in its combination of virtuosity, taste and intelligence... The [Shostakovich No. 10] symphony made such a strong impression that the audience sat for some time immobile, then broke into a standing ovation."

Chastny Korrespondent (February 2017) [more]

"The triumph was complete! Both the popular [Brahms Piano Concert No. 1] and the [Shostakovich No. 10] symphony evoked a squall of ecstasy... Pletnev, the RNO musicians, and Lugansky together played music that was deep and expressive, very personal, and very lyrical... A performance of rare harmony and nobility!"

Muzikalnye Sezony (February 2017) [more]

"An absolute triumph! The performance of both the popular concerto [Brahms, Piano Concerto No. 1] and the symphony [Shostakovich's 10th] evoked a squall of delight. The hall was full to bursting; there were even people sitting on the staircases... the audience enthusiastically welcomed the union of [pianist Nikolai] Lugansky, Pletnev and the RNO. The performance had a rare harmony and nobility. Mikhail Pletnev's special gift is in uncovering the ultimate logic of an orchestral piece... the gravity of certain themes, particularly in the Adagio, all but made one's heart stop beating..."

—Olga Potekhina, Muzikalnye Sezony (February 2017) [more]

What They’re Saying

"To present American and Russian musicians performing and teaching together at Festival Napa precisely the kind of effort that sustains vital cultural a critical time for both societies. [This] resonates with the public [and] is meaningful for the musician participants...Cultural diplomacy and music offer alternatives to contention and sustain important linkages between our societies for the long run...Now more than ever we need viable citizen-to-citizen points of contact and dialogue."

James F. Collins (Ambassador Ret.)

Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace