Press Acclaim

Acclaim for Bogotá International Music Festival

"In Pletnev's interpretation, even popular Russian classics are rendered in an unexpected and deeper reading – both [Glinka's] Jota Aragonesa, full of dark tones and commanding brasses, and Rachmaninov's Second Symphony, which begins with dreary tones, is lightened by airy Rachmaninovian spaces, and then is rolled back again into dark, heavy orchestral waves in the Adagio, the solo clarinet seemingly weaving sound out of air. Pletnev led the Rachmaninov symphony to a jubilant apotheosis, to a cosmogony of joy, when the whole sound of the orchestra was pierced by the sound of bells and the sound of the cymbals, the power of some personal, almost mythological and Russian beauty. In the continuation of this theme of "Russian" greatness and power, Pletnev launched the final evening of the festival with Tchaikovsky's Slavic March, with a revival of the original author's version... And in a gigantic mass of orchestral sound, the entire imperial past of Russia – its whole history, its wars, bells, cannon rumbles, folk songs, grief, the "God Save the Tsar" motif – shook the audience in the Colombian hall, such that it exploded with applause, perhaps for the first time understanding the true meaning of 'Russian romance.'"

—Irina Muravyova, Rossiyskaya Gazeta (April 2017) [more]

What They’re Saying

"To present American and Russian musicians performing and teaching together at Festival Napa Valley...is precisely the kind of effort that sustains vital cultural links...at 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