First Russian Orchestra Honored With the Coveted Award

Wolf Tracks Page

Los Angeles, February 9, 2004. The Russian National Orchestra recording of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and Jean-Pascal Beintus' Wolf Tracks, conducted by Kent Nagano, was the winner of a 2004 GRAMMY Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children. The RNO is the first Russian orchestra ever to win the recording industry's highest honor.

The recording was conceived and commissioned by the RNO and benefits several charities. It features Sophia Loren narrating Peter and the Wolf, and a new piece, Wolf Tracks, narrated by Bill Clinton. Introductory remarks are provided by Mikhail Gorbachev.

RNO chief executive Sergei Markov said, "We are honored to have our work recognized by the Recording Academy's prestigious GRAMMY Award. This was a truly international endeavor and a model of the artistic collaboration that characterizes the RNO." Nagano, who served as artistic director of the project, said, "The entire team was extraordinary, tied together by the rare combination of creative vision and inspired artistry."

Released by PentaTone Classics on both standard and Super Audio CD formats, the recording was widely acclaimed. "Bill Clinton is a born communicator. He brings this exciting new piece of music to life," said Classic FM of the former President's telling of Wolf Tracks. Commenting on her rendition of Peter and the Wolf, the Philadelphia Enquirer said, "Sophia Loren can do no wrong in her take on the Prokofiev." Reviews have also lauded the orchestra and conductor: "The Russian National Orchestra and Kent Nagano play like angels." (The Times, London)

Unique among the principal Russian ensembles, the RNO is independent of the government and has built its own path-breaking structure. It is perhaps the only orchestra in the world to establish a Conductor Collegium, a group of renowned conductors who share the podium leadership. Wolf Tracks is one example of an active commissioning program that, by design, encompasses worldwide collaborations.

For more information, including on the beneficiary charities, please visit the main Wolf Tracks page on this site.

Press acclaim for Peter and the Wolf / Wolf Tracks

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