This unique collaborative project shows the power of music to bring people together. Highlighting wildlife preservation, it is a model of cooperation transcending national boundaries.
The pairing of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf with a new composition, Wolf Tracks, by French composer Jean-Pascal Beintus, is the result of commitment of artists, technical experts, world leaders and arts patrons the world over. The project was conceived by the Russian National Orchestra and developed under the artistic direction of Kent Nagano.
The Wolf Tracks story transforms the image of the wolf from a fearsome creature to one that represents the imperative to cherish and protect natural resources. This contemporary perspective encompasses the importance of recognizing the point of view of others, a value that lies at the core of understanding different people and cultures.
Recordings are being made in several languages. For the English version, Sophia Loren (Peter and the Wolf), Bill Clinton (Wolf Tracks) and Mikhail Gorbachev (introduction and epilogue) contributed their time, and each designated a charity to receive their royalties: Loren to the Magic of Music, an arts program for youth; Clinton to the International AIDS Trust; and Gorbachev to Green Cross International, an environmental charity. The recording received a 2004 GRAMMY, the first ever awarded to a former U.S. President, or to a Russian orchestra.
Antonio Banderas narrated the Spanish version released in February 2007, and famed Russian actors Oleg Tabakov and Sergei Bezrukov teamed up for the Russian version. A Mandarin version has been recorded, with Wolf Tracks narration by the famous actor Pu Cunxin and Peter and the Wolf narrated by Xiao Lu, anchor of a number of national Chinese Children's programs. Plans are underway for renditions in Italian and French.
The art on the CD's cover and booklet is the work of some very special children who live in Moscow orphanages and facilities for the disabled. The drawings were selected from the hundreds shown at the "How I See Music" Exhibition, an event sponsored by the RNO at the Moscow Conservatory. These young artists live under difficult, challenging circumstances and their art, like music, is a testament to the magic of creative self-expression.
The RNO has enchanted live audiences around the world with Peter and the Wolf and Wolf Tracks, both with the orchestral version and a special chamber ensemble arrangement featuring the Russian Wind Quintet.
A portion of the proceeds from sales of Wolf Tracks benefits the following charities:
International AIDS Trust
The International AIDS Trust (IAT) is a non-governmental organization with the access and vision needed to fight AIDS effectively worldwide. Based in Washington, D.C., IAT works to advocate sound policy, create strategic partnerships and increase awareness of the global AIDS crisis. IAT's Advisory Board, co-chaired by former Presidents Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton, is committed to using its collective talent, influence and position in this critical campaign. With their support, IAT is able to reach out to heads of government, policy makers and parliamentarians, to labor, business, faith and foundation leaders, and to private citizens to strengthen and expand the response to the global AIDS epidemic.
Green Cross International
Green Cross International was founded by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1993 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. A non-governmental, non-profit organization, Green Cross works toward a sustainable future by fostering harmony between man and the environment. The common theme of its program areas is to promote human values that engender care and respect for the Earth's diverse communities of life, and to address the environmental causes and consequences of war and conflict. Combining global thinking and local action, Green Cross now has national organizations in twenty-four countries around the globe that conduct projects involving natural resource preservation, policy and political research, and environmental education.
Magic of Music
The RNO Magic of Music was launched in 1996 and reflects the orchestra's strong commitment to youth and families. In Russia, the RNO works with orphanages and homes for the disabled to bring the joy of creative self-expression to children living under challenging, difficult circumstances. Worldwide, the Magic of Music involves concerts, events and special projects that raise funds for youth charities and other important causes.
Save the Children
Save the Children was founded in 1932 to combat the ills of the Great Depression. It now acts in over 45 countries, working with families to define and solve the problems their children and communities face by utilizing a broad array of strategies to ensure self-sufficiency.
Wolf Conservation Center
The Wolf Conservation Center is founded on the philosophy that personal acquaintance of people with wolves builds a bridge of understanding and concern for wolves in the wild. Meeting these individuals helps to demystify the species for visitors. With their help, we hope to educate the public towards responsible stewardship of our environment and its fragile ecosystems.