Just in: Russia’s national orchestra to tour US – with Ukrainian conductor

Just in: Russia’s national orchestra to tour US – with Ukrainian conductor


norman lebrecht

January 29, 2016

Michael Pletnev’s Russian national orchestra will visit 16 U.S. cities next month in California, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Florida, culminating at Carnegie Hall in New York. The tour dates are February 19 to March 9, 2016.

Pletnev will yield the baton on the second half of the tour to Kirill Karabits, a loyal Ukrainian national who has returned to Kiev to perform on Independence Day.

Looks like there’s some delicate cultural diplomacy going on.

The RNO on Kremlin duty:


  • Frederick West says:

    Care to expand on the diplomacy bit? I’m a little confused here.

  • Balzac says:

    No diplomacy at all. RNO is not in fact a “National” public orchestra (as the State Symphony Orchestra ‘Evgeny Svetlanov’ is) but a private entity, as I’m sure Norman Lebrecht knows.

    • Frederick West says:

      That’s how I understood it to be. Thanks

    • Andrey says:

      Actually RNO is receiving state money for around 5 years already. They worked hard to get in with funding and yet are still payed less than Svetlanov’s, Fedoseyev’s and other top Moscow orchestras.

  • Simon says:

    Even though it’s a good sign that not all bridges are broken.

  • Milka says:

    Russia first used the Moiseyev dancers as a cultural ploy decades ago now this ….
    and for Mr. Page to note- it ends in Carnegie Hall . New York of all places .

  • Charles L. says:

    Since the blog post doesn’t mention it, here’s the list of all the dates/cities.

  • MacroV says:

    They’re an extraordinary orchestra, definitely worth hearing. Unfortunately, it seems that too many Russian orchestras, when in the west, face demands by concert promoters to play a fairly narrow range of greatest Russian hits, but I heard the RNO do a lot of interesting repertoire in the years I lived in Moscow. With all the great Russian pianists out there, pity they’re not featuring one of them. At least Yuja Wang is doing the 2nd Tchaikovsky concerto (which I like a lot better).

  • Victoria says:

    Mikhail Pletnev’s orchestra is really outstanding and has own place in the russian music life. About State Orchestra “Evgeny Svetlanov” I regret that Jurowsky condacts. It was perfect orchestra but now all goes wrong. Mainly – sound.

    • Eddie Mars says:

      Of course, things were *so* much better when… what was his name?.. oh, yes, Gorenstein was conducting, right?

  • Nick says:

    I echo the comments about the quality of the RNO under Pletnev. Apart from recordings, some years ago I heard a concert in the Tchaikovsky Hall ending with a stunning account of the Manfred Symphony, rightfully cheered to the rafters.

  • Len says:

    I hope my eyes aren’t deceiving me…it’s a pity the video and audio in that clip aren’t in sync – it makes him look like a “behind the beat” conductor.