Russian National Orchestra to perform at Penn State March 3

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Russian National Orchestra, led by conductor Kirill Karabits and featuring violin soloist Stefan Jackiw, will make a stop at Penn State’s Eisenhower Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3, as part of its 25th anniversary world tour.

The program will include Alexander Glazunov’s prelude to the suite “From the Middle Ages” and orchestra Artistic Director Mikhail Pletnev’s arrangement of Sergei Prokofiev’s suite from “Romeo and Juliet.” Jackiw will join the orchestra to perform Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64.

In 1990, Pletnev founded the orchestra with only individual, corporate and foundation contributions as a way to ensure programming independent of the government. Immediately after the young concert pianist and Tchaikovsky Competition winner debuted his ensemble, Virgin Classics asked it to record Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6. After hearing the recording, a Gramophone critic raved, “Should human beings be able to play like this?”

Since then, the orchestra has released more than 80 recordings. It was the first Russian music ensemble to play at the Vatican and in Israel. In 2004, the orchestra won a Grammy Award — the first by a Russian group — for its recording of Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” and Jean-Pascal Beintus’ “Wolf Tracks.”

It has been called one of the top 15 best orchestras in the world by Gramophone and described by the Miami Herald as “a living symbol of the best in Russian art.”

Karabits, who hails from the Ukraine, won the United Kingdom’s Royal Philharmonic Conductor Award in 2013 and was recently named music director for Germany’s Deutsches Nationaltheater und Staatskapelle Weimar.

Jackiw, a Massachusetts native who made his Carnegie Hall debut last year, has performed as a soloist with symphony orchestras in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Toronto’s Globe and Mail calls his playing “as pure and close to perfection as music can get.”

Watch a performance by the Russian National Orchestra.

Watch Jackiw perform Beethoven’s Romance No. 1 in F Major.

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring a visiting artist or artists, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the concert and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.

The performance is sponsored by Elinor C. Lewis and Dotty and Paul Rigby. WPSU is the media sponsor.

To learn more about the presentation and for ticketing information, visit the Russian National Orchestra online or call 814-863-0255.

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Last Updated February 09, 2016