Russian National Orchestra

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Russian National Orchestra
Russian National Orchestra

The Russian National Orchestra (Russian: Российский национальный оркестр) was founded in Moscow in 1990 by pianist and conductor Mikhail Pletnev.[1]

It was the first Russian orchestra to perform at the Apostolic Palace, Vatican and in Israel.[2]

The RNO's first recording (1991) was Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, Pathétique, released on Virgin Classics. Since then, the orchestra has made over 80 recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, Pentatone, Ondine, Warner Classics and other labels, and with conductors that include RNO Founder and Artistic Director Mikhail Pletnev, Vladimir Jurowski, Paavo Järvi,Kent Nagano, Carlo Ponti Jr., José Serebrier and Vasily Petrenko. Notable releases include the complete Beethoven symphonies and piano concertos on Deutsche Grammophon, Tchaikovsky’s six symphonies for Pentatone, and the RNO Shostakovich project, also on Pentatone.[3]

The RNO’s recording of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and Beintus's Wolf Tracks, conducted by Kent Nagano and narrated by Sophia Loren, Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev, was the winner of a 2004 Grammy Award, making the RNO the first Russian orchestra ever to win this honor.[4] A Spanish-language version narrated by Antonio Banderas was released in 2007, following a Russian version narrated by actors Oleg Tabakov and Sergei Bezrukov, with a Mandarin edition following in 2011. Narrators in concert versions of these works have included actors Danny Glover, Diana Douglas, Sean Dill and Debbie Allen, model Tatiana Sorokko, Singaporean violinist Min Lee, and BBC anchor Seva Novgorodsev.

Maintaining an active international schedule, the RNO appears in the music capitals of Europe, Asia and the Americas, is a frequent guest at festivals such as Edinburgh, the BBC Proms, Festival Napa Valley, and Festival of the Arts BOCA. The RNO launched its own annual festival, the RNO Grand Festival, in 2009, held each Septemberto open the Moscow season. The tenth anniversary festival was held from September 10 to October 4, 2018.[5]

RNO concerts are often aired on National Public Radio, the European Broadcasting Union, and Russia’s Kultura channel.[6]

In 2008, a panel of international critics assembled by Gramophone named the Russian National Orchestra as one of the world's top orchestras.[7]

The Russian National Orchestra is a private institution supported by individuals, corporations and foundations in Russia and throughout the world. Organizations that support the RNO include the Russian Arts Foundation, Prince Michael of Kent Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Mikhail Prokhorov Foundation, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding. Another RNO innovation is Cultural Allies, an ongoing program encompassing exchanges between artists in Russia and the West, and the commissioning of new works.


For the Orchestra and Ensembles

  • Top Moscow Orchestra, Gramophone magazine, 2008
  • RNO Wind Quintet, 1st Place, 2005 Osaka Chamber Music Competition

For Recordings

Recording Award
Beethoven: Piano Concertos No. 2 and No. 4 Best Concerto Recording 2007, Tokyo Record Academy
Beethoven: The Nine Symphonies WGUC Top CD of 2007; Recording of the Month, MusicWeb
Glazunov: Complete Concertos Classical CD of the Week, The Telegraph; Recording of the Month, MusicWeb; CD of the Week (Colorado and Minnesota Public Radio); CD of the Week (WQZR New York, WETA Washington)
Prokofiev: Cinderella Top Recordings of the 1990s, Gramophone Magazine
Prokofiev & Beintus: Peter and the Wolf / Wolf Tracks GRAMMY Award, 2004
Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 3, Symphonic Dances Romantic Record of the Year (Classic FM Magazine), 1998
Scriabin: Symphony No 3, The Poem of Ecstasy Classical CD of the Week: The Telegraph, London
Shostakovich: Symphonies No. 1 and No. 6 Editor's Choice, Gramophone; Diapason d'Or de l'année; Choc du monde de la Musique de l'année; Double 10, Classics Today; Best of 2006, Soundstage
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 11, "The Year 1905" Classical CD of the Week, The Telegraph, London; Best of 2006, Soundstage
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 15 & Hamlet BBC Music Choice of the Month
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8 Supersonic Award, Pizzicato, (Luxembourg)
Shostakovich: Symphonies No. 5 and No. 9 Choc du monde de la Musique (May 2007); Edison Award Nominee, 2008 (Netherlands)
Taneyev: At the Reading of a Psalm Classical CD of the Week: The Telegraph, London
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 (Virgin Classics) Gramophone List: The 100 Greatest Recordings
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D (Julia Fischer) BBC Music Magazine, Best Recording of Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto

2007 Gramophone Artist of the Year

Echo Klassik Award, Best Instrumental Performance of 2007

Best Recording of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto (

Best of 2006, Audiophile Audition

Editor's Choice, Gramophone Magazine (April 2007)

Financial Times Critics Choice

Tchaikovsky: Suite No. 3; Stravinsky: Divertimento Classical CD of the Week: The Telegraph, London
Tchaikovsky: Hamlet & Romeo and Juliet Recording of the Month, Gramophone Magazine (March 2009)
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 & Francesca da Rimini (Pentatone) Disc of the Month, BBC Music Magazine (October 2011)
Russian Violin Concertos (Julia Fischer) Editor's Choice, Gramophone Magazine (January 2005); 2005 Echo Klassik Award, Concerto Record of the Year
Ravel & Prokofiev: Piano Concertos (Francesco Tristano Schlimé) Choc du monde de la Musique (July/Aug 2006); Editor's Choice, Gramophone Magazine (September 2006); Classical CD of the Week, The Daily Telegraph
Chopin & Loewe: Piano Concertos (Mari Kodama) Best of 2004, Audiophile Audition
Prokofiev, Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos No. 3 (Mikhail Pletnev) Nominated for GRAMMY Award, 2004


Since 1990, the RNO has released over 75 recordings on CD and SACD. These include:

Recordings with PENTATONE[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "About the Orchestra - Russian National Orchestra". Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  2. ^ "About the Orchestra - Russian National Orchestra". Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  3. ^ "About the Orchestra - Russian National Orchestra". Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  4. ^ "RNO Scores a Grammy Win". RNO Press Release. Archived from the original on 6 May 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Российский национальный оркестр". Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  6. ^ "About the Orchestra - Russian National Orchestra". Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  7. ^ "The World's Greatest Orchestras". Gramophone. Archived from the original on 4 July 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2011.