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Russian National Orchestra

The Russian National Orchestra (Russian: Российский национальный оркестр) premiered in Moscow in 1990. It was the first Russian orchestra to perform at the Apostolic Palace, Vatican and in Israel. Gramophone magazine described the first RNO CD (1991) as the best recording of Tchaikovsky's Pathétique in history. Since then, the orchestra has made over 50 recordings for Deutsche Grammophon and PentaTone Classics, with conductors that include RNO Founder and Artistic Director Mikhail Pletnev, Principal Guest Conductor Vladimir Jurowski, Kent Nagano, Alexander Vedernikov and Paavo Berglund. 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 recording industry's honor. 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 Mandarin and other editions to follow. The RNO Wind Quintet has performed its special arrangements of Peter and the Wolf and Wolf Tracks in Russia, Bermuda, the USA, the UK and Singapore. Narrators for these performances have included actors Diana Douglas and Sean Dill, Russian supermodel Tatiana Sorokko, Singaporean violinist Min Lee, and BBC anchor Seva Novgorodsev. Unique among the principal Russian ensembles, the RNO is independent of the government and has developed its own structure. Artistic policy is shaped and guided by the RNO Conductor Collegium, a group of conductors led by Artistic Director Mikhail Pletnev. Another RNO innovation is Cultural Allies, an ongoing program encompassing exchanges between artists in Russia and the West, and the commissioning of new works. A frequent guest at major festivals, the RNO is the founding orchestra of the Festival del Sole in the Napa Valley, Festival of the Arts BOCA in Florida, and the Singapore Sun Festival, and is resident orchestra of the Tuscan Sun Festival in Cortona, Italy. The Russian National Orchestra is supported by private funding and is governed by a multinational board of trustees. Affiliated organizations include the RNO New York Council, the Russian National Orchestra Trust (UK), the Russian Arts Foundation and American Council of the RNO.

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