Orbelian - Conductor
Constantine Orbelian was brought up in San Francisco,
received his early musical education at the San Francisco Conservatory
and graduated from the Juilliard School of Music in 1980. As
a pianist, he made his debut with the San Francisco Symphony
at the age of eleven. Orbelian, whose performance schedule has
included numerous concerts in North America, Europe, Asia and
Australia, has been acclaimed for his "buoyant, brilliantly
detailed and effortlessly agile" performances (The Guardian)
and his "impressive power and sweep" (Ovation). "His
technique is superb," proclaimed Fanfare magazine. He has
appeared as soloist with the Boston and Detroit Symphony orchestras,
the Moscow State Symphony, Moscow Philharmonic, St. Petersburg
Symphony, Helsinki Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the "Moscow
Virtuosi." His recording of the Khachaturian Piano Concerto
with Maestro Neeme Jarvi and the Scottish National Orchestra
received the "Best Concerto of the Year" award in
the U.K. Stereo Review raved, "finger work of Horowitzian
brilliance and unlimited stamina." Other recordings include
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Philharmonia Orchestra
(London), Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.1, Bach Concerto in
F Minor, Mozart Concerto in A Major, K.414 with the Moscow Chamber
Orchestra as soloist and conductor, and Beethoven Concerto No.
1 with the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra. Orbelian is
Founder and Music Director of two unique music festivals in
Russia the "Palaces of St. Petersburg International Chamber
Music and Choir Festival" which produces 30 concerts in
the most beautiful and extraordinary residences of the Czars
and "Musical Treasures at the Museums of the Kremlin."
As Music Director of the MCO, Constantine Orbelian has
remained true to the traditions that made this orchestra unique.
With Constantine Orbelian, the MCO continues to capture the
imagination of audiences and live up to its reputation as one
of the premier chamber orchestras in the world.
Moscow Chamber Orchestra
One of the world's greatest ensembles, the legendary Moscow
Chamber Orchestra was created in 1956 by renowned conductor
and violist Rudolf Barshai, who brought together the most talented
musicians in Moscow. From their first concert it became obvious
that this was an ensemble of the highest artistic and professional
standard. Invitations to tour abroad soon brought the orchestra
to Europe and America where the orchestra saw one triumph after
another. Since then, the orchestra has been performing to sold-out
halls throughout the world. The New York Times wrote: "What
we heard was the peak of perfection ... our expectations were
so far exceeded that one was left open-mouthed in admiration".
The MCO has attracted Russia's greatest soloists on their many
concert tours. David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich, Leonid
Kogan, Yehudi Menuhin, Sviatoslav Richter, Vladimir Spivakov
and Victor Tretyakov graced the stages of the world's most prestigious
concert halls with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. Recordings
began to appear and receive prizes for their excellence. Their
complete Mozart Symphonies have become collector's items, and
their unrivaled interpretations of the works of Vivaldi, Corelli,
Albinoni and Boccherini became legendary. The most important
Russian composers began writing music specifically for the MCO.
Dmitry Shostakovich entrusted the first performance of his 14th
Symphony to the Orchestra, proclaiming: "This must be the
greatest chamber orchestra in the world."
After Barshai's emigration from the former USSR, the MCO's music
directors were the eminent violinists Igor Bezrodny, Victor
Tretyakov and Andre Korsakov. In 1991, a milestone in the history
of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco-born Constantine
Orbelian was chosen for this most prestigious post -- a breakthrough
in Russian-American cultural relations.
Through these years, the MCO has maintained an intensive touring
schedule with over 80 concerts a year throughout Europe, Asia,
South America and Scandinavia and nearly 40 in Russia. Among
MCO's credits are performances with such world-renowned musicians
as James Galway (flute), Patrick Gallois (flute), Nikolai Gedda
(tenor), Susanna Mildonian (harp), Boris Pergamenshchikov (cello),
Philipp Hirschorn (violin), Ilya Grubert (violin), Araxia Davtian
(soprano), Lubov Kazarnovskaya (soprano), Vladimir Krainev (piano),
Ewa Podles (contralto). In May 1995, the MCO was Russia's cultural
ambassador at the 50th anniversary celebrations of the United
Nations Organization in San Francisco. Also, in 1995 the MCO
was the first Russian orchestra to tour South Africa. In 1996
the orchestra was invited to perform for Heads of State at the
World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Charity Concert in Switzerland.
The MCO is always a welcome guest in the world's major music
capitals. Under Maestro Orbelian's baton, the orchestra has
performed in the most prestigious concert halls of Europe including
the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Frankfurt's "Alte Oper,"
the Schauspielhaus in Berlin, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London
and the Salle Pleyel in Paris. Yearly concert tours take the
orchestra to France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Korea and Japan.
Over the last two years, several MCO recordings were released
on the Chandos label with Paganini's Violin Concertos 1 &
2 with violinist Ilya Grubert (First prize winner of the Tchaikovsky
Competition), a disc devoted to the music of Alexander Arutiunian
including the Violin Concerto (Grubert), Sinfonietta for Strings,
and Concertino for Piano and Orchestra with the composer's daughter
Narine Arutiunian as piano soloist, and Sergei Prokofiev's Classical
Symphony, Visions Fugitive and Violin Concerto. The MCO also
has a recent release on the Philips Label of the Complete works
for Piano and Orchestra of Mendelssohn with pianist Jean-Louis
"Music is a powerful force of transformation. It can open
the doors of the heart to the best in us, and this performance
is a wonderful contribution to the United Nations 50th Anniversary
Celebrations. The success of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and
the unique appointment of San Francisco born Maestro Constantine
Orbelian as Conductor represent the highest levels of artistic
achievement between our two great nations." Jimmy Carter,
May 8, 1995, excerpt from an address read at the opening concert
of United Nations 50th Anniversary Celebrations.
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update on September 2001.