Constantine 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 Steuerman.
"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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