Press Room

National Symphony Orchestra in Moscow celebrating Slava at 90

National Symphony Orchestra in Moscow celebrating Slava at 90

The grand opening of the VIII Mstislav Rostropovich International Festival, established as a memorial to the great cellist and conductor, citizen and public activist, was held at the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory 27 March 2017.

For the first time since 1993 the program of the festival includes performances by the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) from Washington, which was directed by Mstislav Rostropovich for more than 17 years. It was the NSO that Maestro brought to Moscow in early 1990s during his triumphant comeback with historical concerts in the Red Square and at the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. At the Mstislav Rostropovich Festival the Orchestra will be led by Christoph Eschenbach, NSO Music Director, and perform in Moscow – 29 and 30 March, and in St. Petersburg Philharmonia 31 March.

Christoph Eschenbach, the Music Director and Chief Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO): “It’s a great honor for the National Symphony Orchestra to be invited to the Rostropovich Festival to pay tribute to Mstislav Rostropovich, who served as the Orchestra’s music director for 17 years from 1977-1994. As the first American orchestra to participate in this Festival, we hope that we ca honour Slava’s legacy as a great musician and also serve as cultural ambassadors through our music from around the globe.”

The tour of the National Symphony Orchestra is organized under the auspices of A Salute to Slava project, a large-scale initiative of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, which became home to the Orchestra 30 years ago: each year the NSO offers more than concerts here since the opening of the Center in 1971. A Salute to Slava, supported by the Vladimir Potanin Foundation, includes, apart from the Russian tour, a 4-week cycle of concerts for the American audience and a program of public events aimed at promotion of Russia cultural heritage in the world. These programmes offer insight into artistic, cultural and historical context of the performances onstage, and bring to audiences a unique and important opportunity to increase their understanding and appreciation of Russian culture.

Oksana Oracheva, the General Director of the Foundation: “Mstislav Rostropovich was a person of an outstanding talent and exceptional vitality, a citizen of the world and a real ambassador of the Russian culture. We are delighted to be part of this large-scale project dedicated to honoring the legacy of Maestro in what would have been his 90th birthday year.”

The Vladimir Potanin Foundation has been a partner of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts for many years. Thus, in 2011 the Center was given a generous donation for its 40th anniversary by its founder Vladimir Potanin. This allowed for a full reconstruction of the Russian Lounge, and it became one of the most modern and attractive venues of the Center. Today the Russian Lounge is the implementation of the winning project produced by the two outstanding Russian artists – architect Sergey Skuratov and artist Valery Koshlyakov who were selected by the Foundation and the Kennedy Centre.