Unknown Siberia


Festival of Modern Russian Art
Lyon, France
15 – 21 November 2010

Russian National Orchestra with a unique double programme

The Russian National Orchestra and the Chorus of Lyon National Opera will perform two one-act operas by Sergei Rachmaninov: Aleko and Monna Vanna.

The Russian National Orchestra, Russia’s first independent and completely private orchestra, was established in 1990. The orchestra has become one of the largest musical ensembles in Russia and the world. As well as invitations from throughout the world, the orchestra has received numerous awards for its performances. It gives regular concerts throughout Russia, and in 2009 the orchestra created its own festival, which is held in Moscow at the Bolshoi Theatre.

The opera Aleko was first staged on 9 May 1893 at the Bolshoi Theatre. Rachmaninov wrote the opera in 17 days as his diploma work at the Moscow Conservatoire. The members of the assessment committee were so impressed that the awarded the young composer the Conservatoires Grand Gold Medal, which had only been awarded on two previous occasions.

Inspired by Maeterlincks drama of the same name, the opera Monna Vanna remains a little-known part of Rachmaninovs oeuvre. He had already written the first act for the piano before approaching the Belgian dramatist to obtain his permission to compose the opera. When it turned out that the rights had already been sold to the French composer Henri Fevrier, whose work was first performed at the Paris Opera on 17 January 1903, Sergei Rachmaninov abandoned his own project. And it was only many years later that his daughter-in-law asked the conductor Igor Buketov to arrange the piano piece for orchestra, and it was first performed in 1984 in Saratoga by the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Venue: Opéra national de Lyon
Time: 15 November, 20.30

The Russian National Orchestra and Nikolai Lugansky (piano) will will perform:
• Alexander Glazunov. From the Middle Ages, a symphonic suite, Op. 79 - 1/Prelude. Symphony 6 in C minor, Op. 58.
Sergei Rachmaninov. Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini, for piano and orchestra, in A minor, Op. 43.
The Russian National Orchestra has picked up the torch for the Russian symphonic school, of which the works of Alexander Glazunov and Sergei Rachmaninov are the embodiment.

Venue: Auditorium de Lyon
Time: 16 November, 20.30

The New Music Studio Soloists Ensemble, directed by Igor Dronov, together with the GRAME National Centre for Musical Creativity will perform works by the modern composers Edison Denisov, Faraj Karayev, Vladimir Tarnopolsky, Yury Kasparov and Igor Kefalidi.

Venue: Conservatoire National Supérieure de Musique et de Danse de Lyon
Time: 18 November, 20.30