The 2016/2017 Season of the Musica Viva orchestra will start in September 2016. It is intended to be one the orchestra's richest seasons, including subscription cycles well known to the Moscow audience, as well as completely new projects such as "Musica Viva for children", tours in Russia and abroad, and concert versions of operas.
The subscription cycle "Masterpieces & Premiers" is the Moscow chamber orchestra Musica Viva's hallmark project. It reflects the main musical priorities of the orchestra and is held at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall. The programs of the cycle combine famous musical pieces and musicrarely performed in Russia.
The concerts of the cycle give a rare opportunity for the audience to hear live performances of foreign stars playing as both masters of their instrument and conductors while being at the top of their fame in the world. In the forthcoming 2016-2017season "Masterpieces & Premiers" series are will feature three concerts, each having its own unique artistic status.
The legendary Italian violinist virtuoso Giuliano Carmignola will be performing as a soloist and a conductor on the 8th of November 2016. His wide repertoire includes almost everything written by Italian composers in the 17-18 centuries for the violin. The European press calls him «The Prince of Barocco violinists» and points out that «Carmignola, in fact, plays as an aristocrat of blue blood». The program is exclusive as it presents the music of the Italian composers living and working in Russia in the 18th century, unknown to the contemporary Russian audience as well as the model Carmignola's interpretation of Vivaldi.
On the 10th of March 2017 Maestro Alexander Rudin will appear as both the soloist and the conductor with the Brahms's Double Concerto and Schumann's Symphony №2. The British violinist Anthony Marwood will be his partner in the Brahms Concerto for violin & cello. He will perform on his unique instrument made by Carlo Bergonzi. Antony Marwood was named “the instrumentalist of the year” by the Royal Philarmonic Society.
On the 5th of April 2017 Felix Mendelssohn's oratorio St Paulus will be performed by the "Kantorei der Schlosskirche Weilburg" choir conducted by Doris Hagel and soloists from Germany. The foreign press frequently referred to the collective's performance as «…very high quality and at times perfect model interpretation». The soloists are Mechthild Bach (soprano), Britta Schwarz (mezzo-soprano), Markus Schaefer (tenor), Manfred Bittner (bass). The conductor is Alexander Rudin.
The “Golden Classics”, the title cycle of Musica viva, will be held at the Philharmonia-2 concert hall for the second time. The principle used in compilation of the programs is aimed to combine popular musical pieces in new interpretations within one concert and inviting the best contemporary musicians famous worldwide for their interpretation of Baroque music as well as the music of romanticism and classicism periods.
On 3rd of November the first concert of the cycle will give musical connoisseurs the opportunity to enjoy such unexpected delicacies as "The Symphony of Crickets" by Telemann and "The Battle" by Biber. These are examples of rare experimental music by baroque composers. Corelli's Concerto Grosso will complete the program. Alexander Rudin will be the soloist and the conductor.
The program of 23 December will present the string section of Musica viva, the true leader in the hierarchy of Russian orchestras.
Rudin's arrangements of Mendelssohn's Octet and Grieg's quartet N 2 for the string orchestra will be played. Both compositions have become part of "golden repertoire" of Musica Viva. They demand a virtuoso level of each musician and they have become the "signature pieces" of the orchestra. They will be conducted by Maestro Alexander Rudin. The soloist is Nikita Borisoglebsky (violin) the second prizewinner of the 13 International Tchaikovsky Music Competition as well the winner of many other prizes including the Audience choice award.
The final concert of the 'Golden Classics' cycle will be held on 4 March 2017 and under the baton of the world-renowned conductor Alexander Walker (Great Britain), director of Northampton and Norfolk Symphony Orchestras.
The concert will be opened by the atmospheric Mendelssohn's Overture "A Midsummer's Night Dream" written for Shakespeare's comedy. Alongside the most popular pieces by Mozart and Beethoven, the orchestra will play the Introduction and allegro for the strings by the compatriot of Maestro Walker, the famous English composer Elgar. The unique musician Emin Martirosyan will be the piano soloist. He plays as a member of Musica Viva orchestra and other orchestras as well as playing as a solo cellist and a pianist, sometimes within one concert.
The "Silver Classics" cycle invites the audience to the Chamber Hall of Moscow International Performing Arts Center (Moscow House of Music).
On 6 October 2017 the audience will hear the "Cello Assemblies of Alexander Rudin", which opened the 6th season of the subscription cycle "Silver Classics". The Maestro will start with a special program in which he himself will be the soloist playing music written by Hindemith and Respigi, geniuses of the 20th century, for cello and orchestra as well as music by Mozart and Dvořak. The conductor is Maestro Vladimir Ponkin.
The second concert of the "Silver Classics" cycle is called "Baroque Ornaments". It will take place on 20 January, 2017, and will be dedicated to the revival of the baroque style of music playing traditions, when musicians could play several instruments equally well. It will be demonstrated by the soloists Alexander Rudin ( cello, viola da gamba) and Sergei Malov (violin, violoncello da spalla). They will play quite rare pieces by Locatelli, Geminiani, Porpora, Caldara, Vivaldi. Sergei Malov is the winner of the Michael Hill Competition in New Zealand (2011), the Mozart Competition in Salzburg (2011), the first Viola Competition in Tokyo (2009), the Paganini Competition in Genoa (2006), the ARD Competition in Munich (viola, 2008) and Bach Competition in Leipzig (baroque violin, 2010).
Musica Viva pays special attention to the collaboration with young talented musicians, who are still at the start of their career. Alexander Rudin often works with youth orchestras and also contributes to the upbringing of the new generation of performers all over the world. He is a professor of the Moscow conservatory and gives master classes regularly in many countries. The youth program of the Musica Viva orchestra is held annually within the "Silver Classics" subscription cycle. It is aimed to acquaint Moscow music fans with new Russian and foreign musicians.
The final program of the "Silver Classics"cycle is called "Musica Viva presents new names". It will take place on 13 March 2017 and will be dedicated to young musicians. Polina Borisova (violin) plays a Jean-Baptiste Viliom violin, provided by the Russian State Collection of Unique Instruments. Andrei Sannikov (flute) , Miroslav Kultyshov (piano). The program will be held in collaboration with St Petersburg Music House for the third time. The conductor will be Russia's People artist Sergei Roldugin.
In 2017 the orchestra will continue to collaborate with International festival Opera-A-Priori. The orchestra has been taking part in it since the very beginning of the festival and it will appear twice during the forthcoming third Opera a-priori.
On the 27 February 2017 the orchestra will offer the program compiled of Rossini's music performed with countertenor Franco Fagioli (Argentina) who will make his first appearance in Russia. The program will be conducted by Maxim Yemelianychev.
On 23 April 2017 the Rachmaninov Hall will host the Russian premiere of Sibelius's opera "Lady In The Tower" along with Rimsky-Korsakov's opera "Kaschei Bessmertny” The famous Finnish pianist Olli Mustonen will be the conductor of this program.
From 9 to 11 September 2016 the orchestra will tour Chelyabinsk and two scientific towns of Chelyabinsk region - Ozersk and Snezhinsk. A tour in Novosibirsk is planned for December 2016. The tour is supported by the Russian Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Chelyabinsk region, Rosatom state corporation and the "Rosatom culture territory" festival.
With support from the Moscow city government and the "Open Stage" grant of its Culture Department, the orchestra is preparing the special project - "Musica Viva for children" - offering three concerts united by the idea of presenting music written by the great composers at the age of the target audience (12+). All three concerts will be held at the Chamber Hall of Moscow House of Music and Artem Vargaftik will host them.
On 25 September, 110th anniversary of Dmitry Shostakovich, school children will have a unique opportunity to hear a program compiled solely of the music written by the young Shostakovich. Yury Favorin (piano) the winner of many international competitions, will be the soloist for this concert.
The program of the concert on 2 November 2016 will be dedicated to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the music he composed at the age of 12-13. The fragments of his Symphony N 1 and 2, serenades, piano concerto N3 and his dance music will be performed. Grant holders of Spivakov’s and Krainev’s Charity Funds will play solo with Musica viva in the concert.
Music by Felix Mendelson will be played at the final concert on 31 March 2017, including his Symphony for Strings, Violin Concerto (youth), Violin & piano Concerto.
Young Chinese musicians will perform in this program: Susan Tang (violin, 12 years old, Tianjin Experimental Primary School) and Ju Xiaofu (piano, 16 years old, Affiliated High School of Shanghai Conservatory of Music).
A concert performance of Dargomyzhsky's "Rusalka" will take place at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall on 17 November 2016 conducted and directed by Alexander Rudin, directed by Sergei Novikov, a participant of the "Nano Opera" young opera directors competition held by Moscow Helicon Opera music theatre. The participants of the project are Petr Migunov (bass) and Agunda Kulaeva (mezzo-soprano), Bolshoi Theatre soloists, Dmitry Khromov (tenor), Helikon opera soloist. Svetlana Kasian, soprano, will sing the role of Natasha.
At the opening of its season Musica Viva orchestra will take part in the prestigious festival La Folle Journée in Warsaw on 23 and 24 September 2016. The program is dedicated to the compositions on the theme “Nature” by composers of different centuries. The orchestra will play the compositions of Vivaldi, Handel, Telemann, Mozart, Boccherini, Piazzolla-Desyatnikov and Sallinen. The soloists are Alexander Rudin (cello), Dmitry Makhtin (violin), Elena Korzhenevich (violin). The orchestra is also planning the participation in music festivals in Great Britain in the summer 2017.
Musica viva history
Musica Viva's origins go back to 1978, when violinist and conductor Viktor Kornachev founded a musical ensemble of nine players – all young and enthusiastic, and recent graduates of Moscow's musical academies. By 1988 the ensemble had grown into a fully-fledged orchestra, now under the direction of Alexander Rudin – who also gave the group its name, Musica Viva – Latin for 'living music'.
Under Rudin's leadership the orchestra has become a formidable musical ensemble, achieving the pinnacles of artistic endeavour, and ranked along Russia's finest orchestras.
Musica Viva today is an all-round musical ensemble - which performs the widest possible range of compositions in all styles and genres with an assured confidence. The orchestra's thoughtful programming embraces seminal mainstream works alongside fascinating rarities. The orchestra is adept in multiple performance practices, always aiming to get as close as possible to the style the composer intended – often stripping away agglutinated layers of tired ideas to reveal the freshness of the masterpiece which lies beneath.
The quintessence of the orchestra's projects has been a cycle at the Moscow Philharmonia called Masterpieces & Premieres – in which musical masterworks are heard in their original splendour, alongside musical rarities which are returned once more to their deserved place on the concert platform.
The performance of neglected masterworks forms a major part of the orchestra's repertoire. The orchestra has given the first Russian performances of works by Handel, the sons of JS Bach, Cimarosa, Dittersdorf, Dussek, Pleyel, Triclire, Folkman, Kozlovsky, Fomin, Vielgorsky, Alyabiev, Degtyarev, and many others. The broad stylistic range of the orchestra enables its members to perform both rarely-performed music and the music of contemporary composers. Over many years the Musica Viva orchestra has performed music by V. Artyomov, A. Pärt, A. Sallinen, V. Silvestrov, T. Mansuryan and other living composers.
In recent years Musica Viva has increasingly been involved in large-scale projects – concert performances of operas and oratorios, featuring performances by leading foreign singers and conductors. Under the baton of Alexander Rudin
the orchestra has given Masses by Haydn and his oratorios The Creation and The Seasons; Mozart's opera Idomeneo, Weber's Oberon, Beethoven's Fidelio, Schumann's Requiem, Vivaldi's oratorio Juditha Triumphans, CPE Bach's The Last Suffering of Our Lord, as well as Degtyarev's Minin & Pozharsky or the Relief of Moscow. In collaboration with the British maestro Christopher Moulds the orchestra has given the Russian premieres of Handel's operas Orlando and Ariodante, as well as his oratorio Hercules. The premieres in the 2015-2016 season have been a concert performance of Hasse's oratorio I Pellegrini al Sepolcro di Nostro Signore and Handel's operatic serenata Aci. Galatea e Polifemo, in its Italian version of 1708 - at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow. One of the most sparkling innovations which maestro Rudin has introduced with Musica Viva has been the ballet divertissement “Variations On A Rococo Theme” by Tchaikovsky – staged by Bolshoi Theatre ballerina and choreographer Marianna Ryzhkina - also at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall.
The degree of immersion in music of many epochs has almost reached the level of musical archaeology. This was the basis behind the concert cycle of 'Silver Classics', which began in 2011. The repertoire of Silver Classics is music which was highly prized in its own era, yet which has somehow slipped through the chinks of today's concert repertoire. The performers in this cycle include a Young Artistes Program of soloists who have emerged from the ranks of European music competitions, as well as a “Cello Assembly” to which maestro Rudin invites his fellow cellists.
Musica Viva regularly invites musicians of world status to join its performances. These have included Christopher Hogwood, Sir Roger Norrington, Vladimir Jurowsky, Andraš Adorian. Robert Levin, Andreas Staier, Eliso Virsaladze, Natalya Gutman, Ivan Monighetti, Nikolai Lugansky, Boris Berezovsky, Alexei Lubimov, Giuliano Carmingola, Isabelle Faust, Thomas Zettmaier, and leading operatic prima donnas Joyce di Donato, Annic Massis, Vivica Genaux. Deborah York, Susan Graham, Malena Ernman, Stéphanie d’ Oustrac, Hibla Gerzmava, Julia Lezhneva, and many others. World-famous choruses including Collegium Vocale and Latvia
have appeared with the orchestra.
Musica Viva makes continuous appearances in major international music festivals. The orchestra has toured to Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Japan, Czechia, Slovenia, Poland, Finland, Turkey, India, China and Taiwan. Every year the orchestra gives regular concerts in many Russian cities.
The orchesta has recorded over twenty commercial cds, including releases on the Russian Season label (Russia/France), Olympia and Hyperion (United Kingdom), Tudor (Switzerland), Fuga Libera (Belgium), and Melodiya (Russia). Most recently the orchestra has been recording an album of the cello concertos of Hasse, CPE Bach, and Hertel, issued in 2016 by Chandos (United Kingdom).