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Tchaikovsky Concert Hall
Chamber Hall of Moscow Philharmonic
Philharmonia-2
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Moscow Chamber Orchestra
Conductor & soloist – Alexey Utkin (oboe)
Vitaly Kis (guitar)
Maria Chepurina (flute)
Ekaterina Nazarova (violin)
Ilya Movchan (violin)
Nikita Budnetskiy (violin)
Danil Padilov (violin)
Alexander Ostrin (violin)
Dmitry Kosolapov (violin)
Ilya Pashintsev (cello)
Alexey Ivanenko (cello)
Program:
Marcello
Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra in C minor
Vivaldi
Concerto for Two Violins, Two Violoncellos and Orchestra in D major, RV 564
Concerto for Flute and Orchestra
La notte ("Night") in G minor, RV 439
Concerto for Four Violins and Orchestra in H minor, RV 580
Boccherini
Introduction and Fandango for Guitar and Strings in D major (transcription of Part IV of Quintet or Guitar and Strings, G 448)
Rossini
Variations for Oboe and Orchestra in C major (arranged for Oboe d'amour and Strings by Ilya Pashintsev and Alexey Utkin)
Sonata No. 1 for Strings in G major
Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, June 28, 2017

Moscow Chamber Orchestra

Moscow Chamber Orchestra is currently marking its 60th anniversary.

The orchestra was founded by Rudolf Barshai, a world-class violist, violinist and founding member of Borodin Quartet. Barshai engaged young music talents from Moscow and formed the first chamber orchestra in the USSR that fashioned the European tradition (specifically, Wilhelm Stross Chamber Orchestra from West Germany that had performed in Moscow in September 1955).

Moscow Chamber Orchestra made its orchestral debut on 5 March, 1956 at Small Hall of Moscow Conservatory. The orchestra immediately won recognition from the public in Russia and abroad. Soon after this the Orchestra becomes integrated as part of Moscow Philharmonic Society.

'The chamber orchestra presents an amazing perfection of music and performance. Unity of history and contemporaneity is distinctive for musicians of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra: without distorting the text and spirit of early music, musicians make it modern and full of youth for our patrons,' – wrote Dmitri Shostakovich, who called the orchestra 'the best chamber orchestra in the world.'

The orchestra was described as one of the outstanding chamber orchestras by Leo Ginzburg, MCO conductor and Professor at Moscow Conservatory: 'While listening to Moscow Chamber Orchestra one will definitely appreciate genuine craftsmanship of superb musicians bonded within a single artistic current…'

In 1950–1960 the Orchestra featured such famous violin players as Boris Shulgin (MCO first violinist ), Lev Markiz, Vladimir Rabei, Andrei Abramenkov, Heinrich Talalyan (viola), Alla Vasilieva and Boris Dobrohotov (cello), Leopold Andreyev (bass), Alexandr Korneyev and Naum Zaidel (flute), Albert Zajonc (oboe), Boris Afanasiev (French horn), Sergei Dijur (organ and harpsichord) who performed in the orchestra under the baton of Rudolph Barshai.

Aside from performing and recording numerous pieces of European Baroque music, Russian and Western classical music, works by international composers of the 20th century (some of compositions were first performed in the USSR), the Orchestra actively promoted music of contemporary Soviet composers: Nikolai Rakov, Yuri Levitin, Georgi Sviridov, Kara Karaev, Mieczysław Weinberg, Alexandr Lokshin, German Galynin, Revol Bunin, Boris Tchaikovsky, Edison Denisov, Vytautas Barkauskas, Jaan Rääts, Alfred Schnittke and others. Many of them composed music specifically for Moscow Chamber Orchestra. For example, Dmitri Shostakovich dedicated his 14th Symphony to MCO, its kickoff performed by the Orchestra lead by Rudolph Barshai on 29 September, 1969 in Leningrad.

Following Barshai's emigration in 1976 the Orchestra was successively lead and conducted by Igor Bezrodny (1977–1981), Eugeny Nepalo (1981–1983), Viktor Tretyakov (1983–1990), Andrey Korsakov (1990–1991) and Konstantin Orbelyan (1991–2009).

In 1983 MCO was rebranded as State Chamber Orchestra of the USSR; and since 1994 the ensemble has boasted the title of an "academic orchestra".

Today MCO is one of the top chamber orchestras in Russia. Its extensive repertoire features pieces from all music periods and styles. The orchestra has performed in Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Switzerland, USA, Canada, Japan, Republic of South Africa, Scandinavia and Southeast Asia. MCO performed on prestigious stages such as Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Schauspielhaus in Berlin, Queen Elisabeth Hall in London, Salle Pleyel in Paris, Carnegie Hall in NYC, Davis Hall in San Francisco, and Suntori Hall in Tokyo. Musicians represented Russia at the landmark United Nations 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert in 1995 and at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 1998.

Throughout its history, the Orchestra frequently has toured across the Soviet Union and Russia promoting classical music.

For over 60 years the Orchestra has performed with spectacular guest artists such as: Sviatoslav Richter (piano), Emil Gilels (piano), Lev Oborin (piano), Maria Grinberg (piano), Nikolai Petrov (piano), Vladimir Krainev (piano), Vladimir Viardo (piano), Eliso Virsaladze (piano), Mikhail Pletnev (piano), Boris Berezovsky (piano), Frederick Kempf (piano), John Lill (piano), Stefan Vladar (piano), Christian Zacharias (piano), Igor Chetuev (piano), Lucas Debargue (piano), David Fray (piano); David Oistrakh (violin), Igor Oistrakh (violin), Yehudi Menuhin (violin), Leonid Kogan (violin), Oleg Kagan (violin), Vladimir Spivakov (violin), Viktor Tretyakov (violin), Igor Gringoltz (violin), Boris Garlitsky (violin), Andres Mustonen (violin) and Jean-Christophe Spinosi (violin); Yuri Bashmet (viola); Mstislav Rostropovitch (cello), Natalia Gutman (cello), Boris Pergamenschikow (cello), Gaspar Cassado (cello), Antonio Meneses (cello) and Alexandr Kniazev (cello); Georg Hörtnagel (bass); Olga Erdeli (harp); Nina Dorliak (vocals), Zara Dolukhanova (vocals), Irina Arkhipova (vocals), Eugeny Nesterenko (vocals), Galina Pisarenko (vocals), Alexandr Vedernikov (vocals), Makvala Kasrashvili (vocals), Nikolai Gedda (vocals), Renee Fleming (vocals), Inga Kalna (vocals), Sandrin Piau (vocals), Vivica Genaux (vocals), Roberto Alagna (vocals) (vocals) and Dmitri Hvorostovski (vocals); flautists Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute), Patrick Gallois (flute) and Sir James Holloway (flute); Federico Mondelci (saxophone); Timofei Dokschitzer (trumpet) and numerous other top-notch soloists; Kopelman Quartet; jazz and folk music performers; Munich Bach Choir, Federico Maria Sardelli (conductor), Stefano Montanari (conductor) and Frieder Bernius (conductor).

The Orchestra has released an impressive collection of radio and CD recordings covering a wide repertoire ranging from early music arias and Baroque music to works by Russian and international composers of the 20th century. The recordings were released under Melodia, Chandos, Philips, Delos and other leading world music labels.

In January 2010 Alexey Utkin, a world's renowned oboist and conductor, was appointed as MCO Art Director and Chief Conductor. Under his guidance and leadership the Orchestra has been significantly revamped and revitalized. Its style and genre range got drastically expanded. MCO poster billboards show a marriage of Bach's St Matthew Passion, masses by Haydn and Vivaldi, symphonies and concertos by Mozart and Boccherini, Led Zeppelin covers, world music hits and movie soundtracks. Orchestra and its leader's insights and creative exploits have metamorphosed into series of music projects in the recent years, which boldly mingle diverse music art periods, styles and trends. Including From Baroque to Jazz Rock program that premiered in Moscow and Crimea last season.

In 2011 and 2015 MCO lead by Mr. Utkin backed up the participants of the 2nd round of the 14 and 15 International Tchaikovsky Competitions (piano category).

In 2016 Alexey Utkin was honored with Moscow Excellence in Literature and Arts Award (Musical Arts category) for his contribution to development of Russian music and promotion of classical music at concert venues in Moscow.

In 2016/2017 season Moscow Chamber Orchestra, in addition to customary performances and subscription concerts at Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Grand Conservatory Hall, Rachmaninoff Concert Hall (Philharmonia-2), Chamber Hall of Moscow Philharmonic Society and Gnesins Academy Concert Hall, will take part in World Opera Stars in Moscow subscription concerts and the Russian kick-off performance of Teseo by Georg Friedrich Händel. The Orchestra will again launch several brand new concert programs: From Bach to the Beatles (featuring pieces by George Gershwin, Krzysztof Penderecki and Valery Grohovsky) (Rachmaninoff Concert Hall / Philharmonia-2); and a joint performance with Andres Mustonen (Estonia) featuring works by Arvo Pärt, Franz Schubert, Wolfgang Mozart and Giya Kancheli (Tchaikovsky Concert Hall).

The MCO 60th Anniversary Celebration Concert will take place at Tchaikovsky Concert Hall featuring Sinfonietta by Myaskovsky and Piano Concerto No. 24 by Mozart. MCO's Season performances will also feature Andres Mustonen (violin, conductor); Federico Maria Sardelli (conductor); Vyacheslav Kiselev (piano), Valeriy Grokhovski (piano), Eliso Virsaladze (piano), Frederic Kempf (piano), Dmitriy Masleyev (piano) and Mikhail Turpanov (piano); Elena Semenova (violin); Maria Chepurina (flute); Eugeny Petrov (clarinet); Stanislav Davydov (French horn); Ann Hallenberg (mezzo-soprano), Catharina Casper (soprano), Olivia Fermoilen (mezzo-soprano), Konstantin Derri (countertenor) and Iestyn Davies (countertenor).

In February 2017 MCO is scheduled to perform at MustonenFest in Estonia featuring two concert programs in Tallinn and Jõhvi.

Alexey Utkin

Alexey Utkin was born in Moscow in 1957. He studied at Moscow Central School of Music. In 1980 Mr. Utkin graduated from Moscow Conservatory where he studied oboe with Prof. Anatoly Petrov. In 1983 he received his Master of Music Degree there.

Today Alexey Utkin is well-known both in Russia and Europe. The skills he learned from Vladimir Spivakov after joining Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra as a young Moscow Conservatory graduate, top-notch education and his inherent talent – all this transformed him into a high-profile figure in the musical world.

His stellar career of a world-class solo-performance oboist is pretty much an exception in the world of classical music. Mr. Utkin regularly performs with such celebrated musicians such as Vladimir Spivakov, Yuri Bashmet, Heinz Holier, Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Nataliya Gutman, Eliso Virsaladze, Alexander Rudin, Radovan Vlatković, Valery Popov, Elena Obraztsova, David Daniels, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Christian Zacharias, Frederick Kempf, Boris Berezovsky, Viktor Tretyakov, David Fray, Igor Chetuev and many other stars of classical music art.

His music career is shaped by numerous performances at world's most prestigious concert venues: Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall (NYC), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Palau de la Música Catalana (Barcelona), Auditorio Nacional de Música (Madrid), Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome), Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (Paris), Hercules Hall (Munich), Beethoven Hall (Bonn), where he is often invited to perform alongside world-renowned orchestras. Mr. Utkin's solo performances have put him into the limelight with major recording companies including RCA-BMG (Classics Red Label). Under these labels Alexey Utkin has released Bach's concertos for oboe and oboe d'amore, Italian pieces by Rossini, Pasculli, Vivaldi and Salieri, as well as Capriccio for Violin and Orchestra by Penderecki. Mr. Utkin plays a unique oboe designed by F. Lorée – world's oldest firm that is long known for its specialization in oboe manufacture and design. This instrument was designed personally for Alexey Utkin by Alain de Gourdon, France's celebrated oboe designer and firm's owner. Alexey Utkin currently acts as spokesperson for F. Lorée at International Double Reed Society (IDRS).

It was Alexey Utkin who turned the oboe into a globally recognized solo performance instrument. According to music critics 'he transformed the oboe – a background orchestra instrument – into a prime mover of breathtaking exploits.' Boldly pioneering solo performances of pieces composed for the oboe Mr. Ukin began to expand the range and scope of the instrument uniquely adapting and arranging oboe compositions. Mr. Utkin's unparalleled performance skills vividly manifested in his adaptation of pieces composed by Antonio Pasculli, a forgotten 19th century author and oboe player known to his contemporaries as "the Paganini of the oboe." Currently Mr. Utkin's repertoire features pieces by Bach and Haydn, Vivaldi and Mozart, Richard Strauss, Shostakovich, Bruch, Britten and numerous other composers.

In the late 1990s Alexey Utkin – still a partner with Moscow Virtuosi – made a successful attempt at kicking off a solo career lining up his own Hermitage Chamber Orchestra. This new team performed numerous concerts and released 10 CDs under the widely popular Caro Mitis label.

In 2010 Alexey Utkin took up an appointment as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of Moscow Chamber Orchestra (MCO). MCO brought in the cream of Hermitage Chamber Orchestra performers. Keeping in line with Rudolph Barshai's tradition and heritage Mr. Utkin distinguishes himself as an artistic director and conductor, as well as a soloist and inspirational leader.

Alexey Utkin combines his MCO work with teaching and training other performers. He currently holds appointment as a Professor at the Department of Winds & Percussion of Moscow Conservatory.

Alexey Utkin began his Orchestra career by drastically expanding the style and genre range of the MCO repertoire. Orchestra performances feature Bach's St Matthew Passion, masses by Haydn and Vivaldi, symphonies and concertos by Mozart and Boccherini, Led Zeppelin covers, world music hits and movie soundtracks. Mr. Utkin continues his efforts in transcribing music pieces for other instruments to be played on oboe. Some of those include already widely popular transcriptions of Albinoni's Adagio in G minor and Bruch's Kol Nidrei.

Alexey Utkin's insights and creative exploits have manifested in his projects of recent years, such as Ost-West Fantasy featuring pieces by Henry Purcell, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Ian Clarke and Paul McCandless (for chamber orchestra, electric guitar, bass guitar, bansuri and percussions); 10-movement Holiday Fairytale Divertimento by Russia’s young Andrey Rubtsov (for chamber orchestra, children choir, electric guitar and percussions). Mr. Utkin's friendship with movie star Alexander Filippenko spurred the new Water Reflections project based on Alexander Solzhenitsyn's Stories & Prose Poems and Preludes by Dmitri Shostakovich.

Alexey Utkin has already jazzed up the 2016/2017 Season with new endeavors that boldly meld diverse music art time periods, styles and trends. One of such projects – From Baroque to Jazz Rock that premiered in Moscow last season.

In 2011 and 2015 MCO lead by Mr. Utkin backed up the participants of the 2nd round of the 14th and 15th International Tchaikovsky Competitions (piano category). In recent years Alexey Utkin has extensively toured across Russia from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok.

In 2016 Alexey Utkin was honored with Moscow Excellence in Literature and Arts Award (Musical Arts category) for his contribution to development of Russian music and promotion of classical music at concert venues in Moscow.

In 2016/2017 season Moscow Chamber Orchestra, in addition to customary performances and subscription concerts at Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Grand Conservatory Hall, Rachmaninoff Concert Hall (Philharmonia-2), Chamber Hall of Moscow Philharmonic Society and Gnesins Academy Concert Hall, will take part in World Opera Stars In Moscow subscription concerts and the Russian kick-off performance of Teseo by Georg Friedrich Händel. The Orchestra will again launch several brand new concert programs: From Bach to the Beatles (featuring pieces by George Gershwin, Krzysztof Penderecki and Valery Grohovsky) (Rachmaninoff Concert Hall / Philharmonia-2); and a joint performance with Andres Mustonen (Estonia) featuring works by Arvo Pärt, Franz Schubert, Wolfgang Mozart and Giya Kancheli (Tchaikovsky Concert Hall).

Currently, Alexey Utkin keeps up his work crafting new concert programs for seasons to come.

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