Russian National Youth Symphony Orchestra – Symphony Academy is a unique musical collective and the largest youth project in the orchestral field. It was created in September 2018 with the support of the Presidential Grants Foundation and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and is being developed as part of the national project “Culture”.
According to the results of the First All-Russian Competition of Young Orchestra Artists, the RNYSO united 100 talented musicians under the age of 30 from 28 cities of Russia; today it consists of 108 musicians. In its creative work, the orchestra combines Russian musical traditions and international experience, solving three fundamental questions – art, educational and enlightenment. This combination of functions, none of which is auxiliary, has no analogues.
Today RNYSO is an integral part of the concert life of the country: in its first season (2018/19), it held 40 concerts, performing in 13 cities of the country – from St. Petersburg to Irkutsk, from Vologda to Nizhny Novgorod. These concerts have been attended by more than 40,000 listeners.
The orchestra performed under the direction of outstanding conductors: Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Fedoseev, Mikhail Jurowski, Alexander Sladkovsky and Jean-Christophe Spinosi. Denis Matsuev, Julian Rachlin, Pavel Milyukov, Dmitry Masleev and a whole galaxy of talented young soloists, including the winners of the 16th International Tchaikovsky Competition – Sergey Dogadin, Anastasia Kobekina, Alexandre Kantorow, Konstantin Emelyanov, Mao Fujita and Kenneth Broberg. RNYSO concerts are held on the two main stages of the Moscow Philharmonic, in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the Great and Minor Halls of the State Kremlin Palace, the Mariinsky-2 Concert Hall, on Red Square in Moscow, and have been broadcast by Medici.tv.
In the first year of its life, the RNYSO presented a number of major symphonic programs, took part in the festivals “Stars of the White Nights” of the Mariinsky Theatre, “Stars on Baikal” by Denis Matsuev, “Rachmaninov Days”, “Russian Winter”, as well as in major cultural and public events, including the gala opening of the 7th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum, the opening ceremony of the Book Festival "Red Square", the opening of the 39th International Hanseatic Days of the New Age in Pskov.
The Youth Orchestra pays great attention to educational programs, especially performances in Russian universities. The first concerts of RNYSO took place in the student audiences of VGIK and Moscow State University; the orchestra performed at the oldest universities in Russia (in St. Petersburg, Tomsk, Omsk, Kemerovo, Nizhny Novgorod, Krasnoyarsk, Perm, Vologda and Cherepovets), everywhere these programs became an important event, causing a warm response from the audience. The orchestra took part in special projects of the Moscow Philharmonic "Mom, I am a Melomaniac" and "Language of Music." Young conductors, laureates of the All-Russian Music Competition Dimitris Botinis and Alexey Rubin, as well as musicologist and host of the program – Yaroslav Timofeev, perform in educational concerts with the orchestra.
The enlightening role of the collective is unusual for traditional orchestral culture: RNYSO attracts a young audience to the world of music, believing that there are things in which same-age peers understand each other better than generations separated by cultural barriers. In Russia, where old orchestral traditions have been interrupted more than once, where young musicians are trained for solo careers, but 95% of them come to orchestras, this is a unique educational platform that gives young performers the opportunity for professional growth and simultaneous involvement in the actual art process.
From the first days, the RNYSO also functions as a Symphony Academy: creative classes and master classes are an integral part of the life of the collective. Tutors from the Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Theatre Orchestras, the MusicAeterna Orchestra and the Ensemble Matheus work with young musicians. Within the framework of the academy, in the first year alone, musicians completed more than 1400 hours of classes with teachers and soloists of the best Russian and foreign orchestras. Thus, from the first years, RNYSO artists have become familiar with the world standards of orchestral performance, learn to freely navigate the stylistic diversity of music and master a wide repertoire.
The orchestra began the concert season 2019/20, full of new programs and meetings with prominent musicians. Alexander Lazarev, Yuri Simonov, Leonard Slatkin, Vasily Petrenko, Kristjan Jarvi and other famous conductors, including Denis Matsuev, Boris Berezovsky, Barry Douglas, Nikolay Lugansky, Sergey Krylov, Alina Ibragimova, Maxim Rysanov, will stand behind the orchestra panel. The RNYSO repertoire will be replenished with the symphonies of Berlioz, Weber, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, as well as the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven, pieces by Mozart, Schumann, Respighi, Tarnopolsky. The plans of the orchestra include performances in Russian cities, tours in Belarus and Germany, as well as cycles of chamber concerts “Playing Classics” and “Around the World with Youth Orchestra”.
RNYSO and its curator, the Moscow Philharmonic Society, believe that symphonic music is not a museum phenomenon, but tuned to modernity and sensitive to it. And although the principles and life forms of the orchestra change in accordance with the spirit of the times, politics, weather, aesthetics and practice of eras, the orchestras themselves, in turn, have always changed and continue to change the music, life and relationships of people.