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”. The Moscow Philharmonic Society is the curator of the project.
In its creative work, the orchestra combines Russian musical traditions and international experience, solving three fundamental questions – art, educational and enlightenment. Such combination of functions, none of which is auxiliary, has no analogues.
Today the orchestra consists of 108 musicians from 42 regions of Russia. The project makes high demands on the participants: a large amount of educational, rehearsal and concert work, the need for personal and professional dedication, discipline, and passion. For the development of young musicians, unprecedented conditions have been created: excellent rehearsal base, intensive concert life, cooperation with the best conductors and soloists of the world, classes with concertmasters of major orchestras and professors of famous music high schools.
An important role in the development of the project participants is played by the work with outstanding conductors, under whose leadership the musicians prepare and present concert programs covering a wide range of eras and styles. The orchestra performed under the direction of outstanding conductors: Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Fedoseev, Mikhail Jurowski, Alexander Lazarev, 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 played with the orchestra. Collaboration with renowned soloists gives young artists the opportunity to master the art of interpretation and brings them to high standards of ensemble playing.
Today RNYSO is an integral part of the concert life of the country: during two seasons it held 78 concerts, having performed in 20 Russian cities – from Ulan-Ude to Pskov, from Rostov-on-Don to St. Petersburg. These concerts have been attended by dozens of thousands listeners. The RNYSO concerts took place on two main stages of the Moscow Philharmonic, Grand and Minor Halls of the Kremlin Palace, Mariinsky-2 Concert Hall, on the Red Square in Moscow and have being broadcast by Medici.tv channel. 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). The orchestra takes 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. RNYSO attracts a young audience to the world of music, believing that same-age peers understand each other better than generations separated by cultural barriers.
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 Russian National Orchestra, the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, the Bolshoi, Mariinsky and Mikhailovsky Theatre Orchestras, MusicAeterna Orchestra, Ensemble Matheus, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Zurich Opera Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Quartet, universities of Boston, Stuttgart, Graz, Lugano and Brussels work with young musicians. 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 get a powerful creative incentive for professional implementation.
The concert season 2019/20 was full of new programs and collaborations with prominent musicians. Alexander Lazarev, Vladimir Fedoseev, Yuri Simonov, Alexander Vedernikov, Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Kristjan Jarvi, Thomas Sanderling, Alexander Sladkovsky, Antonello Manacorda, Valentin Uryupin, Alexander Anisimov, Maxim Emelyanychev and other conductors stood behind the orchestra panel. In the season 2020/21 the RNYSO will meet such maestros as Charles Dutoit, Pinchas Zukerman, Thomas Zehetmair, Vasily Petrenko, Julian Rachlin, Vassily Sinaisky. Among the soloists performing with the orchestra and being invited to participate in the forthcoming programs there are Denis Matsuev, Alexandre Kantorow, Nikolay Lugansky, Vadim Rudenko, Alexander Romanovsky, Philipp Kopachevsky, Vadim Repin, Jessica Pratt, Piotr Beczala and many others.
The RNYSO repertoire is being constantly replenished with symphonies of Beethoven, Berlioz, Weber, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Mahler, works by Mozart, Glinka, Schumann, Wagner, Richard Strauss, Stravinsky, Ives, Respighi, Pärt, Tarnopolsky, Reich, Zimmermann, Staud, Widmann and Adams, along with the greatest composers of the Baroque era. The playbill of the 2019/20 season includes the series of chamber concerts of the orchestra's soloists “Playing Classics” and “Around the World with RNYSO”. The orchestra started an exchange program with the philharmonic halls of Ulyanovsk and Rostov-on-Don. In November 2020, the collective was honored to open the 7th International Festival of Contemporary Music "Another Space".
In 2021, the orchestra is going to perform in the largest European halls.