Yakov Kreizberg (1959 - 2011)
One of the most interesting and exciting conductors of his generation, Yakov Kreizberg conducted most of the major orchestras throughout Europe, North America and Asia. At the time of his death he held the posts of Artistic and Music Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, and Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Netherlands Philharmonic and Netherlands Chamber orchestras.
He had previously held the posts of Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Wiener Symphoniker and Generalmusikdirektor of the Komische Oper Berlin. In Europe, Yakov Kreizberg worked with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Münchner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Staatskapelle Dresden, Gewandhausorchester, Orchestre National de France and WDR Sinfonieorchester. In the UK he worked with the London Symphony, BBC Symphony, London Philharmonic and the Philharmonia orchestras. He was a frequent guest at London's BBC Proms and last appeared there in 2008 with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.
In North America Yakov Kreizberg conducted, amongst others, the Philadelphia, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony and Minnesota orchestras, as well as the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics. In Asia he worked with orchestras such as the NHK and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony. Equally at home in the opera house he conducted productions at the Chicago Lyric Opera, Canadian Opera, English National Opera, Bregenz Festival, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, De Nederlandse Opera and the Royal Opera House.
Yakov Kreizberg encouraged and dedicated time to inspiring youth in music and for a number of years he was Music Director of the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra. In October 2007 he was bestowed the ‘Ehrenkreuz’ by the Austrian President in recognition of his achievement in the Arts. A prolific recording artist, he leaves behind an extensive and award-winning discography. His most recent recordings were recorded for the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo’s new label – OPMC Classics – launched in autumn 2010 with a triple CD of Stravinsky’s major ballets. This was followed by a Ravel and Debussy compilation in 2011. His many and much admired recordings for PentaTone included symphonies by Shostakovich (Nos. 5 and 9), Dvořák (Nos. 5 - 9), Schmidt (No. 4 – a piece with which he was closely associated) and a number of discs in collaboration Julia Fischer. He also recorded for Decca, Orfeo and Oehms Classics.
Born in St Petersburg, Yakov Kreizberg studied conducting privately with the legendary Ilya A. Musin, before emigrating to the United States in 1976. There he was awarded conducting fellowships at Tanglewood with Bernstein, Ozawa and Leinsdorf, and at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute with Michael Tilson Thomas. In 1986 he won first prize in the Leopold Stokowski Conducting Competition in New York.
The Russian National Orchestra
was founded by the conductor and pianist Mikhail Pletnev in 1990, following sweeping changes in the former USSR. Under his artistic leadership, the orchestra soon achieved international renown and established its hallmarks of innovation and excellence. In 2008, a panel of international critics named the Russian National Orchestra as one of the world’s top orchestras. In recognition of both its artistic quality and its pioneering structure, the Russian Federation recently awarded the Russian National Orchestra the first-ever grant to a nongovernmental orchestra.
The orchestra is a frequent guest in the music capitals of Europe, Asia, and the Americas. After the Russian National Orchestra’s 1996 début at the BBC Proms in London, the Evening Standard wrote, “They played with such captivating beauty that the audience gave an involuntary sigh of pleasure.” They have been described as “a living symbol of the best in Russian art” (Miami Herald) and “as close to perfect as one could hope for” (ClassicsToday). Recently the RNO was called “the most important cultural story of our time” (International Piano). A regular visitor to the Schleswig-Holstein, Gstaad, and Rheingau Festivals, the Russian National Orchestra is also the founding orchestra of the Napa Valley Festival del Sole, the Festival of the Arts BOCA in Florida, and the Singapore Sun Festival. In 2009, the orchestra launched its own annual festival in Moscow.