Moscow State Symphony Orchestra Makes Debut at The Soraya, 11/2
The internationally celebrated Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Pavel Kogen, Music Director and Chief Conductor, will make their debut on the stage of the Great Hall of Valley Performing Arts Center (The Soraya) on Thursday, November 2 at 8pm. The all-Russian program which honors the traditions and romantic history of Russia includes Rachmaninov's The Rock, Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, and Scriabin's Symphony No. 2. This concert is the first of the season's SOARING performances that will feature several of the world's greatest orchestras during the 2017-2018 season at VPAC (The Soraya). It also marks the debut of the fourth of the largest Russian orchestras to appear on the VPAC stage-the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra in 2011, the Russian National Orchestra in 2016 and The St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra in 2017.
"In the midst of the geo-political turmoil, especially our present relationship with Russia, it is especially important to welcome these musicians to Southern California as symbols of international goodwill," said Thor Steingraber, Executive Director. "They bring to us a concert of Russian masterpieces from another era, reminding us that music is timeless and that our cultures will persevere long after any single chapter of history is written.
"The Moscow State Symphony Orchestra is the perfect start to our SOARING season as we welcome both new and returning orchestras to our acoustically magnificent hall," Steingraber continued. "From the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields with Joshua Bell, to maestro Charles Dutoit's final tour leading the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, from John Mauceri celebrating Bernstein on Stage with the New West Symphony to Richard Kaufman leading the same orchestra in another Bernstein celebration performing the music from On the Waterfront, The Soraya continues to grow in reputations as a home for these fantastic orchestras."
About The Moscow State Symphony Orchestra (MSSO)
Founded by the Kremlin in 1943, MSSO is one of the oldest concert orchestras in Russia and one of its most prominent national symphonic ensembles, revered for its performances and premieres of Russian classical music. Hailed as having "virtuoso brilliance," pianist Dmitry Masleev recently made his Carnegie Hall debut and is the winner of the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition.
The Moscow State Symphony Orchestra became renowned around the globe under the leadership of Pavel Kogan. In 1989 he was engaged as Music Director and Chief Conductor and immediately enriched the orchestra repertoire by the works of European and American musical literature.
The MSSO plays some 100 concerts annually. Along with the series in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and in Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra performs in the Great Hall of the Saint-Petersburg D.D. Shostakovich Philharmonic Society and on the stages of many other Russian cities. The MSSO tours regularly overseas including the USA, United Kingdom, Japan, Spain, Austria, Italy, Germany, France, South Korea, Australia, China and Switzerland.
Maestro Pavel Kogan's career has spanned over 40 years and five continents and has led him to becoming one of the most respected and widely known Russian conductors of our time.
About SOARING at VPAC (The Soraya)
The SOARING Series also includes the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, under artistic director and principal conductor Charles Dutoit in a program of Debussy, Haydn and Stravinsky on January 26; On the Waterfront, film score composed by Leonard Bernstein, with the New West Symphony (live) conducted by Richard Kaufman on February 24; Academy of St Martin in the Fields, conducted by Joshua Bell, director and violin in a program of Mozart, Beethoven, and a new commission by Edgar Meyer on March 15; and Kathleen Battle performing Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey, accompanied by Joel A. Martin, piano on March 29.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit ValleyPerformingArtsCenter.org or call (818) 677-3000.
About Pavel Kogan (Conductor)
Maestro Pavel Kogan was born into a distinguished musical family: his parents are legendary violinists Leonid Kogan and Elizaveta Gilels and his uncle is the inimitable pianist Emil Gilels. From an early age Maestro Kogan's artistic development was divided between conducting and violin. He was granted special permission to study both disciplines at the same time--an extreme rarity in the Soviet Union.
In 1970, eighteen-year-old Pavel Kogan, then a violin pupil of Yuri Yankelevich at the Moscow Conservatory, won 1st prize in the Sibelius Violin Competition in Helsinki, catapulting his violin career which took him to concert halls around the world. Forty years after his win, a panel of judges was asked to determine the most impressive winner in the 45-year history of the Sibelius competition for the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. A unanimous vote put Maestro Kogan in the coveted spot, surpassing decades worth of violin virtuosos.
As a conducting pupil of Ilya Musin and Leo Ginsburg, in 1972 the young Maestro gave his debut with the USSR State Symphony Orchestra and subsequently turned his focus to conducting. In the years that followed, he conducted the leading Soviet orchestras both at home and on tour abroad at the invitation of Mravinsky, Kondrashin, Svetlanov and Rozhdestvensky.
As conductor of the Bolshoi Opera, Kogan opened the 1988 season with a new production of Verdi's La Traviata. That same year he became the head of the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra.
Since 1989 Pavel Kogan has been the Music Director and Chief Conductor of the eminent Moscow State Symphony Orchestra (MSSO), building it into one of Russia's most widely known and highly acclaimed orchestras. From 1998-2005 he also served as principal guest conductor of the Utah Symphony Orchestra.
Maestro Kogan appeared with many prominent orchestras including the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, USSR State Radio & TV Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Belgique, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, RTVE Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, Orquesta Filarmónica de Buenos Aires, L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre National de France, Houston Symphony, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra.
Pavel Kogan has recorded countless works with the MSSO and other ensembles, which became a major contribution to the world's musical culture. Many of his albums have garnered great acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Gramophone called Kogan's Rachmaninoff cycle (Symphonies 1, 2, 3, Symphonic Dances, "Isle of the Dead," "Vocalize & Scherzo") "...sparkly, strongly communicative Rachmaninoff... vibrant, soulful and involving."
Maestro Kogan was awarded the State Prize of the Russian Federation for his performance of the complete symphonies and vocal cycles of Gustav Mahler. In 2014 Kogan was appointed Commandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry
About Dmitry Masleev (Piano)
Dmitry Masleev is the triumphant winner of the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition (2015). He took the First Prize and the international spotlight with wholehearted support from the audience, the jury, and the media. In his first touring season Mr. Masleev made a series of successful debuts, establishing his world-wide audience and developing his profile as a "future great pianist" (La Croix) of "virtuoso brilliance" (The Financial Times) and "musicality of metaphysical proportions" (Neue Musikzeitung).
Among the most notable performances are those at the Klavierfestival Ruhr, the Philharmonie am Gasteig in Munich, la Roque d'Anthéron and Bergamo & Brescia piano festivals, two tours of Japan with Valery Gergiev and Yury Bashmet, the French debut with Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, the opening gala of the Istanbul Festival, as well as the last-minute replacement for the indisposed Maurizio Pollini in Basel.
This year, Carnegie Hall presented Mr. Masleev's highly anticipated debut at the Isaac Stern Auditorium with a recital programme featuring works by Scarlatti, Beethoven, Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev. The NYC Informer said, "Those judges in Moscow made the right call-this is one of the genuinely great pianists of his generation."
Last season he also perfomred in Paris twice: at the Paris Philharmonie and the Fondation Louis Vuitton. He is returned to the Philharmonie am Gasteig at Valery Gergiev's invitation to play the first three of Prokofiev's piano sonatas; later in the season he performed with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra with Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1.
Mr. Masleev's orchestral collaborations also included a German tour with the National Philharmonic of Russia under Maestro Spivakov, an Asian tour with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France under Mikko Franck, and a performance of Rachmaninoff Variations on a Theme of Paganini with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Robert Trevino. He performed recitals at German festivals in Rheingau, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Bad Kissingen.
"A discovery and a brilliant pianist," is how his senior colleague Boris Berezovsky describes Mr. Masleev, who will be performing a solo recital at the greatly acclaimed Pianoscope Festival in France, directed by Mr. Berezovsky. The two pianists gave a pair of duo recitals in Moscow playing the music of Bartok and Liszt.
Born and raised in Ulan-Ude (a Siberian town between Lake Baikal and the Mongolian border), Mr. Masleev was educated at the Moscow Conservatory in the class of Professor Mikhail Petukhov, and at the International Music Academy at Lake Como.
Prior to his triumph at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow, where the jury awarded him First Prize as well as a special award for the performance of the Mozart D-minor Concerto, Mr. Masleev has won many competitions including the 7th Adilia Alieva Piano Competition in Gaillard (2010), the 21st Premio Chopin Piano Competition in Rome (2011), and the Antonio Napolitano Competition in Salerno (2013).
About Valley Performing Arts Center (The Soraya)
Valley Performing Arts Center (The Soraya) opened its 2017-2018 season on September 16 with a performance of AMADEUS Live (Milos Foreman's 1984 Academy Award winning Best Picture with live orchestra) with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and members of the LA Opera Chorus. The evening honored the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Foundation in recognition of the family's recent $17 million gift that will rename VPAC as the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Performing Arts Center, known as The Soraya. The gift is one of the largest in the history of the California State University and the system's largest single gift to support the arts; gift to support the programming and operations of the award-winning Valley Performing Arts Center - which has become one of the cultural jewels of the region in the six years since it opened.
The 2017-18 Soraya season signals a new era for the premier event venue. Under the leadership of Executive Director Thor Steingraber, the renamed Younes and Soraya Nazarian Performing Arts Center expands its programming and outstanding multidisciplinary performances. The mission of The Soraya is to present a wide variety of performances that not only includes new and original work from the Los Angeles region but also work from around the world that appeal to all of LA's rich and diverse communities.
Located on the campus of California State University, Northridge, The Soraya's season offers a vibrant performance program of nearly 50 classical and popular music, dance, theater, family and international events that will serve to establish The Soraya as the intellectual and cultural heart of the San Fernando Valley, and further establish itself as one of the top arts companies in Southern California. The award-winning, 1,700-seat theatre was designed by HGA Architects and Engineers and was recently cited by the Los Angeles Times as "a growing hub for live music, dance, drama and other cultural events."