Six 'Musical Wunderkind' Win Chance to Perform with Moscow Ballet's NUTCRACKER

Six 'Musical Wunderkind' Win Chance to Perform with Moscow Ballet's NUTCRACKERIn celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Great Russian Nutcracker, five hand-selected "Musical Wunderkind" in cities across the country open performances accompanying a Moscow Ballet ballerina with St Saens The Dying Swan. 

The six, each in their respective cities, perform "Dying Swan" from Carnival of the Animals, prior to the curtain rising. Moscow Ballet created the cross discipline program, "Musical Wunderkind," as a salute to talented young Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition winners across the country. Unique to Moscow Ballet, the program is an unprecedented cooperation between the internationally renowned ballet company and up and coming musicians.

Los Angeles Philharmonic winner Edvard Pogossian's reaction to performing with Moscow Ballet is, "Of course I would love to do it…I am very much looking forward to…this incredible opportunity!" The experience develops young musician's interpretation skills in a way practice cannot.

From Washington D.C. to Los Angeles: see Dallas' Xavier Wilson, Cleveland's Fedor Amosov, Chicago's Ben Solomonow, Minneapolis' Rachelle Smith, Los Angeles Edvard Pogossian, and in Betheda and Fairfax' Fedor Ouspensky. Go to to read more about the new program.

"The Dying Swan," originally choreographed at the turn of the last century by legend Mikhail Fokine for Russia's prima ballerina assoluta Anna Pavlova, is also known to dance audiences as the iconic dance from Swan Lake.

Dallas - Xavier Wilson and Moscow Ballet soloist present a special collaboration at the November 16 performance of the Great Russian Nutcracker at SMU's McFarlin Auditorium... Child prodigy cellist, Xavier Wilson will open the performance playing Saint Saens' "Dying Swan," accompanied by a Moscow Ballet ballerina dancing the time-honored choreography. Moscow Ballet celebrates Xavier Wilson and his many achievements! Xavier Wilson has placed in several cello competitions including the Friedlander Concerto Competition for which he received 3rd place the first year and 2nd the following. He sat as Co-Principal with the Dallas Symphony and performed with Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artist Orchestra summer 2012. His teachers include Mildred McShane, recently retired from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra after 52 years, and Andres Diaz. Read more about Xavier.

Cleveland - Fedor Amosov and Moscow Ballet soloist present a special collaboration at the December 1 performance of the Great Russian Nutcracker at Cleveland's Music Hall... Fedor Amosov, an exceptionally talented young Russian cellist, was born in 1988 into a musical family in Moscow. He started playing the cello at the age of six and was soon accepted as a student at Moscow Conservatory's Central Music College. His first public performance took place when he was seven years old and now he performs regularly as soloist and recitalist in Russia, Europe, Japan, USA and elsewhere. Fedor was awarded First Prize in Concertino Prague 38th International Competition, with a special prize for the best performance of Sonata No.3 by Martin?. In 2010 Fedor received a Performance Diploma from Michigan State University. Fedor has studied with renown cellists including Stephen Geber, Suren Bagratuni, Lev Evgrafov, and Natalia Gutman and released his first CD in 2010 with the program of Six Sonatas of Luigi Boccherini. Read more about Fedor A.

Chicago/Rosemont - Ben Solomonow and Moscow Ballet soloist present a special collaboration at the December 2 performance of the Great Russian Nutcracker at the Akoo Theatre... Ben Solomonow is a student of Hans Jensen and is currently playing on a cello made by William Whedbee in 1998. Ben, in 2009 and 2010, was a scholarship student at the Meadowmount School of Music. Ben performed a recital for the Steinway concert series and was invited to play in the Schubertiade concert series in January of 2010. Also in 2010 he won the top prize of the senior division in the Walgreen National Concerto Competition, and played the Piatigorsky "Variations on a Paganini Theme" with the MYA Symphony Orchestra. He repeated the same work with the Knox-Galesburg Symphony Orchestra in October. Other than the time Piatigorsky played this piece himself, Ben's performance was the first played with an orchestra in the United States." He is currently a sophomore in high school in Evanston, IL. Read more about Ben.

Minneapolis - Rachelle Smith and Moscow Ballet soloist present a special collaboration at the December 7 performance of the Great Russian Nutcracker at the Orpheum... Rachelle has received several honors including winning the National Fine Arts Festival in the String Division in 2009 and being a finalist in the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies Concerto Competition (GTCYS) in 2010 and 2011, winning first place in 2011 and the honor of performing the Elgar Cello Concerto with the GTCYS. She also won First Place in the Thursday Musical Competition in the High School Division in 2012, and was a finalist in the Schubert Club Scholarship Competition in 2012. Rachelle is a freshman at the University of Minnesota and is studying Cello Performance with Tanya Remenikova. Read more about Rachel.

Los Angeles - Edvard Pogossian and Moscow Ballet soloist present a special collaboration at the December 14 7:30pm performance of the Great Russian Nutcracker at the Wiltern...Cellist Edvard Pogossian won the inaugural L.A. Philharmonic Young Artists Competition and performed with Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, led by Music Director Thomas Wilkins, in a private performance June 9 2011 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Wilkins comments, "I've had the pleasure of knowing Edvard, since he was a little bright eyed boy, coming to my youth concerts with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Having him as a soloist in Los Angeles, was therefore not only rather poetic, but in fact a pure joy. He has grown to become a tremendously gifted musician, with a great passion for music, and still the same bright eyes." Eddie has performed live on KUSC with the Colburn Chamber Orchestra, and has also performed Bartok String Quartet No.1 in the Colburn Honors Recital in Zipper Hall. He is a long time participant of the Apple Hill Chamber Music Festival in New Hampshire. Read more about Eddie.

Bethesda, Fairfax and N.P.C. - Fedor Ouspensky and Moscow Ballet soloist present special collaborations at National Press Club, Washington D.C. Dec 14; the December 16 7:30pm performance of the Great Russian Nutcracker at Strathmore Music Hall in Bethesda and at December 19 at GMU Concert Hall in Fairfax…Violoinist and child prodigy, Fedor Ouspensky has already won First Place in 11 competitions. Transplanted from Russia to Reston five years ago, Fedor's mother is a Bach International Music Competition winner, father Igor Zubkovsky, plays cello for the Washington Opera at the Kennedy Center and Fedor's grandfather graduated from the St Petersburg Conservatory where Moscow Ballet holds an annual juried Visual Arts Competition.

At the age of 8 Fedor was first invited to perform with McLean Youth Symphony Orchestra, since then he appeared as a soloist performing concertos with Loudoun Symphony Orchestra, Bachanalia Chamber Orchestra in New York City and Capitol City Symphony in Washington D.C. Read more about Fedor.

Over 20 Years 50,000+ Children Receive Arts Enrichment – Moscow Ballet's 20th anniversary Great Russian Nutcracker celebrates the 50,000+ student dancers (an average of 50 students in 50 cities over 20 years time) who have performed along-side the Russian cast of 40 on annual North American tours. The commitment to deliver children's programming, in tandem with acclaimed ballet performances, began twenty years earlier when Moscow Ballet producers, then working with Connecticut Dance Theatre, invited Dance Theater of Harlem directors to work with their Hartford students. Among those dedicated students was Charmaine Hunter who went on to become star of Arthur Mitchell's Fire Bird. Other children's programming includes 1984 "Cynthia Gregory Celebration Tour" with the "Just Say No" campaign as it's official message and chaired by First Lady Nancy Reagan; Russian-Cultural Ballet program produced in museums and art institutions; "Cinderella Around the World" dance and literacy program; and "First International Glasnost Festival Tours" included symposiums, screenings, poetry readings, and more for students and public at Dartmouth, Yale, and other colleges. Today Moscow Ballet offers all children New Horizons – A Children's Program for Life addressing diet, exercise and creative expression through interactive experiences with Moscow Ballet dancers. For more information, visit

Moscow Ballet's 20th Anniversary Great Russian Nutcracker features 11 time award-winning principal dancer Olga Kifyak in her North American debut; new "Dove of Peace" choreography in which 2 dancers become one soaring bird – a feat that must be seen to be believed; company of 40 women and men; Christmas Tree that grows to 5 stories tall; playful 10' tall silk puppets; 200 all new, hand-made costumes; and falling snow.

Russian cultural elements include a Troika styled sleigh escorted by Ded Moroz (Father Christmas) and Snegurochka (Snow Maiden) and 9 hand-painted backdrops by Valentin Federov, set to Tchaikovsky's complete Nutcracker Suite score. For 20 years Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker performances have introduced the finest Russian ballerinas and danseurs to audiences across North America. Great Russian Nutcracker - 20 years of acclaim, 20 years of soaring holiday spirit!

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