The National Philharmonic of Russia (NPR) was founded in January 2003 by the Ministry of Culture as commissioned by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. The Orchestra united top orchestra musicians and gifted youth.
The Orchestra was headed by Vladimir Spivakov, a world-known violinist and conductor.
During the five years of its activities, the NPR has succeeded in becoming one of the best symphonic orchestras of Russia and in gaining admiration from the audience and recognition from the professionals.
Prominent conductors are collaborating and regularly performing with the NPR. Along with Vladimir Spivakov, the National Philharmonic of Russia prepares new programmes and gives concerts with world-known maestros James Conlon, Alexander Lazarev, as well as Krzysztof Penderecki, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, John Nelson, Hans Graf, George Cleve, Okko Kamu, Michel Plasson, Eri Klas, Saulus Sondeckis.
The most important pursuit of the NPR is the continuation of the legacy and traditions of the three great Russian conductors: Evgeny Mravinsky, Kirill Kondrashin ans Evgeny Svetlanov. The Orchestra aspires to preserve the most valuable of their heritage, while forming its own style which combines great traditions and new technologies.
Another important objective of the Orchestra is supporting young gifted musicians and providing appropriate conditions for their professional and artistic growth. During the 2004/2005 season the Orchestra formed a group of apprentices-conductors. The brightest of them have been given the opportunity to make a debut in the NPR’s concerts at the Moscow Performing Arts Centre and the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall.
During past five years the NPR has performed with many outstanding artists, such as opera stars Jessye Norman, Kiri Te Kanawa, Renee Fleming, Angela Gheorghiu, Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, Kiri Te Kanawa, Dmitry Hvorostovski, Maria Ghuleghina, Juan Diego Florez, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Marcelo Alvarez, Ramon Vargas, violinists Gidon Kremer, Gil Shaham, Hilary Hahn, Laurent Korcia, Mayuko Kamio, cellists Natalia Gutman, Xavier Phillios, Tatiana Vasilieva, pianists Arkady Volodos, Barry Douglas, Valery Afanasiev, Mikhail Rudy. Pianists John Lill, Denis Matsuev, Alexander Ghindin and Olga Kern play with the NPR on a regular basis.
The NPR’s repertoire covers the period from early classical symphonies to the newest works of current composers. In the course of five years the Orchestra have presented many exceptional projects, such as the semi-stage performances of Honegger’s Oratorio “Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher” with Fanny Ardant and Stravinsky’s “Persephone” with Sati Spivakova, both directed by Kirill Serebrenikov, Weill’s Songs and “Seven Deadly Sins” with Ute Lemper, and the ballet evening “Symphonic Dances of the 20th Century. A Selection” with ballet stars Uliana Lopatkina, Igor Zelensky, Nikolay Tziskaridze, Svetlana Lunkina and Andrian Fadeev.
The NPR took part in the Moscow and Tokyo premieres of H.Shore’s “Lord of the Rings” Symphony, and presented A.Rybnikov’s Fifth Symphony and V.Martynov’s “Newspaper Overture. A News Release in the Mozart Year” to the Moscow audience. Within the framework of the “Edison Denissov’ Space” Festival the NPR gave the programme of works by Boulez, Xenakis, Dutilleux and Denissov. The Orchestra was the first to perform in Moscow “Mass of Life” by Frederick Delius, Symphony No.2 by Kurt Weill, “Ameriques” by Edgar Varese, Symphony No.4 by Franz Schmidt, Suite of “La Tragedie de Salome” by Florent Schmitt, Symphony by Ernest Chausson, Concerto for Harp by Boris Tishchenko, symphonic pieces by contemporary Dutch composers Martijn Padding and Rabin de Raaff, the symphonic version of Wagner’s Tetralogy “Der Ring ohne Worte” compiled by Lorin Maazeland Schnittke’s “Per Gunt”.
The NPR’s Subscription Series have presented a wide scope of works by Mahler, Richard Strauss, Liszt, Saint-Saens, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Scandinavian composers.
The “Great Cantatas and Oratorios” Series added to the NPR’s repertoire such works as Mozart’s Requiem, Coronation Mass and Great Mass, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Brahms’s “Ein deutches Requiem”, Faure’s Requiem, Poulenc’s Stabat Mater and Gloria, Britten’s “War Requiem”. The “Russian Seasons by Sergei Diaghilev” Series presented several symphonic suites from the music composed for Diaghilev’s famous ballet productions.
In accordance with its status and name, the National Philharmonic of Russia gives concerts not only in Moscow, but in various regions of Russia as well. The NPR’s each season ends up with a tour over Russia.
Every year the NPR takes part in the Colmar Music Festival, France. The Orchestra has toured over the CIS countries and the Baltic countries, in Europe, the USA, and Japan.
Season 2006-2007 included a two-month tour in the USA, which comprised 36 concerts at most important venues, whereas in the Autumn of 2007 the NPR had a large-scale tour in Switzerland, Germany and Spain.
The orchestra has made several recordings of works by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov for Sony Music. In May 2005 the Capriccio Recording Company released CD and DVD of Isaak Schwartz’s Concert for Orchestra, titled “Yellow Stars”, recorded by the NPR under Vladimir Spivakov to whom the composer dedicated the work. In September 2010 Sonu Music released CD with Nikolay Tokarev as soloist (Tchaikovsky’s Piano COncerto N1 and Rachmaninov’s Piano COncerto N3).