Russian String Orchestra at Old St Paul’s

Misha Rachlevsky and the multi award-winning Russian String Orchestra return for seven special evening concerts, each totally different, showcasing major works from the 18th century to present day.

Russian String Orchestra at Old St Paul’s

About Russian String Orchestra at Old St Paul’s

Founded by Moscow-born Misha Rachlevsky in 1991, the ensemble has toured the U.S. regularly and enjoyed a residency at the Herb Alpert School of Music at the University of California in Los Angeles during 2018.

In 2017 the ensemble visited the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time and earned five star reviews for performances that drew on the big beasts of the classical repertoire as well as lighter works including the Flight of the Bumble Bee and Astor Piazzoll's Libertango. The Herald newspaper awarded the orchestra one of its coveted Angel awards for excellence.

9th August

The Herald Angel award-winning Russian String Orchestra plays a programme of Stravinsky and Vivaldi in the magnificent Old St Paul's church just under North Bridge.

Tonight's programme will feature top organist John Kitchen guesting with the orchestra on Vivaldi's Four Seasons plus Stravinsky's Concerto in Re, “Suite Italienne” for cello and orchestra and Tango.

10th August

Leading baritone Vladimir Chernov joins the Russian String Orchestra for the world premiere performance of American composer Richard Danielpour's Ricordanza, a setting of Primo Levi's Se questo è un uomo...” in the original Italian.
RSO founder, Misha Rachlevsky rates Danielpur as one of the greatest living composers and the programme will also include the European premiere of Danielpour's A Simple Prayer.

Also in the programme by this Herald Angel award-winning ensemble are Anton Arensky's Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky, Op. 35 and an orchestral version of Tchaikovsky's String Quartet No. 2.

Expect powerful and emotional music played by a world class ensemble.

15th August

Spanish-American pianist Suzanne Bradbury joins the Russian String Orchestra in a programme of Turina, Liszt Constantio and Grieg.

Bradbury studied with Spanish pianist José Ortiga (Madrid) and later, Ludwig Hoffmann (Munich). She gave her debut concert at the age of twelve with the Concerto in D Major for piano and orchestra by Haydn.

She has played and continues to play live concerts in Germany, Spain, the United States, Italy, England, France, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. She has won prizes and medals in the German University Contest and in the international contests Vercelli and Barcelona. She was the founder and artistic director of the Music Festival in Allensbach, Lake Constance (1980-1990).

16th August

Scottish clarinetist Calum Robertson joins the Herald Angel award-winning Russian String Orchestra in a programme that includes Gustav Holst's St Paul's Suite for string orchestra (1922).

The music will also include the European premiere of Shahab Paranj's Lost in Lut (2018) as well as an orchestral arrnagement of Carl Maria von Weber's Clarinet Quintet, Op. 34 and Alfred Schnittke's Concerto Grosso No. 1.

17th August

Edinburgh's own legend of organ music, John Kitchen joins the Herald Angel award-winning Russian String Orchestra in a programme that includes Mozart's Three Church Sonatas for strings and organ.

RSO founder and conductor, Misha Ravlevsky, says: "This all-Viennese programme features string quartets by Beethoven and Schubert that are today at least as popular in string orchestra versions as in their original quartet scoring. And for a good reason – both greatly benefit from increased sonority of larger forces. This is not to say, of course, that orchestral versions are “better” in any way – they just become somewhat different compositions from the originals, and then, as with everything, it all depends on the players. Nothing but logistical matters can explain the relative obscurity of the delightful Church Sonatas for Strings and Organ by Mozart. These are absolute gems, and we are happily welcoming our collaboration with Edinburgh's own John Kitchen."

23rd August

The titles of the compositions on this programme - including Tchaikovsky's Serenade Melancolique - suggest calm, light pieces, that could be fit for a performance under the windows of one's lover on a warm summer night. But it is unlikely anyone will think so after this concert – the range of styles and depth of emotions are truly far beyond that. There is, however, an element common to all works on this programme – each is of the utmost tunefulness and any number of these tunes could occupy one's inner ear for quite a while – if not for the fact that there are so many of them, “dethroning” each other every few minutes. Add to it that most of these works are not staples of the repertoire, and you have an evening of endless discoveries and delights.

24th August

The Herald Angel Award-winning Russian String Orchestra present a programme containing three pieces commissioned by the orchestra's founder and conductor, Misha Rachlevsky.

New music can present a challenge to audiences but the finale here, Misha's Gang by Eskender Bekmambetov, is likely only to defy listeners to stay in their seats at the end.

Misha's Gang features each member of the orchestra as a soloist and is a tour de force of Russian folk dance music that becomes increasingly stirring until it seems the ensemble will achieve lift off. Prepare to be moved and mesmerized.


While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for Russian String Orchestra at Old St Paul’s are accurate, we always advise that you contact the event organiser before setting out for the event to avoid disapointment.

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