Moscow Chamber Orchestra and Galina GORCHAKOVA

Toronto Centre for the Arts, George Weston Recital Hall

Considered “ the greatest chamber orchestra in the world” by Dmitri Shostakovich, the internationally acclaimed Moscow Chamber Orchestra brings its celebrated artistry to George Weston Hall , Thursday, October 6, 2005, 8 p.m. Soprano Galina Gorchakova —“one of the most important dramatic soprano voices in the postwar era” ( The London Sunday Times )—joins the Orchestra during its 50th anniversary celebration, featuring music written or arranged for the Orchestra in addition to music long associated with the Orchestra’s illustrious history.

Created in 1956 by renowned conductor and violist Rudolph Barshai , the Moscow Chamber Orchestra is considered a Russian national treasure. A magnet for Moscow’s most talented and brilliant musicians, the MCO has inspired eminent Russian composers such as Dmitri Shostakovich, who entrusted the Orchestra with the first performance of his 14th Symphony. Current Music Director, American-American brilliant pianist/conductor Constantine Orbelian , has brought the MCO into a new era of international activity and acclaim. Under his leadership the Orchestra was accorded the honor of “Academic” in its official Russian title (The State Academic Chamber Orchestra of Russia). Whether performing for the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of the United Nations in San Francisco, commemorating 70 years of diplomatic relations between Washington and Moscow at the U.S. State Department, or playing over 120 concerts annually to sold-out houses worldwide, the MCO attracts excitement wherever it goes. The Moscow Chamber Orchestra’s acclaimed series of recordings with Maestro Orbelian on the Delos label numbers 18 recent releases, with four more currently in production.

Appointed in 1991 as Music Director of the celebrated Moscow Chamber Orchestra, acclaimed concert pianist and conductor Constantine Orbelian was the first American ever to become music director of an ensemble in Russia. In September 2000, Orbelian was named Permanent Guest Conductor of the Moscow Philharmonic, putting him in a unique leadership position with not only Moscow’s outstanding chamber orchestra but also its most illustrious symphony orchestra. In January 2004 President Putin awarded Orbelian the coveted title “Honored Artist of Russia,” a title never before bestowed on a non-Russian citizen.

Born in 1960 in the wilds of Siberia, lirico spinto soprano Galina Gorchakova trained at the Novosibirsk Conservatory and first sang opera in Sverdlovsk. By 1990 she had joined the soon-to-be-legendary new generation of singers at Valery Gergiev’s Kirov Opera. During Russia’s abrupt modernization, Gorchakova would ride the wave of international popularity with her young colleagues in worldwide tours, concerts, recitals and recordings. Galina Gorchakova burst onto the international opera scene as Renata in the Kirov Opera/Mariinksy Theatre production of The Fiery Angel , Prokokiev’s tale of manic obsession. The production was the vehicle for her Western debut at the 1991 BBC Promenade Concerts then at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden the following year that she. Gorchakova followed that success with more Russian heroines such as Tatiana in Eugene Onegin and Lisa in Pique Dame . She added Italian repertoire and made her U.S. opera company debut as Madama Butterfly , first in Houston and then at the Metropolitan in New York. Verdi has figured largely in her recent repertoire as well with La Forza del Destino , Don Carlos and more recently, Aida.