Chamber Orchestra Kremlin Biographies

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Misha Rachlevsky, Music Director

Photo of Conductor Misha Rachlevsky
Conductor Misha Rachlevsky

Misha Rachlevsky’s lifetime affinity for chamber music and chamber orchestra repertoire began at the College of the Moscow Conservatory and the Gnessin Academy of Music. Born in Moscow, his violin studies began at the age of five and continued through the well-traveled path of the Russian school of string playing. After leaving the Soviet Union in 1973, he lived and worked in different countries on three continents, and in 1976 settled in the United States, becoming active in the field of chamber music.

Mr. Rachlevsky founded the New American Chamber Orchestra (NACO) in 1984, and led it to international prominence, completing nine European tours in four years. In 1989, Rachlevsky accepted an offer from the city of Granada, Spain—a two-year project under which NACO became the resident orchestra of Granada while, concurrently, Rachlevsky founded and led Granada’s own chamber orchestra.

In 1991, in the heady aftermath of Moscow’s momentous events, Misha Rachlevsky found it impossible to resist an opportunity presented by Swiss company Claves, to record Russian works for this label.  When Claves concurred with his suggestion to realize the project with Russian musicians, Rachlevsky called auditions, and Chamber Orchestra Kremlin was created.  The success of these recordings and the initial concerts and tours, led to turning this formation into a permanent, full time ensemble. The orchestra looks forward to celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Chamber Orchestra Kremlin

Photo: Kremlin Chamber Orchestra
Kremlin Chamber Orchestra

Since its formation in the late 1991 in Moscow, the orchestra has performed over 1400 concerts — nearly 600 in Moscow, the rest on tours in 24 countries of Europe, North and South America and the Far East.  The orchestra has recorded over 30 CDs, receiving widespread international acclaim and awards such as the Diapason d’Or in France, Critics Choice in London’s Gramophone and in the New York Times, Record of the Year in Hong Kong and others.  Of about 900 compositions in the orchestra’s repertoire over 20 were written especially for the orchestra by composers from Russia, Europe and the USA.

From Andresen Dagbladet:

“Russia is popularly known for two things – its rockets and its violins. The Chamber Orchestra Kremlin is renowned for the latter, but their music will take you soaring as if somehow there is a connection to the former.

This orchestra has time and again been critically acclaimed as one of the finest string ensembles in Russia today, which is to suggest that it is arguably one of the best in the world. Misha Rachlevsky has molded these young players into a sonorous whole, amazingly greater than the sum of its seventeen parts. Conducting with his eyes closed, he is connected like a wire to each of his players and pulls from them a flawless execution that astounds audiences the world over. Indeed, Chamber Orchestra Kremlin is Rachlevsky’s creation, for in its conception he has achieved the blending of both the incomparable historical character and the present day vitality of Russia’s musical talent.”

From Frankfurter Allgemeine, summarizing its review of the orchestra’s debut at Frankfurt’s Alte Oper:

“The evening with this ensemble, which boasts to be made up of Moscow’s best musicians, completely eliminated any doubts with regard to this statement.”