For over 21 years, the Magic of Music project has brought RNO musicians and concerts to children in hospitals, orphanages, kindergartens and other institutions. The project is sponsored by Chevron Neftegaz and in 2016 included three concerts.
On April 23, 2016, an enchanting performance awaited young listeners at the Herzen House Museum in Moscow. The concert was prepared by the RNO Wind Quintet and its leader, Maxim Rubtsov.
In the first half of the concert, Rubtsov demonstrated his rich collection of wind instruments and the wide range of expression they offer. And his collection is not limited to the instruments one would normally hear in the classical repertoire (flute, piccolo and recorder), but also contains a wide varied of dudochkas, Scottish folk whistles, bamboo instruments from Uruguay, and numerous whistles, including a rare nineteenth century wooden fireman’s whistle from America.
The second half of the concert featured a performance of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, re-orchestrated for Wind Quintet. The expressiveness of the ensemble’s wind and brass instruments is nearly unlimited, and they are particularly adept at simulating live voices.
This concert was repeated three days later in the Museum of Moscow History.
The third concert in this annual series is traditionally connected to the anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster (April 26, 1986) — one of the worst technogenic disasters in the history of humankind, the consequences of which are felt to the present day. For many years, the RNO has been presenting a concert on this anniversary for the families of those who died as a result of the Chernobyl accident. This year’s concert was held in the Vryubel Hall of the Treyakov Gallery. RNO chamber ensembles and soloists performed works by Bach, Mozart, Grieg, Vivaldi, Benda, Piazolla and Mancini.