British clarinetist Michael Collins.
Below find my translation of Vesti columnist Daria Ganieva’s article about the RNO's September 9th festival concert. The Russian version can be found here. You can read more about Michael Collins at his web site.
In Moscow the Festival of the Russian National Orchestra is going on. At the festival one hears the music of Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Gliere and Schuman. Among the invited soloists is the eminent British clarinetist Michael Collins.
The Englishman Michael Collins is a performer with a world-renowned name. In 2007 he was named the best musician in Great Britain. His schedule is written months in advance, but he never refuses to play with the Russian National Orchestra.
He has a long friendship with conductor Mikhail Pletnev. They have been acquainted for nearly a quarter century. They have even played duets: Collins on clarinet, Pletnev on piano. And after that they recorded a few CDs with the RNO. When Mikhail Pletnev proposed that Collins appear in the first festival of his orchestra, he happily agreed. Especially since there have never been such festivals in Britain.
“That one orchestra would give such a festival—what a delightful idea! In Britain we have the BBC Festival—75 concerts in two months. Sometimes one orchestra is named the host and participates in the majority of concerts, but of course not in all,” said Michael Collins. “By the way, in the BBC Festival I somehow also managed to play with the RNO.”
The Festival occupies seven days. The program is built around the name of Tchaikovsky—his followers and idols. Mozart, whose pieces are heard in this concert, Pyotr Ilich called “my sunlight in music.”
“Mozart for Tchaikovsky was a kind of unattainable ideal. For example, in ‘The Queen of Spades,’ the pastorale was written in the style of Mozart,” said violinist Alexey Bruni.
Michael Collins appears twice in the Festival. The second time—in the closing concert on Sunday. Vesti, September 10, 2009