Moscow Chamber Orchestra to Perform at Wisconsin Lutheran College

September 22, 2005

MILWAUKEE - The Moscow Chamber Orchestra, called "the greatest orchestra in the world" by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, will open the Classic Series at Wisconsin Lutheran College October 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Schwan Concert Hall. The orchestra will perform a variety of works including "Serenade No. 6 'Serenata Noturna'" by Mozart, "Vocalise Op. 34 No. 4" by Rachmaninov, "Concerto for Two Violins in D minor" by Bach, "Five Armenian Dances" by Komitas and "Three Tangos" by Piazzolla.

Created in 1956 by renowned conductor and violist Rudolph Barshai, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra was and has long been considered a Russian national treasure. Recently, the MCO was accorded the honor of the official Russian title, The State Academic Chamber Orchestra of Russia. Always a magnet for the most talented and brilliant musicians in Moscow, the MCO has been an inspiration to important Russian composers such as Shostakovich, who entrusted the debut of his 14th Symphony to the orchestra. Present music director, the American pianist/conductor Constantine Orbelian, has ushered in a new era of international activity and acclaim for the MCO since his appointment in 1991.

Born in San Francisco to Russian and Armenian immigrants, Orbelian made his debut as a pianist with the San Francisco Symphony at the age of 11. After graduating from The Juilliard School in New York, he embarked on a career as a piano virtuoso that included appearances with major symphony orchestras throughout the U.S., Europe and Russia.

Professor of conducting at the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow, Orbelian is also in charge of the music program for the Stanford University Overseas Campus in Moscow. In 2001, he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, an award given to immigrants or children of immigrants who have made outstanding contributions to the United States. For his remarkable achievements with the MCO, Orberlian was awarded the title Honored Artist of Russia by President Vladimir Putin in 2004.

The Moscow Chamber Orchestra concert is sponsored in part by the Wisconsin Arts Board. The Schwan Concert Hall is located in the college's Center for Arts and Performance at 8815 W. Wisconsin Ave. Tickets are $31 general, $28 seniors and $10 students. To purchase tickets to the concert, call the WLC box office at (414) 443-8802 or visit

Since 1995, the Wisconsin Lutheran College Center for Arts and Performance has been providing a comprehensive program of performing and visual arts and educational and community events for students and the people of southeastern Wisconsin.