On 28 March, a press conference dedicated to the appearance of the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) at the Mstislav Rostropovich International Festival was held at the TASS Information Agency in Moscow

At the beginning of the press conference, the Festival's Artistic Director Olga Rostropovich expressed her delight at the arrival of the NSO, highlighting that this orchestra was especially dear to Mstislav Rostropovich, and that he would be happy to see them again in Russia. Maestro remained the Music Director of the NSO for 17 years; that time became an important period for the orchestra and was called the «Rostropovich era»; it was crowned by a tour to Russia, when the NSO, under the Maestro, performed for the first time in history in Red Square.

Olga Rostropovich said that the organization of the NSO's performance at the Festival required serious work for two years. It was a kind of project in the project, taking a lot of effort and resources. Olga Rostropovich thanked for the support the Chairman of the Board of the Joint-Stock Company EPK Mr. Moskalenko, and of course, the Government of Moscow and personally Sergei Sobyanin, the Mayor of Moscow. She also expressed her special gratitude to the management of the National Symphony Orchestra, who immediately accepted the invitation to Russia.

On behalf of the NSO, the conference was attended by the President of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts Deborah F. Rutter, concertmaster Neurit Bar-Yosef and William Foster, musician who performed in the orchestra during the tenure of Mstislav Leopoldovich.

Ms. Rutter expressed her delight at the NSO's tour in Moscow and St. Petersburg, highlighting the great importance of this cultural event.

Cellist William Foster, who worked at the NSO under Mstislav Rostropovich, told how the Maestro worked on co-creating with the orchestra, about the special sound that he gifted them and in particular to the strings section. According to him, no one in the US either before or after Mstislav Leopoldovich worked this way with string instruments. Also, the musician admitted that the day when Rostropovich first conducted the NSO, became the most significant in Foster's career and it could be compared only to Russian concerts, where the Maestro brought the orchestra in 1990 and 1993.

The conference went on discussing the programme of the NSO's concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg: the works that were selected are those that were particulary dear  to Mstislav Leopoldovich. This is Shostakovich's Concerto No. 1, dedicated to the Maestro, the Ninth Symphony by Schubert and Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony, which Mstislav Rostropovich had repeatedly performed, as well as Elgar's Cello Concerto that will be played by the brilliant young cellist Alisa Weilerstein.

The first Moscow concert of the NSO will be held tomorrow at the Grand Hall of the Conservatoire, under the baton of the NSO Musical Director Christoph Eschenbach.

© International Rostropovich Festival “Mstislav Rostropovich Week”, 2010 — 2021