The Kennedy Center


Fortas Chamber Music Concerts: Russian Renaissance

Thursday, May 23, 2019 7:30 PM

Fortas Chamber Music Concerts

With classic Russian instruments, Russian Renaissance dexterously melds traditional folk music with an infusion of modernity. Their program reflects this diversity with its broad range of works by classical composers to jazz favorites.

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Ivan Kuznetsov, balalaika
Anastasia Zakharova, domra
Aleksandr Tarasov, button accordion
Ivan Vinogradov, balalaika-contrabasso

Astor Piazzolla: Milonga Is Coming
J.S. Bach: Prelude No. 2 in C minor BWV 847
Louis-Claude Daquin: Le Coucou
Jean-Philippe Rameau: Les Cyclopes
Alfred Schnittke: Concerto Grosso No. 1
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Russian Dance from Swan Lake
Sergei Prokofiev: Toccata in D minor
Richard Galliano: Tango Pour Claude
Galliano: New York Tango
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Bibo no Aozora
Russian Renaissance: Vanya
Egberto Gismonti: Frevo
Django Reinhardt: Rhythm Futur
Duke Ellington: Caravan

Moscow-based Russian Renaissance made an impressive impact in the U.S. as 2017’s grand prize winner of the M Prize Chamber Arts Competition, the most lucrative one in the world for the genre. With classic Russian instruments, the group dexterously melds traditional folk music with an infusion of modernity, establishing themselves as a compellingly original presence. Their program reflects this diversity, with its broad range of works by classical composers Bach and Tchaikovsky to jazz favorites by Ellington and Reinhardt.

A Note from Joseph "Yossi" Kalichstein, Artistic Director of Fortas
Kudos to the folks at University of Michigan who decided to award the M Prize to a most unusual quartet, with the unlikely make-up of two different balalaikas, one guitar/banjo-like instrument (the domra), and a Russian relative of the concertina/bandoneón. Their repertoire is like an encyclopedia of music: from baroque, romantic, and contemporary music to new works written for them and by them. And everything is played with equal skill, fervor, commitment, and excitement. What a delight!