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May 22, 2001

A Maestro's Magic Shimmers
This Summer at CSUS

Brilliant, delicate intensity and gracious suavity is just the tip of the adjective iceberg that international music critics use to describe the Russian National Orchestra and its conductor Carlo Ponti Jr., son of Hollywood legend Sophia Loren.

The orchestra will perform at California State University, Sacramento at 8 p.m., Friday, July 20 in the University Union Ballroom.

Conductor Carlo Ponti Jr."Carlo Ponti Jr. commands the orchestra to make a Beethoven symphony sound the way the composer intended, exciting and vibrant. Ponti directed each nuance to an expression of boundless joy. He lifts the entire orchestra to a level of outstanding musicianship," wrote California's Press Enterprise.

The success of the RNO's Moscow debut in November 1990 led to a recording contract and the 1991 release of its first CD - Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony Pathetique. Gramophone, Britain's premier magazine on classical music, called the recording "an awe-inspiring experience; should human beings be able to play like this?" and listed it as the best recording of Pathetique in history.

The RNO is Russia's first orchestra since 1917 to be free of government control and supported entirely by private funding. It is governed by a distinguished multinational board of trustees and has won the support of corporations, foundations and individuals from around the globe.

The RNO was in immediate demand throughout the music world and became the first Russian orchestra to play at the Vatican and to tour Israel. London's The Evening Standard wrote, "They played with such captivating beauty that the audience gave an involuntary sigh of pleasure."

The RNO has recorded more than 25 critically acclaimed CDs and has toured throughout the world including performances at major music festivals in Edinburgh, Lucerne, Sydney and the 1996 Olympics Arts Festival in Atlanta.

Also in 1996, the RNO launched the "Magic of Music," an art and music program for young people. In Russia, the orchestra works with orphanages and homes for disabled youth to bring the joy of artistic creativity into the lives of disadvantaged children.

Called "a major miracle" by Time Out New York magazine and classical music's "feel good story of the decade" by International Arts Manager, the Russian National Orchestra is considered by many to be an international artistic treasure.

Tickets for the CSUS concert are $35 - 50 and are available at the CSUS Ticket Office at (916) 278-4323.

For more information about the concert call (916) 278-2787. Media assistance is available by contacting the CSUS public affairs office at (916) 278-6156. Photos of the orchestra are available upon request.



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