On 7 and 8 October the Moscow Virtuosi Orchestra held concerts in St. Petersburg and Moscow with the famous saxophonist Igor Butman and the famous Turkish conductor Jem Mansur.
The program of performances was very unusual and consisted of works by composers of XX and XXI centuries, half of which were presented to the public for the first time. The first section included Scandinavian music, and the second included North and South American music. It opened with concerts by Rakastava – «Love Suite» for strings, timpani and triangle by Finnish composer Jan Sibelius. Then «Moscow Virtuosi» and Igor Butman, who played the soprano saxophone, performed the Saxophone Concerto with the orchestra of contemporary Swedish composer Anders Eliasson – for the first time on the Russian stage.
After the intermission the orchestra split into two ensembles to perform, also for the first time in capitals, Osvaldo Golichov’s «Last Round», a work by contemporary American composer of Argentinean origin dedicated to the great Astor Piazzolla. Then followed «Lullaby» by George Gershwin, after which the audience again plunged into the passion of the Argentine tango: on stage again came Igor Butman and performed with the orchestra «Milonga» A. Piazzolla. Then there was the third premiere for the concert – A. Piazzolla’s suite «History of Tango» in a transcription by the soloist and orchestra arranger Alexei Strelnikov. According to A. Piazzolla, the history of tango has passed through 4 stages: 1900 г. – Brothel, 1930. – Café, 1960 – Nightclub and Concert of the present day. Thus, the suite consists of four parts, in which the orchestra soloists Vitaly Khandras, Alexei Lundin, Evgeny Shulkov and Alexei Strelnikov respectively.
At the end of the concerts, after a long applause, the following encores were performed: a work by Leroy Anderson for orchestra and solo typewriter and «Libertango» («Tango of Freedom») by Astor Piazzolla.