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Successful musicians come from all places in the world

Our world is a really big place to start with. You have hundreds of countries and thousands of cities with a total of over 7 billion people living in it and you yet never really know who’s who and who’s capable of what. Well ever if you do, there are going to be millions coming up and replacing the existing people so you simply will have a really difficult time keeping up to date with whatever is happening around here. Be it politics or sports this trend has been witnessed for centuries now and it will continue to be, until human being exist. So in such a scenario if you are going to be particular with your current opinion or prejudices then maybe it is just the right time for you to accept that anyone can come out from anywhere and impress in any field. And you can never really predict with accuracy for this world has seen underdogs win on many a occasion and this is going to continue forever.

Take a look at the music industry for instance. You might think that musicians from Columbia or England only are going to be spectacular but it needn’t be necessary that only people from these countries are good at it. In fact it can even be that except for a handful no one really is that great a musician in these countries and have you thought about how it is possible for no one really to be good enough. Well that’s exactly what you need to understand over here and the sooner you do it the more palatable you are going to find it when you come head on with reality. Musicians from all parts of the world have proven themselves on the big platform and made a mark for their home nation. Over the years , especially the last century or so we all have seen a steep rise in the popularity and universal acceptance of music and musicians from all over the world on a global scale. Well come to think of it and you will realise that this has been a driving force behind the popularity of music. You see Indians singing like crazy, songs of an American singer. Well that’s only the beginning of how globally acceptable music industry has become. Well, riding high on this is one of the most popular conductors in the world. Yes, you guessed it right we are talking about Mark Gorenstein. Mark has made a name for himself in the industry through his decades of hard work and his being a Russian did not impede his success and fame.

In most parts of the world, Mark Gorenstein has got a huge fan base of himself and his team. His shows take place in many countries and the orchestras are a super hit. Having born in 1946 Mark is aged 70 now and over the years he has fine tuned his work with the taste and preferences of the people at that particular time so that the generation changes only affect him in a positive way and he has executed it with a lot of ease and comfort emerging out as the triumphant one in this endeavour. This quality of his is to be appreciated by all of us and especially his fans, in fact we should strive our best to make sure that we too adapt this habit in our own life so as to achieve our full potential and translate it into professional success and fame just like Mark Gorenstein has successfully done in his life, both as a person and as a musician.


Mark Gorenstein, Scriabin – Piano Concerto

Mark Gorenstein

The State Russian Academic Symphonic Orchestra– HIS ALMA MATER

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For two years in succession, Chelyabinsk has been visited by the SASO – the State Russian Academic Symphonic Orchestra directed by Mark Gorenstein. Before that, for ten years, he had directed an orchestra “The Young Russia” founded by him, which, in quite a short time, entered the big league of musical collectives of the country. Now, after the orchestra was renamed as “The New Russia”, it came under the leadership of Yuri Bashmet, who made the Chelyabinsk auditory happy by performing in August. The concert was a great success, just like the last year’s performance of the State Russian Orchestra, a new meeting with which is expected on September 18 in the Opera Theater.
It seemed that destiny has tested Mark Gorenstein to the limit. But, at the same time, it favored him and always led upwards. The destiny promoted him from a bandsman to the art director of the main orchestra of the country, which, before him, had been brilliantly directed by Eugenie Svetlanov. This great musician and conductor passed away for years ago. His death was preceded by an ugly and humiliating scandal with dismissal. However, this scandal could not diminish the glory and greatness of the maître, his global fame and universal recognition. And when, two years later after his death, a new director was appointed, many people, out of habit, continued to call the orchestra (and still call) “svetlanovsky”. Consequently, it was a great trial and, in a sense, courage for a beginner to stand at the conductor’s desk. Those, who were happy to visit the last year’s concert of the SASO, say that the orchestra is in good hands now.
It is believed that all the greatest violin players of Russia in the 20th century were given to the country by Odessa. Gorenstein is of Odessa descent. His parents were not rich and had nothing to do with music and from his age of 12 only mother, who earned just 70 rubles to elevate two children, brought up the future conductor. Nevertheless, when her six years old son asked to buy him a violin, she immediately did it and brought the boy to the famous musical school of Stolyarovsky. He got addicted to the violin after watching the movie “The vocation” about a talented boy, violin player, who later became a conductor.
The story of Gorenstein was just like in the movie. He became a first class violin player and played in the most prestigious orchestras of the country dreaming of the conductor’s baton. Away back in his early youth, having read a book by Kirill Kondrashin, he clearly understood that he first had to form his personality as a musician. Conductor is a profession of the second part of life. And his dream came true 30 years later. However, he got his first orchestra not in Russia but in Hungary. Since 1985, he headed first the Budapest Symphonic Orchestra and later the Orchestra of Pusan in the South Korea. He came back to Russia in 1992 with a large creative equipment and good experience as a conductor. And he created “The Young Russia” by uniting young and talented musicians in this orchestra.

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In each interview, Mark Gorenstein, with great respect and recognition, tells about his great predecessor, his first and the only teacher in the art of conducting.
– Together with my musicians, I will do my best in order to give rebirth to the glory of the State orchestra. Each season, while I am conducting this orchestra, we will play the concert commemorating this great master.
In the main orchestra of the country, he appeared due to Svetlanov. It was the year of 1973. Then, the former student of a conservatory works as a concertmaster of the Symphonic Orchestra of the Kishinev Philharmonics.
– It is a very interesting story, – he remembers. – I was on medical leave and decided to go to Moscow. There I noticed an announcement about the competition for violin players in the SASO and immediately called to my friend to ask him to send me my violin by plane. I came to the competition, but they did not accept me, as I had no documents, referrals or employment reference with me. My friends persuaded the orchestra inspector to listen to me without documents and he, in his turn, persuaded Svetlanov. Having listened to me, Eugenie Feodorovich asked if I could bring the documents. And I told in a flurry the thing, for which I am still blaming myself: “In Kishinev, my boss, who is the People’s Artist of the USSR just like you, he thinks that I am ill, and how can I come to him and ask for references. It is impossible”. However, Sveltanov was not offended and just said: “Well, when you bring the documents, come, then”.
In the competition, musicians from the Bolshoi Theater were present. They started to persuade me that if I did not get to the State Orchestra, I should come to work with them. I returned to Kishinev in euphoria – the Bolshoi Theater and the capital were waiting for me. I immediately left my work there, gave back my flat to the Philharmonics. I came to Moscow and found out that the situation had changed and I had to pass the completion according to the standard procedure to get job in the Bolshoi. Though, there were 60 persons for one position, I won the competition. But I am a stubborn man, when, two years later, they announced about the competition to the State Orchestra, I decided to take the chance. Again, there were many candidates for one place and everyone from the commission wanted to take his own musician. This time, Svetlanov stood for me: “I do not understand, what you are talking about here. Gorenstein played better than others for the second time. And you are suggesting me others.”
Having worked in the Sveltanov’s Orchestra for two years, got a flat in Moscow and provided his family with minimum income, Mark Gorenstein decided to make his dream come true and get education as a conductor. He came to the professor of the Moscow Conservatory, Ginsburg and hot a concrete answer: «With such family name, they do not become conductors”. The same reply was given to him in Leningrad Conservatory.
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And Svetlanov helped again
Gorenstein has always tried to conduct. There were several attempts in Moscow. When Eugenie Svetlanov knew about this old dream of his musician, he gave him a recommendation letter into the Ministry of Culture of the USSR, and especially for him, in Novosibirsk Conservatory; they opened a place for remote education. Instead of 5 years, it took him only 3 years to graduate and in 1982 he got a diploma at the All-Russian Contest of Conductors.
“I hoped, that Eugenie Feodorovitch would make me his assistant, – remembers the current head of the SASO in his interview for the magazine “Moscow Echo”, – Svetlanov could come to me in entr’acte and say: “Marik, tomorrow, you will conduct the Symphony 2 by Rachmaninov at the rehearsal”. “Eugenie Feodorovitch! How tomorrow?” – I cried horrified. – “Only one night left and I have never conducted it.” And he replied: “It’s ok. You are a talented man, you will manage”.
It was impossible to say “no” to Eugenie Feodorovitch, and, beside this, I aspired to conduct myself. I could not become an assistant for Svetlanov. And, additionally, my private life changed. I asked Svetlanov to let me go to Hungary for half a year, as my second wife is a Hungarian. He refused and I left the orchestra. In my goodbye letter to Eugenie Feodorovitch, I sincerely accepted that to my grave, I owe to him everything that I have in my life. And I still think so”.
Then another life zigzag came in his live, and again increasingly. The voice of the “Young Russia” Orchestra created by Gorenstein fast became so strong and so beautiful that enraptured both the most sophisticated audience and famous foreign promoters.
When in 2000, Svetlanov was fired, and Gorenstein was proposed to become the head of his Alma Mater, he refused expressly as he considered low the trick of those who stood against his teacher and great master. Many conductors refused that position that time. And only two years after the death of Svetlanov, when the orchestra got in a sad state, Mark Gorenstein took this decision, which was very hard for him. I was very sorry to part with his “Young Russia”, but he owed everything to his Alma Mater – the Russian State Symphonic Orchestra.
Someone of the famous musicians said that one could understand the character of the conductor from the way he walks to his conductor’s desk.
– In the collective, where 110 people work, it is impossible to be goody, – thinks Mark Borisovitch.
And he is right. Tovstonogov was sever and created a great theater. Grigorovitch is thought to be a severe ballet-master and created a great ballet. That is why, when Gorenstein comes to his musicians, they do everything what he thinks needed. And after rehearsal he is the embodiment of goodness and charm, he is a man of heart, communicative and intelligent.
It took some time for my musicians to understand that there is not a slightest anger in my remarks, that I feel not a slightest dislike to anyone, or, like the young people like to say, I do not mess anyone. And the recent success is breath taking; I am surprised myself, indeed…


Mark Gorenstein

Mark Gorenstein: “Quality of any orchestra depends on its conductor”

On October 5, there will be the 70thanniversary of the Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra after E.F.Svetlanov (GASO). The first performance of the orchestra, formerly called the USSR State Symphony Orchestra, took place on 5 October 1936 at the stage of the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. At that time, the new orchestrawas conducted by Alexander Gauk.
Later on, with the orchestra many wonderful musicians worked, such asNathan Rahlin, Konstantin Ivanov andEugenie Svetlanov. Yehudi Menuhin, Vladimir Goroviz, David Oistrach, Svetoslav Richter and many others gave concerts with the orchestra. And a short while ago, on September 25, on the day of the 100th anniversary of Dmitry Shostakovich, the GASO after E.Svetlanov performed together with Mstislav Rostropovich the eighth Symphony by the composer, which first performance had been given in 1943 by this orchestra directed by Eugenie Mravinsky. In this season, the collective is celebrating its double jubilee – the 70th anniversary from the day of foundation and the 60th anniversary of its actual artistic director and chief conductor,Mark Gorenstein.
On September 2, 2006, upon the Russian Federation Presidential Decree, the People’s artist of Russia, Mark Gorenstein, was awarded with the Order for Service to the Motherland of IV Class. Before the anniversary that will be celebrated in the Great Hall of the Conservatory on October 5, exactly on the orchestra’s birthday, Mark Gorenstein answered the questions of a correspondent of the “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” newspaper, Marina Kuklinskaya.
– 70 years – is that long or short for an orchestra?

Symphony reviews 7
– In normal circumstances, it is the age of maturity. The cast is getting steady, only some small natural age rotations are taking place. Unfortunately, the Russian State orchestra had to go through hard periods of trial related to moving of musicians to new collectives as well as the reasons of non-artistic character such as, for example, the “war” against Eugenie Svetlanov. In 2002, when I entered the orchestraas its artistic director, I had 70 new musicians. Practically, the GASO was being created new.
– When you first listened to this orchestra, did you think of becoming its conductor?
– For the first time, I listened to the State orchestraon the radio in Kishinev, sometime in the early sixties. Later, the “Melodia” company released a series of LPs under the title of “Outstanding performers”. Having heard the orchestradirected by Svetlanov performing “Symphony dances” by Rachmaninov, I decided that if I ever worked in an orchestra, it would be only that orchestra. The quality of sound, representation – everything was on the highest level. When I worked in the Bolshoi Theater orchestra, I was invited to many different collectives including the Philharmonic Orchestra, to Kirill Kondrashin. But I answered that if I ever left the GABT, then only for the USSR State orchestra. My patience was rewarded: I entered the GASO and for nine years, I worked here as an artist of the orchestra.
– How did your conductor career develop?
– I owe my first concert to Nathan Rahlin who directed the Kazan Philharmonic Orchestra. I applied for permission to conduct a concert and Rahlin gave a resolution, “I don’t know this conductor, but let him try”. This was my debut. In the 80th-90th, I performed with many orchestras of the world and directed collectives in Budapest, Pusan (South Korea), founded the orchestra “Young Russia”, and in 2002,I became the artistic director and chief conductor of the GASOof Russia.
– Today, just in the capital there are about a score of orchestras. What is the GASO’s peculiarity?
– Regretfully, the quantity of orchestras does not match the real number of true creative collectives. Today, artists run from rehearsals of one collective to another and barely think of the problems of the orchestra as a united creative organism. Nevertheless, the quality of any orchestra originally depends on its conductor: it is the conductor who is responsible for the sound quality. Already Furtwängler said, “It is a strange story: one conductor makes Vienna PhilharmonicOrchestrasound like a fire brigade, another one makes a fire brigade sound like a Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra”.
– What creative mission do you set as the director of the orchestra?
– First and utmost, the orchestramust perform technologically correctly – it must strike the balance between ensemble groups, keep pickings and so on. Interesting representations are only possible when there is a strong professional base. The chief conductormust do it every day as any guest conductorwill determine the quality of the orchestra and its director upon several first chords stricken:the orchestraeither has a performance technique or not. Concerning the repertoire, the orchestraof such level must perform music of all times and genres. My personal enthusiasm is romantic and modern music. Recently, we have performed premieres of wonderful pieces by Rodion Shchedrin and Vladislav Kazenin. We also work with pleasure on compositions by Giya Kancheli.
– How did you decide to compose the program of the jubilee season?
– Ahead of us, we have subscription concerts in the Great Hall of Conservatory and in the Concert Hall after P.I.Tchaikovsky. An enormous number of musicians wished to perform together with the GASOin the jubilee programs, and, in order to receive all of them, unconventionally, each night, we are going to perform with two principal performers instead of one. We will lead five concerts dedicated to the artistic directors of the orchestra – Gauk, Rahlin, Ivanov and Svetlanov. And the last concert will be related to my personal jubilee – the 60th anniversary.

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8/26/11 1:56:14 PM --   Music Director Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conclude their performance of Strauss' Death and Transfiguration during their first concert on tour. © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2011

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Mark Gorenstein

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