FINBERG Mikhail Yakovlevich – Director-Art Director and Chief Conductor of the “Honored Collective of the Republic of Belarus “National Academic Symphony and Variety Music Orchestra of the Republic of Belarus”. He has been the head of the Orchestra since its foundation. He is the People’s Artist of Belarus, the Belarus State prizewinner, the Union State prizewiner, the Trade Union Federation prizewiner, a holder of V.Muljavin’s special prize of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus, a laureate of the LKSM prize of Belarus, a holder of the Frantsisk Skarina Order, professor.
His working and creative life began in 1962 as a foster child of a military orchestra at military unit 61424 in the town of Kursk (the Russian Federation). In 1970 he graduated from the Belarusian State Conservatoire named after A.Lunacharski, and in 1981 he compleded his post-graduate courses at the Conservatoire. He is an acknowledged musician, an organizer and a founder of numerous international and local festivals and contests both in Belarus and abroad.
The Orchestra, headed by M.Finberg, is an active advertiser and founder of Belarusian popular music, which treats with respect and preserves the traditions of the national performing school as well as those of Belarusian musical heritage and the achievements of the world classical music. M.Finberg is a permanent opponent to using phonograms. The National Concert Orchestra enjoys the name of “a live sound orchestra” and its director is given the title of “a live sound maestro”.
Thanks to Mikhail Finberg’s active work, aimed at looking for talented musicians and performers, the best of them both from Belarus and the former Soviet republics make up a creative core of the Orchestra. The best composers of Belarus became permanent partners and authors for the Orchestra’s creative activities. Giving preference to national music material, the Orchestra also carries out an educational work: it restores from non-existence the names of our compatriots who are renowned in Europe but who have been out of Belarusian cultural life for quite a long time.
Chamber music festivals in small towns and district centres became a tradition. It is a great task for the Orchestra and its director M.Finberg to make wildly available the works of a high performing level both for the residents of Minsk and those living in the countryside.
Constant and fruitful collaboration with leading masters of arts of Russia and world level stars of Europe comes first in creative activities of People’s Artist of Belarus Mikhail Finberg. Creative cooperation of the Orchestra with bright variety performers of the past has found its continuation in the festival “Hits for All Times”.
Since the very beginning of the "Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk" Festival Mikhail Finberg takes part in it as its music director. The Orchestra cooperates actively with outstanding Russian performers such as A.Pugachova, B. and F.Kirkorovs, L.Gourchenko, T.Gvardtsiteli, Yu.Antonov, I.Kobzon, L.Leschenko, V.Leontjev, L.Dolina, I.Demarin, R.Ibragimov, and others.
The invitation of the National Concert Orchestra of Belarus (as a single Belarusian music collective!) to participate in the festive events to commemorate the 850th anniversary of Moscow became a bright and remarkable event for the Orchestra.
To acknowledge M.Finberg’s important contribution to the strengthening of creatve relations between Russian and Belarusian masters of arts and the Orchestra’s high artistic and performing art, the commemorative sign “Mikhail Finberg’s Star” was laid in Moscow's Stardom Square.
For his creative work Mikhail Finberg was commended by the President of the Republic of Belarus, he was granted the Order of Frantsisk Skarina and honorary diplomas of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus as well as the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus, other ministries and institutions of the Republic and arts unions.
Mikhail Finberg is a member of the culture council of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus, as well as the Belarus State prize committee; he used to be a member of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus of two convocations. He is the Honoured Citizen of Mozyr and Nesvizh.
Mikhail Finberg, Director-Art Director and Chief Conductor of the “Honored Collective of the Republic of Belarus “National Academic Symphony and Variety Music Orchestra of the Republic of Belarus”, says:
I have been the conductor of the Orchestra for many years. This is a very important task. It requires a lot of knowledge, a high level of education, experience, persistence, and patience. Only the combination of these qualities can produce the result which admirers of our work expect of us.
I was born in the Belarusian town of Mozyr and from my childhood I came to love the Belarusian language, the Belarusian song, and the Belarusian melody. I have been working all my life in order to make the Belarusian word and the song known in Belarus, to make them sound in full power and expose their unique beauty to the whole world. The Belarusian language is very melodious, it has been created by talented people and made famous by real classics. I am fortunate in having done 28 programs based on the words of Belaruaisn poets – M.Bogdanovich, Yakub Kolas, Yanka Kupala, A.Kuleshov, A.Rusak, V.Korotkevich, A.Mitskevich, and of many modern Belarusian poets. This is one of the highest achievements in my creative work. There have been no such art projects earlier, and I am very proud of giving a second wind, a second life to poetic characters of our authors.
And if one counts up all chamber music festivals that we have organized in such small towns as Zaslavl, Nesvizh, Mir, Chechersk, Turov, Mstislavl, Molodechno, Novogrudok, Pinsk, – there will be more than one hundred of them. This is a very complicated work. We have studied the musical art of Belarus beginning from the 18th century. These festivals have an expressively educational character because we restore from non-existence the names of prominent figures of our ancestors. We do not only participate in such festivals but we organize them, work out their conception and programs. We have good experience in such work and thus we have a positive influence on the development of the national musical culture.
An international reputation of our Orchestra makes us proud. We worked out more than 80 programs at the “Russia” Concert Hall in Moscow and participated in many events at the “Kremlin Congress Hall”. We have recorded a lot of programs at the Russian TV, including a popular music game “Guess a Melody” and a number of New Year programs. During two years the Orchestra had been working on TV Channel 5 in Italy.
A key component of the Orchestra’ activities is a search for new talents. I have opened the door to a whole range of performers, who are known abroad and are very popular in this country. In fact, the National Concert Orchestra has opened the "Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk", the “Molodechno” national festival of Belarusian songs and poetry. Actually, the best European musicians and those from the former Soviet republics work at the Orchestra. I would like to name a wonderful guitarist, Honoured Artist of Belarus Serguej Antishin, Honoured Artist of Belarus bass-guitarist Alexander Kalinovski, the Orchestra’s drummer Vadim Chaikov, keyboard instruments players Igor Brankovski and Dmitri Khomenko. The 21st International Jazz Festival will be organized in the year of 2010. Besides, we work with classical music. The so-called “chamber philharmonic group” is a part of our Orchestra. It consists of a trumpet-players group headed by Professor Nikolai Volkov, a group of flutists headed by Associate Professor Henrich Gedilter, a band of soloists on wooden brass instruments headed by Associate Professor Ivan Brichikov, a group of clarinettist headed by Honoured Artist of Belarus Gennadi Zabara, a string band headed by Honoured Artist of Belarus Valeri Soroka, and a vocal group headed by Natalia Mikhailova.
Most of our musicians have graduated from the Belarusian Academy of Music. All of them have higher education. In the Orchestra there is a lot of People’s Artists, Honoured Artists, prestige prize-winners as well as three doctors of science and eight candidates of science. All in all, there are around 300 musians working in the Orchestra. The Orchestra has never practiced phonograms, and we are proud of that. For this reason we are called “a live sound orchestra”. The work of our Orchestra is highly appreciated at the State level which is justified by its title of a “Honored Orchestra”. The Orchestra was also the first in the country to receive the status of a “National Orchestra”.
I am mostly grateful to all artists of the Orchestra. They are the best musicians in this country.