State Institution «Honored Collective of the Republic of Belarus «National Academic Symphony and Variety Music Orchestra of the Republic of Belarus»
Director-Art Director and Chief Conductor is the People’s Artist of Belarus, Belarus State prizewinner, the Union State prizewiner, holder of the Frantsisk Skarina Order, professor Mikhail Finberg
Founded in 1987, the National Concert Orchestra of Belarus, headed by Mikhail Finberg, is an acknowledged collective, an organizer and a founder of numerous international and local festivals and competitions both in Belarus and Europe.
Being active in the field of Belarusian music, the National Concert Orchestra of Belarus is also a recognized and authoritative grand-orchestra in Europe. On August 27, 1998, by decision No. 1345 of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus, the Orchestra was awarded the title of “an honoured collective of the Republic of Belarus” for its high class masterly performance and an important contribution to the development of Belarusian art. On August 30, 2005, by Decree No. 407 of the President of the Republic of Belarus, the Orchestra was the first in the country to be awarded an honorary status of the “national orchestra”.
The National Concert Orchestra of Belarus is among the organizers of popular art projects such as the “Molodechno” national festival of Belarusian songs and poetry as well as a national competition of young performers of Belarusian pop songs, the international jazz festival “Minsk”, the festival “Sing with the Orchestra”, and the Polish song festival. The Orchestra has been an organizer of the International Arts Festival "Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk" and of all contests of pop song performers at this festival since its foundation.
The National Concert Orchestra of Belarus stands out among other music collectives in the Republic for its origional projects of Belarusian chamber music festivals in small towns of the country. In Belarus, this is the first series of festivals of such a kind.
The musicians of the Orchestra and its artistic director Mikhail Finberg consider their duty to make holiday of real music art not only for Minsk residents but also for residents in small localities. Not a single generation of Belarusians had been brought up by Belarusian chamber music festivals “Zaslauye”, “The Nyasvizh Muses”, “Mstislau”, “Turau”, “Mirski Zamak”, “Chacherskiya Sustrechy”, “Pinskiya Spatkanni”, “Napoleon Orda Gastsjounja” in the town of Ivanov. It is not by chance that the Orchestra got the reputation of the organizer of the “out-of-capital” festival movement. The distinctive feature of the Orchestra is its activities directed to different audience in the country: workers, students, soldiers, country and small towns residents.
In spite of the fact that those are traditional annual events, their concert programs are never the same. A scientific conception of such projects, well grounded by Professor, Doctor of Arts Olga Dadiomova, contrubutes not only to an artistic but an educational content of the projects. Thanks to an active work of Mikhail Finberg and the National Concert Orchestra aimed at the renowation of national music heritage, the names of the country’s outstanding people, composers of the 17th-19th centuries are back to modern Belarusian cultural life. Among them are the names of N.Orda, M.Eljsky, B.Goland, M.Oginsky, M.Karlovich, Matej and Antonij Radziwill, Ya.Goland, A.Rogachevsky, V.Kozlovsky, S.Monjushko, and of many other celebrities.
The star of the Belarusian jazz – the Big Band of the National Concert Orchestra – is the performer of a series of exclusive “Music of the Best World Orchestras” programs. The Big Band creative work is a prominent evidence of the continuation of the famous “Rozner Orchestra”. During more than 20 years M.Finberg, the artistic director of the “Minsk Jazz” project, has been working out the concept of the project on the basis of the best music of D.Ellington, K.Basi, G.Miller, K.Johns, T.Johns, E.Rozner, Yu.Saulski, B.Mintser, G.Goodwin, B.Goodman, and others. Especially popular are the works of the legendary “The Fab Four – the Beatles” performed by the Orchestra. Arrangements for the Orchestra’s performance were done by the Orchestra artist, a famous guitar player, Merited Art Worker of Belarus Vladimir Tkachenko. The performing style of the National Concert Orchestra is always a surprise to the audience due to its precision and high professionalism.
One of the cornerstones of the Orchestra’s activities is to actively advertise national Belarusian music. Among the brightest projects of the Orchestra in this field are three author’s series by composer and arranger of the Orchestra I.Polivoda: “Maksim” based on M.Bogdanovich’s works, “Mother’s Song” based on the poems of A.Kuleshov, and “The Land of Belarus” based on the poems of Yanka Kupala, a series of songs on the poems of Yanka Kupala and Yakub Kolas ”My Soul Is Enchanted by a Song” devoted to the 120th anniversary of the classics’ birthday; a series of literary soirees of the famous Belarusian poets “A Native Melody is in a Native Word”. In the creative arsenal of the Orchestra are authors’ programs and recitals and concerts, devoted to the acknowledged Belarusian poets, composers and performers – Ya.Kupala, Ya.Kolas, V.Bogdanovich, A.Mitskevich, V.Korotkevich, A.Kuleshov, P.Borodulin, G.Buravkin, N.Gilevich, V.Nekljaev, L.Dranjko-Majsjuk, I.Luchenok, D.Smolsky, E.Glebov, A.Bogatyrjov, M.Churkin, V.Vujachich, L.Abeliovich, V.Muljavin, B.Raiski, E.Zaritski, V.Budnik, L.Zakhlevny, N.Aladov, P.Podkovyrov, A.Atrashkevich, E.Khanok, V.Ivanov, G.Pukst, and others.
A patriotic theme occupies a significant place in the repertoire of the National Concert Orchestra. Programs devoted to the anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War and the liberation of Belarus from the fascist occupation enjoy wide popularity. The cooperation with Belarusian poets and composers who create patriotic music is always of interest to the Orchestra.
The National Concert Orchestra has high prestige both with the Belarusian music world and abroad. The Orchestra has especially close and fruitful cooperation ties with neighbouring Russia. The Russian TV festivals “The Song of the Year”, a music game “Guess a Melody” were produced with the participation of the National Concert Orchestra. Belorussian musicians were awarded a laureate diploma three times for participation in those projects. The Orchestra is well-known for its performances at the “Russia” Concert Hall and the “Kremlin Congress Hall”, and participation in 33 programs, devoted to the events in Moscow's Stardom Square. During two years the Orchestra had been working on TV Channel 5 in Italy. Poland, the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, Latvia, Lithuania enjoyed the Orchestra playing.
The National Concert Orchestra.has worked out programs for A.Petrov, Yu.Sauljski, M.Fradkin, O.Feltsman, A.Pakhmutova, A.Zatsepin, D.Tukhmanov, L.Leschenko, V.Obodzhinski, I.Kobson, F.Kirkorov, E.Rozner, M.Dunaevski, T.Miansarova, L.Dolina, A.Babadzhajan, L.Derbenjev, A.Antonov, R.Pauls, M.Tariverdijev, A.German, L.Utjesov, M.Kristalinskaya, M.Tanich, I.Demarin, E.Doga, L.Derbenjev, I.Dunajevski and many others.
A particular feature of the Orchestra is its performing universality, which is typical for all music styles and forms whether it concerns pop songs or elite jazz, ancient Belarusian or modern vanguard works, symphony and chamber music of Western Europe classics or vocal and instrumental compositions of Slavonic masters, including Belarusians. But for all that the incarnation of works by modern composers and composers of the past remains a priority vector in the Orchastra creative activities. The National Concert Orchestra of the Republic of Belarus is devoted only to live sound. For this, in particular, the Orchestra enjoys an informal name of “a live sound orchestra” and its director is given the title of “a live sound maestro”.
A very important stream in the activities of the Orchestra and its art director Mikhail Finberg is the search for talented musicians. The National Concert Orchestra gave rise to many bright and creative names, renowned not only to Belarusian audience.
One of the most significant features of the Orchestra is its work devoted to the conservation of the Belarusian musical heritage in the instrumental and song genre.