Yuja Wang and the Russian National Orchestra perform in Northridge

Russian National Orchestra
Los Angeles Times

The Russian pianist-conductor Mikhail Pletnev once said that "intensity" was the most basic characteristic of the Russian sound, and that quality was fully on display at the Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge on Friday night as he led the Russian National Orchestra in a program of works by Shostakovisch, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky.  The sold-out concert kicked off the orchestra's 16-city 25th anniversary tour, with upcoming stops in Palm Desert and at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.  

By his own reckoning, Pletnev, who founded the orchestra in 1990 and remains its music and artistic director, has not performed in Southern California in nearly a decade. Once regarded as a cool, undemonstrative conductor, Pletnev's podium manner was involved and involving. The orchestra played brilliantly from the concert's rousing opener, Shostakovich's "Festive Overture."  

Read the rest of the review here