The oboist and conductor Alexei Utkin was appointed Creative Director and Chief Conductor of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra in 2010, suceeding Constantin Orbelian who had been holding the position since 1991.
In 2016, Utkin recieved the Moscow Award in Literature and the Arts in the category Musical Art for his contributions to the development of Russian music.
Utkin plays an oboe made specifically for him by the prestigious F. Lorée firm in France.
Alexei Utkin is a graduate of tthe Moscow Conservatory, and has pursued a post-graduate work with the oboe.
Utkin began his career as a professional oboe musician with the chamber orechestra Moscow Virtuosi, led by Vladimir Spivakov. With his unconventonal choice of instrument, the oboe, he raised a lot of eyebrows but was also highly praised for his performances and became person of note in the musical world of contemporary Moscow.
Utkin has been hailed for taking the oboe – traditionally regarded as a background instrument – and turning it into the centrepeice of performances. After performing the available solo compositions intended for oboe, Utkin branched out and started transforming other works.
Among his more notable music arrangements for the oboe we find the T. Albinoni’s Adagio for oboe and orchestra and M. Bruch’s Kol Nidrei.
Parallell to his other work in the musical sphere, Utkin is a professor at the Moscow Conservatory.
In the year 2000, Utkin founded the Hermitage Chamber Orchesta. With this new orchestra, he made numerous concert performances and recorded 10 records.
Ten years later, when Utkin was appointed Creative Director and Chief Conductor of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra (MCO), some of the best musicians of the Hermitage Chamber Orchesta joined the MCO with him.
The Moscow Chamber Orchestra
Utkin was appointed Creative Director and Chief Conductor of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra in 2010. He performs with it as both conductor and oboe soloist.
The Moscow Chamber Orchestra under Alexei Utkin
As Creative Director of the Moscow Chamber Orechestra (MCO), Utkin has been widening the stylistic and genre range of the peformances, while still staying faithful to the heritage of this time-honored orchestra. For instance, it is now possible to attend a concert where you get to enjoy works by both Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart, Led Zeppelin, and Gershwin. Utkin has also worked to include musical aspects from a wider range of ethnic hertitages.
Examples of popular concerts and concert themes conjured up by Utkin:
- “From Baroque to Jazz-Rock”
- “East West Fantasy” with music by H. Purcell, Mahavishnu, Clark, McKadnles for chamber orchestra, incorporating instruments such as indian reed flute, drums and electric guitarr.
- Concerts inspired by movie soundtracks
- “Stars of World Opera in Moscow”
- “Festival Divertimento-Fairy Tail”, where chamber orchestra is combined with a children’s choir.
- “Reflection in the water”, a creation based on the Soviet writer Alexanr Solzhenitsyn’s Krohotki and Preludes by Soviet composer Dmitrii Shostakovich. Combines a dramatic actor with a soloist and chamber orchestra.
- “From Bach to Beatles”