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    PRINCE MICHAEL OF KENT BECOMES RNO PATRON

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    WASHINGTON, January 30. (RIA Novosti correspondent Vaasilii Voropaev) Prince Michael of Kent became a patron of Russian National Orchestra (RNO), Sergei Markov, the president of the RNO fund, said Thursday at a ceremony and concert in the Washington Phillips collection of Contemporary Art.

    Mr. Markov emphasized that Prince Michael of Kent, a member of British royal family and the relative of the Romanov dynasty, "knows Russian culture well and loves Russia."

    On behalf of the RNO Mikhail Pletnev, the founder and conductor of the RNO, presented Prince Michael of Kent with an autographed silver conductor's baton. Afterward, Prince Michael thanked the representatives of orchestra in Russian.

    Before the concert, Prince Michael told journalists that he intended to visit RNO concerts in Washington and New York and participate in the charitable events.

    "I am proud to become the patron of this orchestra," he emphasized, speaking in Russian. Prince Michael noted the talent of the young musicians of orchestra, and also that the orchestra was respected throughout the world.

    In the course of the appearance in Washington, the young musicians of wind quintet RNO performed a triptych written by Andrey Rubtsov, a member of the orchestra. They also performed "Wolf Tracks" by Jean-Pascal Beintus, a contemporary composer. The RNO conducted by Kent Nagano was nominated for a Grammy this year.

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