The Divertissement Chamber Orchestra was established in early 1990 thanks to enthusiasm of Professor Elena Komarova of the St. Petersburg Conservatory and her several students. A common school of music and loyalty to Petersburg’s chamber traditions enabled them to make a name from the start, first in their native city, and then outside it.
In a few years, the Divertissement CO developed a vast repertoire including not only Baroque epoch pieces, which are most often played by orchestras of a similar line-up, but also Romantic and today’s masterpieces.
Since 1998, the team has been headed by violinist Ilya Ioff, Hon. Artist of Russia.
Simultaneous with his coming to the Divertissement, CO the orchestra gained several new excellent musicians well-known in Russia. Nearly “quartet-like” flexibility and ensemble mobility enabled a noticeable expansion of the repertoire by including sophisticated scores of all epochs, from baroque to the 21st century. Russian music is important in the Divertissement’s repertoire. Tchaikovsky, Arensky, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Schnittke… the team presents all these composers in its concert programs.
The Divertissement CO amply and successfully cooperates with today’s Russian composers. Slonimsky, Desyatnikov, Korchmar, Khrushcheva, Karmanov – this is by far not the full list of authors.
Not limited to Russian culture, the ensemble has become known in Russia as performer of most challenging masterpieces of Western European music of various epochs, from Baroque to today’s experimenting with electronics and performances.
The Divertissement CO has cooperated with such eminent musicians as Giya Kancheli, Natalia Gutman, Grigory Sokolov, Julian Milkis, etc.
The Divertissement CO tours in Russia, the Baltic States, Europe, the United States, and Japan. It has recorded several CDs (Vivaldi, Fujiie, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Schoenberg, Schnittke, Andrei Petrov).
Now The Divertissement CO belongs to “Peterburg-Concert” state agency.