"The Artistic Director [St. Petersburg Revelations] was the young British conductor Alexander Walker, who, as Principal Guest Conductor of the Voronezh State Symphony Orchestra of Russia, is also an expert in the performance of Russian music. The festival offered a fascinating and enriching glimpse into music from St. Petersburg, to mark this year's Tercentenary celebrations, and was held in association with the St. Petersburg authority itself.I attended the festival's thrilling final concert at the Conway Hall, Holburn on 15th September, given by the Russian Chamber Orchestra of London, a group formed in 1998, specialising in Russian music whose recent appearances included a premiere by Galina Ustvolskaya and Mukhmedov's Russian Ballet at the Coliseum. Here they were conducted stylishly by Alexander Walker in a stimulating programme that featured premieres by Vladimir Uspensky (born 1937), Andrei Petrov (born 1930) and Yuri Falik (born 1936), leading St. Petersburg composers of the senior generation, framed by two Russian "classics": Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky.A Russian flavour was immediately set with Prokofiev's Vision Fugitives, impressionistic piano pieces in a most effective string orchestra version by Rudolf Barshai. A daring work to begin with, Alexander Walker soon elicited a cohesive ensemble to convey the widely varied moods of these epigrammatic miniatures: from the elusive poetic to the boisterous, from piquant neo-classicism to virulently aggressive, the serene and visionary.The Russian Chamber Orchestra of London's vibrant sonority was displayed to great effect in the Fanfare and Requiem by Yuri Falik, a composer with a distinctive, often ravishing approach to new tonality. Especially effective was the idiomatic use of the medium, for instance the rhetorical power of allowing simple ostinato figures to continue beyond the stretches of melody they accompany, a device Tchaikovsky also uses eloquently in his Serenade that concluded the programme.In this popular masterpiece, the Russian Chamber Orchestra of London came fully into their own, with Alexander Walker welding the ensemble with tremendous energy and immediacy. A former student of Ilya Musin in St. Petersburg, Walker has a strong affinity for the Russian style, which came across in the intensity and warmth of this fully-engaging performance. The orchestra responded with rich sonorities, especially Tchaikovsky' many chordal themes, and after the balance of sumptuous melodic writing and delicacy in the Waltz, the touching Elegie was imbued with just the right amount of nostalgia, the finale bristling with zest. It formed a stirring conclusion to this rewarding and enlightening programme, an initiative for which much credit is due to the St. Petersburg Revelations festival organisers."