Founded by Barrett Wissman and Nina Kotova, W Preserve is a haven for performers, visual artists, writers and thinkers alike. Against the spectacular backdrop of the Beartooth mountains and millions of acres of national forest in south central Montana, W Preserve is a retreat where artists can meet, collaborate, exchange ideas and perform in the midst of untouched natural beauty.
The Russian-American cellist Nina Kotova, has been praised by Gramophone as a “strong and individual artist” and by the Los Angeles Times as “a talent to reckon with- poised, committed, graceful and spirited.”
Ms. Kotova has been internationally recognized as one of the outstanding instrumentalists of her generation. She has performed as a soloist with symphony orchestras across the globe and has repeatedly toured the UK, Europe, Asia and the US.
Ms. Kotova has performed on Red Square in Moscow, for the Imperial family of Japan and at Buckingham Palace. She has appeared in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, at Town Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York, at Ravinia, Wigmore Hall, the Barbican Centre in London, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, , the Esplanade in Singapore, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Berlin Philharmonic to name a few.
According to Newsweek magazine, “she‘s a fantastically gifted cellist.. and has a powerful stage presence.” Time magazine states: “She is a musician of high seriousness and real talent”. Ms. Kotova has also been the subject of numerous features in Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and the Wall Street Journal, The Sunday Telegraph Magazine, Hello magazine and has appeared on television on A&E’s “Breakfast with the Arts”, “Hard Talk” and the “Charlie Rose Show”. Ms. Kotova has appeared on the covers of Classic FM, Gramophone China, Il Venerdi Italia and Reader’s Digest.
Ms. Kotova has collaborated with musicians such as violinists Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Maxim Vengerov and Nikolaj Znaider, guitarist Sir Angel Romero, flutist Sir James Galway and pianists Jose Feghali, Helene Grimaud, Lang Lang and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Ms. Kotova has performed with conductors including Teodor Currentzis, Stephane Deneve, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Vladimir Jurowski, Claus Peter Flor, Alain Lombard, Nicola Luisotti, Sir Antonio Pappano, Libor Pesek, Tamas Vasary, Hans Vonk and Jaap Van Zweden.
Among Ms. Kotova’s honors is the Tuscan – American Association award for her outstanding cultural contributions as a co-founder of the Tuscan Sun Festival. Ms. Kotova also co-founded the Festival Del Sole/Festival Napa Valley in Napa Valley. She calls the Festivals “a mecca and meeting place for artists and admirers of the arts alike”.
Nina Kotova’s recordings include her chart-topping debut album for Philips Classics, the Bloch “Shelomo” with the Philharmonia of Russia conducted by Constantine Orbelian along with her own Cello Concerto for Delos, the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton for Sony Classics, the Deutsche Grammophon compilation “Masters of the Bow”, which pays homage to the greatest cellists of the last 50 years, and the complete Bach Suites for Unaccompanied Cello for Warner Classics. This past spring, Ms. Kotova released her latest CD: the Rachmaninoff and Profkofiev Cello Sonatas with pianist Fabio Bidini for Warner Classics.
A champion of contemporary music, Ms. Kotova has commissioned and premiered works of leading composers including Christopher Theofanidis, Dmitry Smirnov, Michael Nyman, and Sir Anthony Hopkins. She recently premiered Jonathan Leshnoff’s Cello Concerto with the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra.
A versatile collaborator, Ms. Kotova has performed the Vivaldi double concerto with Bobby McFerrin, appeared on the MTV Music Awards at the MET with Trent Reznor, appeared in Matthew Barney’s Cremaster, performed with Sting and Trudy Styler in the production “Twin Spirits” celebrating the life of Robert Schumann, performed Saint-Saens “The Swan” with Nina Ananiashvili, Irina Dvorovenko, Lil Buck and the soloists of the Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Nina has appeared with John Malkovich in Iglesias’ “A Registered Patent” and collaborated with Jeremy Irons in Chopin: Seduction, Smoke and Music.
As a composer Nina Kotova has written numerous works for cello and orchestra. Her first Cello Concerto premiered in San Francisco in 2000. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that “like Wolfgang Rihm in 1974, so Kotova in 2000 stands in defiance of both the emotional austerity of last century’s modernism and the new simplicity of so much recent music.” Ms. Kotova was commissioned to write a Triple Concerto by the University of Texas and toured her Cello Concerto “The Tuscan” for cello and chamber orchestra with Dmitry Sitkovetsky conducting across the US featuring its NY premiere at Carnegie Hall.
Russian-born cellist Nina Kotova began cello studies at six. She studied at the Moscow Conservatory and graduated from the Musikhochschule in Cologne. She gave her first performance as a soloist with orchestra at age 11 in Russia. At sixteen, Ms. Kotova made her Western debut in Prague with the Prague Radio Orchestra after winning the 1st Prize at the “Concertino Prague“ competition in 1986. She has carried on the tradition of not only her legendary father, Russian double-bassist Ivan Kotov, but her teachers and mentors, which include Igor Gavrysh, Valentin Feigin and Boris Pergamenschikov, Ms. Kotova has also taught as an Artist in Residence at the University of Texas in Austin.
The highlights of this season include a recital with Helene Grimaud, a concerto tour collaboration with John Malkovich, a concerto and recital tour in Korea and the upcoming releases of her Tchaikovsky recording with Vladimir Fedoseyev and the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, and her Romantic Recital album for Warner Classics. Learn more about Nina on her website.
Barrett Wissman is the Chairman of IMG Artists, the global leader in the performing arts talent management, touring, event management and consulting business. He purchased a majority stake in the Company from IMG, who continues to be a minority stakeholder in the Company. At the helm of IMG Artists, the Company has expanded its presence across the Americas, Europe and Asia. IMG Artists represents over 500 artists, arts organizations and companies in addition to founding and operating festivals and working with non-profit arts organizations around the globe.
Mr. Wissman founded and is currently a principal and partner in technology, manufacturing and investment companies as well as on the boards of several for-profit and non-profit enterprises. He has continued to be actively involved in music, having served on the boards of several arts institutions and created several charitable organizations. One of these is the Cremona Society, a unique international organization that collects and lends rare instruments to deserving soloists and students in need of financial aid to be able to pursue their dreams in the arts. Mr Wissman is also the Chairman of the Del Sole Foundation for the Arts and Humanities which supports performing arts organizations, talent and events around the globe.
Barrett Wissman’s commitment to music began at an early age with serious piano study. He made several debuts as a concert pianist with prominent orchestras from the age of 11 and won several national and international competitions thereafter. He graduated cum laude from Yale University in economics and political science and went on to receive graduate degrees in music from Southern Methodist University and the Accademia Chigiana in Italy.
Mr. Wissman founded the Festival del Sole in Cortona, Italy, Festival Napa Valley as well as the Singapore Sun Festival in Singapore, The Palm Springs Life Festival in the Coachella Valley and the Placido Domingo Festival in Seville Spain, which have all celebrated the performing, visual and culinary arts as well as theatre, dance and wellness.
As part of his work in the arts, Barrett Wissman has collaborated with such great artists and luminaries as Robert Redford, Jeremy Irons, Placido Domingo, Sophia Loren, Anthony Hopkins, Sting, Renee Fleming, John Malkovich, Robert De Niro and many others as a producer and collaborator.
Mr. Wissman has been given the honor of being a Honorary Citizen of Italy or “Cittadino Onorario” by the city of Cortona and has received an award from the Italian American Association as one of the most influential Americans in business in Italy for his accomplishments there by the Mayor of Florence and later the Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi.
Mr. Wissman has most recently founded a leading digital media and entertainment company advising talent, brands, companies and non-profit organizations on their digital strategies. He is also investing alongside talent in founding, advising and operating social media-driven businesses.
Most recently, Mr. Wissman co-founded the W Preserve in Montana with Nina Kotova to create a haven for performers, visual artists, writers and thinkers alike. Against the spectacular backdrop of the Beartooth mountains and millions of acres of national forest in south central Montana, W Preserve is a retreat where artists can meet, collaborate, exchange ideas and perform in the midst of untouched natural beauty.