Stories » Maxim Vengerov with Wurth Philharmonic, set for Sunday Classics at Usher Hall / The Scotsman

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Maxim Vengerov with Wurth Philharmonic, set for Sunday Classics at Usher Hall / The Scotsman

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‘You won't believe me, but in June I'm graduating…" Maxim Vengerov might be one of the world's most famous names in classical music, renowned worldwide for his violin virtuosity and his muscular musical personality. But he's also been back to school. For several years, in fact. School, in this case, being Moscow's Ippolitov-Ivanov Institute, whose opera-conducting course he's about to complete, after graduating from its general conducting course in 2014.

He's been conducting, in fact, since the late 2000s, a time when a shoulder injury forced him to take a break from violin playing. But even before then, he must have had countless requests simply to get up on the podium and brandish a baton. Why did he feel the need to throw himself into formal studies? "I'm an old-school kind of performer," he chuckles. "If I haven't studied something, I just can't do it. I'd break into pieces. There are people who can – people like Bernstein, and he did pretty well! I'm not saying it's right or wrong. It's just not for me." Maxim Vengerov performing at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2016 Scottish audiences can experience both sides of Vengerov's music making – a rare opportunity in a single concert – when he comes to Edinburgh's Usher Hall on Sunday, for the finale of the Hall's Sunday Classics season. 

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