At thirty-two years of age Maxim Vengerov is recognised as one of the world's most exciting violinists. He gave his first recital at the age of five and, after studying with Galina Tourchaninova and Professor Zakhar Bron, he went on to win the First Prize in the Junior Wieniawski Competition when he was ten years old. In 1990, aged fifteen, he won the Carl Flesch International Violin Competition, confirming his reputation as a musician of the
very highest order.
In May 2000 Maxim Vengerov signed an exclusive contract with EMI Classics. Vengerov's awards and prizes have included Gramophone Young Artist of the Year, and Ritmo (Spain) Artist of the Year in 1994; Gramophone Record of the Year, Grammy Award nominations for Classical Album of the Year and Best Instrumental Soloist with Orchestra in 1996; the Edison Award for Best Concerto Recording in 1997, Gramophone Artist of the Year in 2002 and Edison Award winner and Grammy Award winner in 2004 for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (with Orchestra) for the Britten: Violin Concerto/Walton:
In 1997 Vengerov was the first classical musician to be appointed Envoy for Music by UNICEF. In this role Vengerov has met and performed for disadvantaged children in Uganda, Harlem, Thailand, and those on both sides of the Kosovan ethnic divide. This work has afforded him the opportunity both to inspire children worldwide and inspire others to raise funds for UNICEF assisted programmes. Another passion of Vengerov's life is his involvement with young people through giving masterclasses. One such event was recorded by Channel Four Television as part of a documentary on Vengerov called 'Playing by Heart' shown at the Cannes Television Festival in 1999. Since October 2000, Vengerov has been a Professor of Violin at the Musikhochschule des Saarlandes.
Maxim Vengerov appears regularly with all the major orchestras and eminent conductors, has performed as both soloist and conductor, made his debut on the baroque violin accompanied by Trevor Pinnock, and has recently taken up the viola. His extensive concerto, solo and duo recital tours have taken him regularly around the globe. Vengerov opened the 2004/05 season with the New York Philharmonic and the London Symohony Orchestra. He toured the Far East and Europe until the end of 2004 with a new programme of Virtuosi pieces, a programme which was also recorded and released by EMI. The year 2005 was a sabbatical year in which Vengerov studied improvisation with Didier Lockwood and tango dance, and prepared for an explosive new viola concerto written for him by Benjamin Yusupov. The world premiere took place with the NDR Orchestra in Hanover in May 2005. In 2006 Vengerov reassumed his usual concert work with tours worldwide of the Mozart concertos with the UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra and a recital tour with works by Mozart, Beethoven, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. He is currently in the process of recording the complete Mozart Violin Concertos and the Sinfonia Concertante (with viola soloist Lawrence Power) for EMI Classics, the first CD of which will be released in early 2007 to coincide with a worldwide tour with the UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra.
Maxim Vengerov has embarked on a project to record Mozart's complete works for violin and orchestra over a two year period for EMI Classics. Featuring the Violin Concertos Nos. 2 and 4, as well as the Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola with Lawrence Power as viola soloist, Vengerov directs the UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra from the violin. The intimacy Vengerov achieves with the orchestra is the result of intensive work with the young musicians over an 18-month period filled with week-long masterclasses, rehearsals and workshops held in Israel and Switzerland. In conducting the orchestra from the violin, Vengerov continues the tradition of great violinists such as Itzhak Perlman, whose own recordings of these works can be found in the EMI catalogue.
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