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Universally hailed as one of the world’s finest musicians, and often referred to as the greatest living string player in the world today, Grammy award winner Maxim Vengerov also enjoys international acclaim as a conductor and is one of the most in-demand soloists.
Born in 1974, he began his career as a solo violinist at the age of 5, won the Wieniawski and Carl Flesch international competitions at ages 10 and 15 respectively, studied with Galina Tourchaninova and Zakhar Bron, made his first recording at the age of 10, and went on to record extensively for high-profile labels including Melodia, Teldec and EMI, earning among others, Grammy and Gramophone artist of the year awards.
Tireless in his search for new means of creative expression, Maxim Vengerov has let himself be inspired by many different styles of music, including baroque, jazz and rock and in 2007 followed in the footsteps of his mentors, the late Mstislav Rostropovich and Daniel Barenboim and turned his attention to conducting. Mr Vengerov has since conducted major orchestras around the world including the Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, and in 2010 was appointed the first chief conductor of the Gstaad Festival Orchestra. He went on to further his studies with Yuri Simonov, an exponent of the Russian-German conducting school, and graduated as a conductor with a diploma of excellence from the Moscow Institute of Ippolitov-Ivanov in June 2014. He has since graduated from a further 2-year program of opera conducting.
In the last few seasons Maxim Vengerov has performed as soloist and/or conductor with all major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Chicago, Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras and toured extensively around the world in Recital.
In the 2016/17 season Maxim Vengerov returned to Australia to open the season of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Further guest conducting engagements included the RTE Orchestra Dublin, Munich Philharmonic and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras.
In 17/18 Maxim Vengerov returned to Carnegie Hall with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and premiered a new concerto at the Beijing Music Festival written by the renowned composer Qigang Chen, which was recorded and now released on
Deutsche Gramophone. He also conducted the Orchestre National de France and toured Europe, China and the US in recital.
Highlights of 18/19 saw Maxim Vengerov opening the season of the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala with Maestro Chailly, a Residence with Monte Carlo Philharmonic and the Philharmonie in Paris.
In January of last year, Maxim Vengerov became Classic FM’s first solo Artist in Residence and he released a new recording of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with conductor Myung-Whun Chung and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, coupled with works by Saint-Säens and Ravel as well as a live recital from Carnegie Hall. Further recordings will follow to coincide with Maxim Vengerov’s celebration of 40 years on stage at the Royal Albert Hall, originally planned for 2021, but now rescheduled to September 2022. He will be joined by his colleagues Misha Maiski, Martha Argerich, the Oxford Philharmonic with its Music Director Marios Papadopoulos and students from the Royal College of Music London.
As one of Maxim Vengerov’s greatest passions is the teaching and encouraging of young talent, he has held various teaching positions around the world. He currently holds the Stephan and Viktoria Schmidheiny Stiftungsprofessur at the Mozarteum University Salzburg and since September 2016 he is also the Polonsky Visiting Professor of Violin at the Royal College of Music in London - the UK’s leading conservatoire. Furthermore, in keeping with his belief that competitions are a platform to launch young artists’ international careers, Maxim Vengerov has served on numerous juries including the Donatella Flick conducting competition, the Menuhin Violin Competition and in May 2013 conducted the finals during the Montreal International Violin Competition. Owing to his success as chairman of the prestigious Wieniawski Violin Competition in 2011, where he auditioned live over 200 musicians in nine world capitals, Mr Vengerov was unprecedentedly re-elected to return as chairman in 2016. With the vision of democratising the access of music learning, he launched his own online platform in January 2021: www.maximvengerov.com and created an impact across 170 countries and over 190 million reach. His first-year programs include partnerships with musical institutions from around the world, the Lottery Ticket program, guest artist series inaugurated with Brett Yang from TwoSet Violin, as well as his new global community group whose initiatives include the world leading Mentoring program, rural musical communities’ initiative, and the Musical Pen Pals program for children.
In 1997 Maxim Vengerov became the first classical musician to be appointed International Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF, which has enabled him to continue to inspire children worldwide through music. In this role he has performed for disadvantaged children and communities in Uganda, Thailand, the Balkans and Turkey, whilst helping to raise funds for many UNICEF-assisted programs. He is also a patron of the MIAGI project in South Africa, which connects children of different ethnic backgrounds through music and in 2018 became the Goodwill
Ambassador of the Musica Mundi School - a unique institution, which supports young talents.
Maxim Vengerov has been profiled in a series of documentaries, including Playing by Heart, which was recorded by Channel Four Television and screened at the Cannes Television Festival in 1999, and Living the Dream, which was released worldwide and received the Gramophone Award for Best Documentary in 2008.
Maxim Vengerov has received prestigious fellowships and honours from a number of institutions, including the Royal Academy of Music and orders of merit from both Romania and Germany’s Saarland. In 2012 he was awarded an Honorary Visiting Fellowship at Trinity College Oxford and in 2019 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Music London and the Order of Cultural Merit from the Palace Monte Carlo.
Maxim Vengerov has also received numerous awards including Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (with Orchestra) (2003), two Gramophone awards (1994, 1995), a Classical Brit Award (2004), five Edison Classical Music Awards (1995, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2004), two ECHO awards (1997, 2003) and a World Economic Forum Crystal award (2007) - honouring artists who have used their art to improve the state of the world.
Maxim Vengerov plays the ex-Kreutzer Stradivari (1727).