Yuri BASHMET and Moscow Soloists

Roy Thomson Hall
60 Simcoe St.

February 19, 2009
8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Orpheum Theatre Vancouver
601 Smithe St


Grammy Award Winner 2008

“‘…without doubt, one of the world’s greatest living musicians.” – The Times (London) 

 “… a string player of altogether uncanny powers.” – New York Times

“To hear a more authentic performance would be impossible, a finer one inconceivable.” – Evening Standard (London)





Edvard Grieg                      Holberg Suite for String Orchestra

Max Bruch                         Kol Nidrei (old Jewish prayer) for Viola and Strings op 40

                                        Soloist – Yuri Bashmet

Igor Stravinsky                   Concerto in D Minor for Strings


Niccolò Paganini                 Concertino in A Minor for Viola and Orchestra

                                         Soloist – Yuri Bashmet

 Pyotr IlyichTchaikovsky      Souvenir de Florence (version for string orchestra)




YUI BASHMET, Conductor and Solo Viola


Through his virtuosity, strength of personality and high intelligence, Yuri Bashmet has given the viola a new prominence in musical life. The pre-eminent viola player of the modern age, he has motivated the leading composers of our time to expand the repertoire with significant new music. In addition, he holds the post of Principal Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of New Russia, and is the founder / director of Moscow Soloists. He also appears throughout the world in the dual role of conductor / soloist.


Born in 1953 in Rostov-on-Don in Russia, he spent his childhood in Lvov in Ukraine before studying at the Moscow Conservatoire with Vadim Borisovsky (of the Beethoven Quartet) and Feodor Druzhinin. His international career was launched in 1976 when he won the International Viola Competition in Munich. Since then he has appeared with all the world’s great orchestras, including the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Boston, Chicago and Montreal Symphony Orchestras, New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra, who presented their own Yuri Bashmet Festival.


He has inspired many composers to write for him, and has enjoyed strong personal and professional relationships with Alfred Schnittke and Sofia Gubaidulina in particular. Schnittke’s Viola Concerto, written for him, is now firmly established in the repertoire. Other concertos composed for him include works by Poul Ruders, Alexander Tchaikovsky and Alexander Raskatov. He has also given the world premieres of Styx by Giya Kancheli, The Myrrh Bearer by John Tavener and On Opened Ground by Mark-Anthony Turnage – all of which were written for him.


In December 2002 Bashmet became Principal Conductor of the newly formed Symphony Orchestra of New Russia, with which he has embarked upon a series of concerts in Moscow, with touring plans in Russia, Italy, France and the UK. Other orchestras with which he appears as conductor / soloist include the Dresden Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Orchestra Sinfonica Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Residentie Orkest Den Hague, Camerata Salzburg, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. He is also founder of Moscow Soloists, an ensemble he has performed with and directed throughout the world since 1992. This renowned chamber orchestra has been rapturously received in Moscow, Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo, New York and at the BBC Promenade Concerts in London.


In chamber music his closest collaborators have included Sviatoslav Richter, Gidon Kremer, Mstislav Rostropovich, Maxim Vengerov, Natalia Gutman, Viktoria Mullova and the Borodin Quartet. He tours as part of a trio with mezzo Angelika Kirchschlager and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, showcasing music of the past and present for this unusual and evocative combination. He is a frequent visitor to summer festivals such as Elbe, Verbier and Martha Argerich’s festival in Japan. He is also Artistic Director of the December Evenings festival in Moscow.


Among his many CDs is a recording for Deutsche Grammophon of the Gubaidulina Concerto and Kancheli Styx, winner of a Diapason d’Or award and a Grammy nomination. Other notable DG discs are Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with Anne-Sophie Mutter (also on DVD), Brahms’ Piano Quartet No 1 with Argerich, Kremer and Maisky, and (not yet released) the Bartók Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic and Boulez. For Onyx he and Moscow Soloists have recently recorded a disc of chamber symphonies by Shostakovich, Sviridoc and Vainberg, with a further recording of music by Stravinsky and Prokofiev planned later this year.


Described by The Times as “without doubt, one of the world’s greatest living musicians”, Yuri Bashmet brings an enquiring and perceptive mind to life beyond classical music; he is an enthusiast for the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix and has hosted his own political discussion show on Russian television. He plays a 1758 Testore viola (a similar model to the one Mozart played) which he bought in 1971.





MOSCOW SOLOISTS, chamber orchestra


 In 1992, world renowned violist Yuri Bashmet founded the Moscow Soloists chamber orchestra by gathering together a group of young string players nominated by their professors as the most accomplished and gifted graduates of the Moscow Conservatory.


Now in its second formation, Moscow Soloists has established itself, in the words of the international press, as “one of the best in the world” (“Davar”, Israel), “the voice of the nation” (“IL Tempo”, Italy). The ensemble has performed in forty countries on five continents and regularly tours Europe, America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, appearing in such prestigious concert venues as Carnegie Hall in New York, Musikverein in Vienna, Concertgebow in Amsterdam, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Philharmonic Hall in Berlin, Barbican in London, Tivoli in Copenhagen, Cite de la Music in Paris, Academia Santa Cecilia in Rome, and many others.


The repertory of the Moscow Soloists is rich and diverse, comprised of masterpieces from the Classical canon, the works of contemporary composers, and works from the past which are less frequently performed. The programs of the Moscow Soloists are often marked by premieres of interesting and challenging new works by living composers. Expanding the repertoire for string orchestra is part of the mission of the group.


Many of the world’s greatest musicians have performed as soloists with the ensemble, including Sviatoslav Richter, Gidon Kremer, Mstislav Rostropovich, Sarah Chang, Viktor Tretyakov, James Galway, Lynn Harrel, Olga Borodina, Yu Man and others.


Moscow Soloists has participated in major musical festivals including Rostropovich’s Festival in Evian (France), Musical Festivals in Montreux and Verbier (Switzerland), Sydney Music Festival, Bath Music Festival (England), “Promenade-concerts” in London’s Albert-Hall, “Prestige de la Music” in Pleyel, Paris, Sony-Classical in Champs-Elysees Theatre, “Semaines Musicales en Tours” (France), “December Nights” (Moscow), and many others.


Concerts by Moscow Soloists have been recorded by Onyx and Sony BMG and broadcast on television and radio in a number of countries, including broadcasts by the BBC, Bavarian Radio, Radio France, NHK, and others.




Tuesday, February 17, 2009, 8 pm
Roy Thomson Hall

60 Simcoe Street, Toronto, ON

Box Office: 416-872-4255, www.Roythomson.com

Tickets: $45.00 – $90.00. Special VIP packages available



Thursday, February 19, 2009, 8 PM
Orpheum Theatre
884 Granville St, Vancouver
Box Office: 604-280-4444, www.Ticketmaster.ca

Tickets: $35.00 – $90.00


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