People's Artist of Russia. Laureate of the State Prize of Russia.
Born in 1975 in Irkutsk, he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied under the guidance of professors Alexey Nasedkin and Sergey Dorensky. He rose to prominence as one of the most distinguished pianists of his generation after a triumphant win at the Tchaikovsky International Competition in 1998.
He has performed with renowned orchestras like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, among others. He has also collaborated with many illustrious conductors, including the likes of Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, and Lorin Maazel.
Since 1995 he has been a soloist of the Moscow Philharmonic. In 2004 he introduced the "Soloist Denis Matsuev" subscription. He holds the title of Honorary Professor at Moscow University and serves as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO.
Denis is the head of the "New Names" charity foundation and directs the Grand Piano Competition in Moscow as well as Astana Piano Passion. He has been recognized with the Order of Honor and a prize from the Government of the Russian Federation. His discography includes recordings for labels like RCA Red Seal, Sony Classical, and Deutsche Grammophon.
In 2021 he became the first Russian musician to win in the "Best Video Recording" category at the ICMA, for his performance of Rachmaninoff's program with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Chailly.
He served as the Chairman of the Jury for the "Piano" category at the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2019, and as the artistic director of the first Rachmaninoff International Competition of Pianists, Composers, and Conductors in 2022.
Ta Quang Dong
Born in Vietnam in 1966, Ta Quang Dong initially studied at the Vietnam Academy of Music (class of Professor Tran Thu Ha) before pursuing further studies at the Moscow Conservatory (class of Professors Nina Yemelyanova and Viktor Bunin) and the Gnesin Russian Academy of Music (class of Professors Boris Berlin, Tamara Rusanova and Irina Susidko). Doctor of Arts.
He has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician in Russia, Vietnam, and the United States, with broadcasts of his performances reaching national and international audiences.
Ta Quang Dong co-founded several international piano competitions and festivals in Vietnam. He served as the Vice-Rector of the Hue Academy of Music and the Rector of the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music, with many of his students winning awards at international and national piano competitions.
Since 2019, he has served as the Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism for the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Honored Artist of Russia
Born in 1942 in Kiev, Victor Eresko is a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied piano under professors Yakov Flier, Lev Vlasenko, and Lev Naumov. He is a laureate of the International Long-Thibaud Competition in Paris (1963; I prize) and the International Tchaikovsky Competition (1966; III prize).
He has performed in cities across the USSR, Europe, Japan, and the USA, giving solo concerts. He has played in some of the world's premier venues, including the Salzburg Festival, the Concertgebouw, Lincoln Center, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, the Châtelet Theater, and the Salle Pleyel in Paris.
He has collaborated with leading orchestras around the world under the baton of renowned conductors such as Kirill Kondrashin, Yevgeny Svetlanov, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Vladimir Fedoseev, Valery Gergiev, Paavo Berglund, Kurt Masur, etc.
His discography includes more than 40 records, encompassing all piano concertos by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, a cycle of Liszt's Transcendental Etudes, and more. The works of Rachmaninoff hold a special place in Victor’s repertoire: on the composer's 100th birth anniversary, he performed all of Rachmaninoff's solo piano works, including world premieres of some transcriptions, in Moscow.
Victor Eresko has served as a jury member for various international competitions, including the ARD Competition in Munich and the Long-Thibaud Competition in Paris. He is a knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
He was born in Hohensalza. While studying the piano with Eliza Hansen in Hamburg and Wilhelm Kempff in Positano, Justus Frantz studied the conducting with Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg. He won the attention of a large audience as a prizewinner at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich in 1967.
When Herbert von Karajan engaged the young pianist in 1970, he achieved his international breakthrough. Tours with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Wiener Philharmoniker, the Orchestre de Paris, and the Czech Philharmonic through France, Germany, and Austria as well as appearances at the Salzburg Festival followed.
In 1986, Justus Frantz founded the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and was its Artistic Director for many years. He has made it one of the most important festivals in Europe and created a format that has become the model for numerous other festival foundations.
For 10 years, the conductor directed and hosted the successful television show “Achtung! Klassik”, for which he was awarded the Golden Camera in 1993.
Justus Frantz is Artistic Director of the Philharmonie der Nationen, which he founded in 1995 and was co-inspired by Leonard Bernstein and Yehudi Menuhin. With this collective, he has performed in more than 1,000 concerts.
Regularly works with renowned orchestras around the world, such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Wiener Philharmoniker, the Orchestre de Paris, the Mariinsky Orchestra, the China, Japan, and London philharmonic orchestras, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, etc.
His annual Finca Festival “Frantz & Friends” on Gran Canaria has been one of the “insider tips” of international musical life for years.
Hideko Kobayashi, a pianist and teacher born in Tokyo, has been closely connected to Russian culture from childhood, which is reflected in her music education. In Japan, she studied piano with Nobuko Funayama and Hiroko Nakamura, and in Russia with Evgeny Mogilevsky, Assanetta Egisserian, Boris Romanov, and – at the Moscow Conservatory – with Lev Naumov. She completed her music studies under Noel Flores at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna. After returning to Japan, she graduated from the Faculty of Letters at Keio University in Tokyo.
Hideko Kobayashi is currently a professor and Head of piano at Tokoha University College in Shizuoka, Japan, and has taught at Ferris University in Yokohama. Among her students several prize winners at international and Japanese piano competitions.
She is frequently invited to be on the jury of international competitions such as the E. Gilels Competition in Odessa, the Artobolevsky Competition in Moscow, the Music and Earth Competition in Sofia, the Ricardo Viñes Junior Competition in Lleida, Spain, the Alexei Nasedkin Competition in Yaroslavl (jury chair). She was also on the jury of Kawai competition in Japan.
Hideko Kobayashi has performed with orchestras, chamber ensembles and as a soloist in Austria, Japan, Russia, and Bulgaria.
Ming Qiang Li
Born in 1936 in Shanghai, he studied under Alfred Wittenberg and Tatyana Kravchenko at the Leningrad Conservatory. He is an awardee of the International Smetana Competition and the Prague Spring Festival (1957), and the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw (1960). He emerged victorious at the International Enescu Piano Competition in Bucharest (1958).
Li Ming Qiang has performed across Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania. He has been a jury member at numerous major international piano competitions, including those in Beijing, Montreal, Hong Kong, Warsaw (Chopin), Fort Worth (Van Cliburn), Bucharest (Enescu and Lipatti), St. Petersburg (Prokofiev), Tel Aviv (Arthur Rubinstein), Hamamatsu, and the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, among others.
Since 1989, he has lectured and conducted master classes at many leading universities, conservatories, and music schools in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Europe, Australia, and the United States. He served as a piano professor (since 1983) and vice-president (1984-1989) of the Shanghai Conservatory. He is a lifetime member of the American Liszt Society and an honorary member of Trinity College in London.
His recordings have been released by Electrecord (Romania), Supraphon (Czech Republic), Alpha Omega (Hong Kong), and China Records.
Shi Kun Liu
Born in 1939, he is a distinguished pianist who embarked on his musical journey at Beijing's Central Conservatory of Music before furthering his education at the Moscow Conservatory (Professor Samuil Feinberg). He was internationally recognized when he became a laureate at the International Liszt Piano Competition in Hungary (1956), and at the First Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow (1958; II Prize).
He has appeared on stages worldwide and collaborated with renowned conductors like Kirill Kondrashin, Seiji Ozawa, and Lorin Maazel. A milestone in his musical journey was his bestselling recording of Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, led by Seiji Ozawa.
Since 1964, his influence extended beyond the stage, becoming a delegate at the National People's Congress and a deputy head of the Artistic Council in the Department of Culture of China. Presently, he is a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, serves as the permanent director of the Society for the Promotion of Chinese Culture, and is president of the Hong Kong Association of Literature and Art. He holds honorary professorships at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and other respected conservatories across China.
He has presided over numerous national piano competitions in China and served as a jury member in significant international competitions, including the Liszt, Tchaikovsky, and Van Cliburn competitions. Alongside these commitments, he maintains a vibrant concert schedule, giving more than 70 performances annually.
His enduring commitment to music education is evident in his work over the past two decades. Over 100 Liu Shih Kun Piano & Arts Centres, along with eight Liu Shih Kun Music and Art Kindergartens, have been established throughout China, demonstrating his dedication to cultivating the country's next generation of musical talents.
Born in Leningrad. At the age of thirteen, he made his debut with the Symphony Orchestra of the Moscow Philharmonic under the baton of Dmitry Kitaenko. Graduated from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where he was an intern assistant later (class of Professor Lev Naumov). In 1990 he subsequently trained at the Juilliard School with Bella Davidovich, took lessons from Marta Argerich.
Prize-winner at international piano competitions in Tokyo (1989), UNISA competition in Pretoria (1992), in Porto (1995). A recipient of the Angel Awards at the Edinburgh Festival (1997), a recipient of the Rachmaninoff Foundation Prize.
Since 1991 he has been a student of and assistant to Alexander Toradze at his piano studio at the Indiana University South Bend.
He regularly gives recitals in the best halls of Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America: Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, Salzburg, Edinburgh, Ravinia, and other venues.
As a soloist he has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Seattle Symphony and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestras, the Orchestre National de France, the Russian National Orchestra, the Mariinsky Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Novaya Rossiya State Symphony Orchestra, the Svetlanov State Symphony Orchestra of Russia. Collaborates with such conductors as Valery Gergiev, Mikhail Pletnev, Seiji Ozawa, Leif Segerstam, Paavo Järvi, Yuri Bashmet.
Honorary Professor and director of the piano programme of Zhejiang University (Shanghai). An artistic consultant to the Jiangsu Centre for the Performing Arts in Nanjing, organized the performances by Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Denis Matsuev, Anna Netrebko, Leonidas Kavakos, the Vienna, Munich and New York Philharmonics.
Holder of the title Best foreign expert and the China government's Friendship Award for 1000 talents.
Ick Choo Moon
Ick Choo Moon grew up in the USA and Canada as well as in his native South Korea, and studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and with György Sebők at Indiana University Bloomington where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees with highest distinction. Later received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Juilliard School where he worked with Sascha Gorodnitzki.
Recipient of numerous awards including those from the Montreal and Geneva international competitions and the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition. In 1989, he gave a critically acclaimed New York recital debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall as winner of the William Petschek Award.
Since making his US debut with the Minnesota Orchestra under Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Moon has performed as a soloist with the Montreal, Toronto, and Winnipeg symphony orchestras, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra, the KBS Symphony Orchestra (Seoul), the Korean National Symphony Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and others. He has also given recitals in the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Russia, France, Japan, and South Korea.
Currently Professor Emeritus of Piano at Seoul National University, Moon has also taught at UCLA where he headed the Piano Department and at the University of Southern California. During the summers, he has taught and performed at Brevard Music Center, the Chautauqua Institution, the Festival MusicAlp in France and at numerous festivals in South Korea.
People's Artist of Russia
Born in 1958 in Bashkiria. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory (Professor Alexey Nasedkin). He is a laureate of international competitions: pianists in Montreal (1980), Tchaikovsky Competition (1982), winner of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition (UK, 1987), after which he made a triumphant debut in London. He has been a soloist of the Moscow Philharmonic since 1995. He has performed in Russia, Europe, and the USA with solo programs and with major orchestras, among them: the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Svetlanov State Symphony of Russia, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish Orchestra, the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Montreal, Tokyo. He has worked with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, James Conlon, Evgeny Svetlanov, Georg Solti, Vladimir Fedoseyev. He participated in the Edinburgh and Cheltenham festivals, "BBC Proms" (UK), and other prestigious festivals. He taught piano at the Royal Northern College of Music in the UK (1993-1996). In 2011-2016 he was the director of the Central Music School at the Moscow Conservatory. Since 2001 he has been an invited professor at Sakuyo University (Japan), since 2005 – a professor at the Faculty of Arts of Moscow University. Currently, he is a professor at the Moscow Conservatory and the head of the piano department at the Russian Gnesin Academy of Music. He is a jury member of prestigious international competitions, including the Viana da Mota competition in Lisbon, the Busoni competition in Italy, the Paderewski competition in Poland, the Grand Piano Competition, the Rachmaninoff Competition for Pianists, Composers, and Conductors, the Tchaikovsky International Competition. He is the chairman of the jury of the All-Russian Music Competition in the piano category.
Honored Artist of Russia
Born in 1961 in Moscow, he graduated from the Central Music School (class of Anna Artobolevskaya) and the Moscow Conservatory (class of Professor Alexey Nasedkin). As a concert pianist, he performed in all major cities of the USSR, as well as in countries of Europe and Asia. He is a recognized chamber performer and has been a long-term partner in duets with People's Artists of Russia Mikhail Khomitzer, Marine Yashvili and many others.
He worked at the Department of Special Piano at the Moscow Conservatory (1994–2016), and since 2009 he has been a professor at the department. He has been teaching at the Central Music School since 1984, since 2001 – head of the special piano department, since 2016 – director of the Central Music School, since 2022 – rector of the Central Music School – Academy of Performing Arts. Under his leadership, according to the decree of the President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin, unique educational projects in the regions were opened: branches of the Central Music School "Baltic", "Siberian", "Primorsky". He is a renowned teacher. More than 150 times, students of Professor Pyasetsky became laureates of international and all-Russian competitions. A special place is occupied by Denis Matsuev - the winner of the P.I. Tchaikovsky International Competition (1998).
He is a jury member of the Grand Piano Competition, Astana Piano Passion, P.I. Tchaikovsky and S.V. Rachmaninoff International Youth Competitions, S.V. Rachmaninoff International Competition for Pianists, Composers and Conductors, the Central Music School International Competition, and the "Constellation" All-Russian Competition for Young Musicians.
Russia / USA
Since claiming victory and a Gold Medal at the Fourth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1973, Vladimir Viardo has earned the esteem of the public and his colleagues alike. Having risen to international prominence, he has distinguished himself with some of the most critically acclaimed performances and recordings of his generation, inspiring many, including Sviatoslav Richter and Alicia de Larrocha, to praise him for his extraordinary musicianship. In the years that followed, Viardo collaborated with the world’s leading orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic, Moscow Philharmonic, Leningrad Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, Prague Philharmonic, and many others.
Like a handful of other celebrated Soviet artists, from dancer Nuryeev to mathematician Egorov, Viardo’s journey to the West began under an ominous political cloud. No matter that, by the time he was 23, his future was already assured with impeccable credentials, several additional competition wins, including a top prize at the Concours Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud in Paris, and a command of more than 37 concertos, Viardo fell victim to demands of the Soviet authorities. Detained behind the Iron Curtain, Viardo threw himself into his work, only to emerge with even greater determination, now buttressed by exemplary artistic refinement, to bring his art to music lovers everywhere. With the onset of Perestroika, the Soviets at last allowed Viardo to accept engagements in Germany and the United States.
In 1989 the North Texas College of Music appointed Viardo to its distinguished faculty, where he soon established a reputation as an extraordinary coach and teacher. His roster of students includes young artists from Europe, the Americas, South Africa, and Asia, many of them competition winners themselves. Viardo's master classes are much in demand throughout the world, and his philosophy of teaching is detailed in Benjamin Saver’s The Most Wanted Piano Teachers in the USA.
After returning to the West, Viardo’s international career resumed with several concerts at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln and Kennedy centers, Salle Pleyel, and the Concertgebouw. His concert tours have taken him to leading American, Canadian, and European cities, to Asia and South Africa, as well as to Israel and Central and South America, where he has appeared as a soloist with most of the important conductors in the world, not the least of whom are Mehta, Maazel, Davies, Susskind, Shippers, Kondrashin, Spivakov, Giordano, and M. Shostakovich. His numerous recordings for Melodia, Pro Arte and Nonesuch have been greeted with unanimous critical acclaim.
People's Artist of the USSR
Violinist, teacher, conductor, one of the bright symbols of the Russian violin school. As a student at the Moscow Conservatory in the class of the legendary Yuri Yankelevich, he became the winner of the Tchaikovsky International Competition in 1966. From this time on, his rapid performing career began. The musician's concerts are always successful. The geography of his tours includes the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Austria, Poland, Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain, the Scandinavian countries, and Latin America. The core of his repertoire consists of 19th-century violin concertos (Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bruch, Tchaikovsky); his interpretations of 20th-century works, primarily by Shostakovich and Prokofiev, are considered exemplary. Victor Tretyakov is the chairman of the jury for numerous international competitions. He has raised a galaxy of outstanding violinists as a professor at the Moscow Conservatory and the Cologne University of Music. From 1983 to 1991, he headed the USSR State Chamber Orchestra. He is a recipient of numerous awards. Knight of the Order of Friendship of Peoples, "For Merit to the Fatherland" III degree, artist of UNESCO. Honorary citizen of Krasnoyarsk.
Having spent much of his childhood in Venezuela where he played as soloist with many of the country’s leading orchestras, Baráti returned to Budapest to study at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music and was later mentored by Eduard Wulfson, himself a student of Nathan Milstein and Yehudi Menuhin.
Baráti has performed at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, at London’s Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Has played with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, the Oslo Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de France, the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the BBC Scottish Symphony, BBC Philharmonic and Hague Philharmonic orchestras. He performs regularly with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra both in Russia and on tour around the world including in the USA and China.
A regular recital and chamber music player, Baráti has performed with Mischa Maisky, Yuri Bashmet, Enrico Pace, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Zoltán Kocsis, and Kim Kashkashian among others. In 2016, he made a sensational debut at the Verbier Festival when he performed the complete solo sonatas and partitas of Bach and has since been back every year. He is Artistic Director of the Kaposvár International Chamber Music Festival.
Baráti has an extensive discography which includes the five Mozart concertos, the complete Beethoven and Brahms sonatas with Klára Würtz, and Ysaÿe solo sonatas for Brilliant Classics as well as Bach’s sonatas and partitas for solo violin on the Berlin Classics label.
Baráti plays Stradivarius’ “Lady Harmsworth” (1703), by kind arrangement with the Stradivarius Society (Chicago).
People’s Artist of the USSR (1991). Laureate of the State Prize of the USSR (1986), the State Prizes of Russia (1994, 1996, 2001). Hero of Labor (2022)
Yuri Bashmet transformed the viola into a dazzling solo instrument, greatly expanded its repertoire, including works specifically written for the musician. For the first time in world performance practice, he gave solo viola concerts in the world’s largest halls, including Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, the Barbican Hall, the Philharmonie Berlin, La Scala, Suntory Hall, the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, and others. He collaborated with many distinguished conductors, among them Rafael Kubelik, Seiji Ozawa, Valery Gergiev, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Colin Davis, John Eliot Gardiner, Simon Rattle, Yuri Temirkanov, Nikolaus Harnoncourt. As a soloist and conductor, he performs with the best orchestras: the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Wiener Philharmoniker, the New York Philharmonic, the orchestras of the Bavarian Radio and the Radio France, the Chicago and Boston symphony orchestras, and others.
In 1985, he began conducting.
Yuri Bashmet is the founder of the only International Viola Competition in Russia – in Moscow. He is the artistic director of 15 festivals in eight countries of the world, and the founder of the All-Russian Youth Symphony Orchestra (2012).
Since 1978, he has been teaching at the Moscow Conservatory, currently – a professor and head of the Viola Department.
Recipient of awards from Russia and other countries: knight of the Order “For Merit to the Fatherland” II, III, and IV degrees (2002, 2013), officer of the Order of Arts and Literature (1999), commander of the Legion of Honor (2003), commander of the Italian Republic (2000). He is the laureate of the Award-1993 in the nomination "Best Musician-Instrumentalist of the Year", Sonnings Musikfond Prize (1995).
Huang Bin, one of the most outstanding violinists from China, won 1st prize at the Junior International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition at the age of 14. She has maintained international prominence, winning both the International Violin Competition “Premio Paganini” in Genoa and the ARD International Music Competition in Munich.
Huang Bin’s concert career has taken her throughout the world, playing with leading orchestras at important venues.
In 2019, Huang Bin’s trio recording with Zhou Yubo (piano) and Alexander Suleiman (cello) won the OPUS KLASSIK prize in Germany. Huang’s live recording of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto on Paganini’s own violin, “Cannon”, released by the Dynamic label (2013), was praised by Diapason, calling it “an interpretation of the highest class”. Huang Bin’s Baroque Violin Favourites, released by Naxos (2003), was given the Editor’s choice in American Record Guide. Her recordings of The Christmas Story on Dynamic (2013), Complete Mozart Violin Sonatas on Vermeer (2017), Brahms Violin Sonatas on the NCPA Recording label (2023), and her live performance of the complete Mozart violin concertos with the Teatro Carlo Felice Orchestra (2017) have also won critical acclaim.
Huang Bin is currently the chair of the Orchestral Instrument Department and the professor of violin at the China Conservatory of Music. She received her doctorate degree at the Eastman School of Music, where she worked later on as an associate professor of violin. Huang Bin also taught at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and was a jury member at the 53rd and 55th International Violin Competitions “Premio Paganini”.
Graduated from the Central Conservatory of Music Middle School in 1988. During his time there, he became a concertmaster with the China Junior Orchestra. Liu Zhiyong pursued higher education at the Central Conservatory of Music, graduating in 1992. Soon after, he embarked on an illustrious career as a concertmaster of the China Youth Symphony Orchestra. Simultaneously, he joined the National Centre for the Performing Arts. In 1996, Liu Zhiyong joined the China National Symphony Orchestra. He was subsequently selected for an opportunity to work with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. Since 2003, Liu Zhiyong has been an instrumental figure in the World Orchestra for Peace, representing the musical prowess of China as the sole musician from the country within the orchestra.
The artist performed at prestigious venues across countries including Germany, Great Britain, Russia, China, Austria, the USA, Belgium, Hungary, the UAE, etc. He participated in the Salzburg Festival and the BBC Proms.
Liu Zhiyong is currently serving as an assistant concertmaster of the China National Symphony Orchestra, an esteemed expert appointed by the Ministry of Culture, and a distinguished evaluator for the National Art Fund. With a remarkable career in the field of music, Liu Zhiyong also holds the prestigious role of Artistic Director for the “Charm of China” Arts Festival.
Born in 1984 in Perm, he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory and its postgraduate course (class of Vladimir Ivanov). He continued his education at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz and the Vienna Institute of Music and Performing Arts (class of Boris Kushnir).
Pavel Milyukov is a laureate of numerous international competitions, including the Paganini Moscow International Violin Competition (2007), Astana Violin (2008), the Khachaturian International Competition (Yerevan, 2012), and the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition (Moscow - St. Petersburg, 2015).
He leads an active concert life in Russia and abroad, performing in major concert halls with such orchestras as the Tchaikovsky Grand Symphony Orchestra, the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra, the Svetlanov State Symphony of Russia; under the direction of Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Spivakov, Mikhail Pletnev, Vladimir Fedoseev, James Conlon, and others. Since 2007, he has been a participant in the concert programs of the St. Petersburg House of Music. Since 2012, he has been a soloist of the Moscow Philharmonic.
He has been a teacher at the violin department of the Moscow Conservatory since 2016. He runs the program for music performance art at the "Sirius" Educational Center (Krasnodar region).
He plays on the ex-Szigeti Pietro Giovanni Guarneri violin.
He was awarded the Order of Friendship in 2016.
Born in Bucharest in 1962, he studied at the Ciprian Porumbescu Conservatory in Bucharest (Ștefan Gheorghiu).
From 1986 to 1992, he was the concertmaster of the Finnish National Opera Orchestra, followed by his tenure as the concertmaster of the Munich Philharmonic from 1992 to 2022. He has performed with distinguished conductors such as Sergiu Celibidache, Christian Thielemann, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, and Valery Gergiev. In 1996 he founded the Trio Celibidache, which toured extensively. In 2000, he became the first violin of the Berlin Philharmonic Octet. He performed as a violinist, soloist, and concertmaster with the "Philharmonic Virtuosos of Berlin," Sextet of the Berlin Philharmonic, and the Deutsche Sinfonietta Berlin. From 2004 to 2022 he led the Munich Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, with which he gave numerous concerts in different countries, including with well-known soloists such as Hélène Grimaud, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Nikolaj Znaider, David Fray, Martin Stadtfeld, Vadim Repin, Nikolai Lugansky, Daniil Trifonov, Alexander Kantorov. In 2012 he founded the Octet of soloists of the philharmonic orchestras of Berlin, Munich, and Vienna. Since 2013 he has been leading the Mariinsky Stradivarius Ensemble. From 2022 he has been directing the Münchner Virtuosen chamber orchestra he founded.
He was a professor at the Higher School of Music of the Basque Country (San Sebastian, 2014–2017), and taught at the Sendzoku Gakuen Music College in Tokyo (2011–2019).
He plays Antonio Stradivarius’ “ex-Heifetz” violin (1732), which was played by the young Jascha Heifetz.
People's Artist of Russia
Born in 1971 in Novosibirsk, he was a student of Zakhar Bron. At the age of 11, he won the Henryk Wieniawski International Violin Competition and made his debut performances in Moscow and Leningrad. At 17 he became the youngest winner in the history of the most prestigious violin competition - the Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Brussels. By the age of 14 he had already performed in Tokyo, Munich, Berlin, and then at Carnegie Hall. Since then, he has been a constant presence on all major concert stages worldwide. Among his stage partners are Vladimir Ashkenazy, Pierre Boulez, Valery Gergiev, Christoph von Dohnányi, Charles Dutoit, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Kent Nagano, Seiji Ozawa, Yuri Temirkanov, Christian Thielemann, Myung-Whun Chung, Riccardo Chailly, Martha Argerich, Itamar Golan, Evgeny Kissin, Lang Lang, Denis Matsuev, and Alexander Knyazev. He was the first to perform several compositions by Sofia Gubaidulina, James MacMillan, Benjamin Yusupov, and Lera Auerbach. He is the founder and artistic director of the Trans-Siberian Art Festival (since 2014). The artist's discography includes over 30 albums, many of which have received awards such as the ECHO Award, Diapason d’Or, Prix Caecilia, and Edison Award. People's Artist of Russia. Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Winner of the prestigious French national award Victoires de la musique in the field of classical music (along with Mstislav Rostropovich, Montserrat Caballé, Evgeny Kissin, Anne-Sophie Mutter).
Honored Artist of the Russian Federation (1997)
He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in the violin class (Maya Glezarova). He was an artist, then a principal of the group, and for five years - the director of the Great Symphony Orchestra of Central Television and All-Union Radio (now Tchaikovsky GSO) (1976–2002). As the director of the orchestra, he took part in organizing the recordings of more than 30 audio discs, filming dozens of video programs, organizing more than 300 concerts and festivals in cities of Russia, Austria, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, the United States, and Japan. Since 2003 he has been the general director of the Moscow State Academic Philharmonic. In 2008–2012 he headed the Department of State Support for Art and Folk Creativity of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. In May 2012 he returned to his previous position at the Moscow Philharmonic. President of the Union of Concert Organizations of Russia. He was awarded the Russian Government Prize for his contribution to domestic culture (2014), the Russian Order of Honor (2017), and the French Order of Arts and Literature (2019).
Born in Schorndorf (Baden-Württemberg, Germany), Wilfried Strehle studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart and the Hochschule für Musik Detmold – with Emil Kessinger, Ulrich Koch, and Tibor Varga.
He initiated his orchestral career at the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra and Tibor Varga Chamber Orchestra before joining the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 1971.He began his career with the Berliner Philharmoniker directed by Herbert von Karajan, acting as the principal violist from 1984 until 2013. He was a founding member of the Brandis Quartet, which he was part of from 1976 onwards. He showcased his talent globally, both as a soloist and as part of various chamber ensembles of the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Philharmonic Friends Vienna–Berlin ensemble. His skills also led him to perform as a soloist with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra from 2013 to 2015.
In 2001 he began imparting his knowledge at the Berlin University of Arts, later extending his pedagogy to the Herbert von Karajan Academy at the Berliner Philharmoniker. He also taught at the Barenboim–Said Academy in Berlin from 2017 to 2020. He conducted masterclasses at notable institutions such as the Salzburg Mozarteum Summer Academy, Yale University School of Music, as well as conservatories in Moscow, Tokyo, Beijing, and Shanghai.
A great deal of chamber music has been recorded by Harmonia Mundi, ORFEO International, Teldec, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon and Nimbus Records. He was honored with the European Parliament's award in 1997 for his chamber music performances as part of the Trio Berlin which he founded.
People's Artist of the Republic of Armenia, laureate of the State Prize of Armenia.
Edward Tadevosyan was born in 1947 in Yerevan. He gave his first solo concert while being a fifth-grade student at the Yerevan Tchaikovsky Music School. In 1963, at the anniversary evening of Aram Khachaturian, Tadevosyan performed his violin concerto accompanied by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Armenia at the composer's suggestion.
He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory under Leonid Kogan.
He is the laureate of the International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition (1967), and the Long-Thibaud-Crespin Competition (1969).
From 1970, he was invited to the "Komitas" quartet as the second violin, and since 1976 to this day, he is the first violin and artistic director of the ensemble.
Alongside active quartet activity, he performed as a solo violinist in the USSR and abroad.
He headed the String Instruments Department at the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory (1988-1998). From 1986 to 2018, he was the dean of the Orchestra Department of this conservatory.
He has repeatedly been the chairman of the jury of Republican and international competitions, including the IV International Khachaturian Violin Competition (2012).
He plays a violin made by Pietro Guarneri.
In 2010, he was awarded the Order of St. Mesrop Mashtots, and in 2018 - the Order for Merit to the Fatherland of the I degree.
Born in 1953 in Riga, he played his first solo concert at the Riga Conservatory at the age of nine. He studied at the Leningrad Conservatory (Mikhail Vaiman) and at the Moscow Conservatory (Igor Bezrodny). In the 1970s, he furthered his studies in Western Europe with Nathan Milstein, Yehudi Menuhin, Henryk Szeryng, and Miriam Solovieff.
He is a laureate of the Paganini International Violin Competition and the violin competition in Zagreb, and laureate of the Grand Prix des Beaux Arts in Munich.
He has performed solo and in ensembles with such great musicians as Natalia Gutman, Yuri Bashmet, Yehudi Menuhin, Ida Haendel, Dmitry Yablonsky, Valery Grokhovsky, Vadim Sakharov, and others. According to maestro Menuhin, "Eduard Wulfson's performance embodies the best of Russian traditions."
For more than 30 years, he has been a leading consultant for unique string instruments such as those crafted by Antonio Stradivari, Guarneri del Gesu, and Nicolo Amati. He is the founder and director of the "Consultancy for Rare Musical Instruments" company in Geneva.
He is known as an outstanding teacher. Many musicians who have studied with Eduard Wulfson have won major awards at the most prestigious international competitions in Paris, Brussels, Moscow, and Geneva. Among his students are Kristof Barati, Alexandra Conunova, Mark Bushkov, and since 2015 he has been working with Daniel Lozakovich and many others.
He is a jury member of major international competitions.
USA / Armenia
Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Mr. Bagratuni began his musical education there, studying with Zareh Sarkisyan. He continued his studies at the Moscow Conservatory with Natalia Shakhovskaya and taking lessons from Daniil Shafran. He is a Silver Medal winner at the 1986 Tchaikovsky Competition and in 1988, he won First prize in the Vittorio Gui Competition. In the United States he was awarded the Artist Diploma of the New England Conservatory of Music, studying with Professor Laurence Lesser.
He has gone on to an international career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and recording artist. His recital and chamber music appearances have included guest invitations with international festivals in USA, Russia, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Korea, China and Taiwan. Mr. Bagratuni has commissioned and premiered numerous Concertos and works for cello and ensembles.
Mr. Bagratuni has recorded for Centaur, Melodiya, CMH, BGR, and has been featured on CBC Radio Canada, the Bayerischer Rundfunk in Germany, and WNYC in New York, NPR, WGBH Radio in Boston, and NHK TV Japan. His discography consists of 20 CD and LP recordings including solo and ensemble works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Babajanian as well as several world premiere and American premiere recordings.
Mr. Bagratuni is Distinguished Professor of Cello at Michigan State University where he serves as Chair of String area. He also participates as a jury member in national and international competitions and has presented master classes worldwide.
People's Artist of Russia
A cellist, organist, and pianist, he is one of the most charismatic, distinctive, and multifaceted musicians of his generation. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory as a cellist and the Nizhny Novgorod Conservatory as an organist. He is a two-time laureate of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, laureate of the UNISA international competitions in South Africa, and Gaspar Cassado in Florence. Soloist of the Moscow Philharmonic.
The geography of the artist's concert performances covers five continents; he has performed in Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Paris's Salle Pleyel, Brussels' Palace of Fine Arts, London's Wigmore Hall, Salzburg's Mozarteum, Vienna's Konzerthaus, Tokyo's Suntory Hall, and many other venues. He has participated in the most significant festivals, including "December Nights" in Moscow, "Art Square" in St. Petersburg, French Radio Festival in Montpellier, "Crazy Day" in Nantes, "Prague Autumn", festivals in Saint-Denis, La Roque d'Anthéron, Gstaad, Verbier. He collaborates with the leading conductors and instrumentalists and regularly performed as part of a trio with Boris Berezovsky and Dmitry Makhtin, later with Nikolai Lugansky and Vadim Repin. The artist's extensive discography includes recordings of music by Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Chopin, Franck, Ysaÿe, an anthology of works by Reger, and many other compositions. The musician's albums have been awarded prestigious prizes, including the German ECHO Klassik, French Diapason d'Or, British Gramophone Prize.
He teaches at the Moscow Conservatory and regularly conducts masterclasses in Europe, South Korea, and the Philippines. He was a member of the jury of the II International Tchaikovsky Youth Competition, XI, XII, and XV International Tchaikovsky Competitions.
People's Artist of Russia
The renowned cellist Yuri Loevskiy has devoted his life to performing with Russia's premier symphony orchestras. As a student of Mstislav Rostropovich at the Leningrad Conservatory, he won an award at the All-Union Cello Competition in 1964. His illustrious orchestral career began in the symphony ensembles of the country's leading musical theatres - initially in the Kirov, and later in the Bolshoi Theatre, where Loevskiy became the principal of the cello section. For many years, Yuri Loevskiy served in the Svetlanov State Orchestra, where he also led the cello group. In the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev, the artist performed as a guest principal. For 15 years (2003-2018) Yuri held the position of principal cellist of the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia under the leadership of Vladimir Spivakov. The musician's creative interests are not confined solely to orchestral performance. He was a soloist of the Moscow Philharmonic, played numerous concerts with the orchestra, and performed in chamber ensembles. Yuri Loevskiy is the founder of cello ensembles in the Bolshoi Theatre, State Symphony of Russia, and the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia. His discography includes cello concertos with orchestra by Schumann and Banchikov, Vivaldi's Six Sonatas for Cello and Organ, among other compositions.
A graduate of the Central Conservatory of Music in China, she further honed her skills at the Rostock School of Music and Theatre in Germany. She is a recipient of the highest awards in national competitions and a scholarship from the DAAD, one of Germany's leading educational foundations. She is also a laureate of the Fok Yingdong Education Foundation Award for young college and university teachers.
Ma Wen regularly performs in largest concert halls in China and beyond as a soloist as well as accompanied by orchestras such as Phoenix Symphony (Arizona, USA), Rostock Orchestra, Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin symphony orchestras, and others.
She serves as a member of the Organizing Committee and the chair of the jury of the Aiqin Cup International Cello Competition. As a professor and head of the cello and double bass department at the Central Conservatory of Music, she has trained numerous students. Many of them have become laureates of prestigious competitions such as the Antonio Janigro Competition, Beijing International Music Competition, National Cello Competition, Munich International Music Competition, and Emanuel Feuermann Grand Prix. They occupy leading positions in orchestras in China, the Hamburg Symphony, Belgian National Symphony, and opera orchestras in Wiesbaden and Darmstadt. Ma Wen’s students end up in leading positions in orchestras in China, Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Belgian National Orchestra, orchestras of Wiesbaden and Darmstadt opera houses.
She gives master classes in Europe, the United States, South Korea, and Chinese conservatories. An active concert performer, she has played in major concert halls in China and abroad, both solo and with ensembles such as the Rostock Orchestra, and the Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin Symphony Orchestras.
Her album "Ma Wen's Cello Concerto Collection" has been released by the Beijing-based Global Audio & Video Publishing House.
Honored Artist of the Republic of Belarus
Vladimir Perline is a Soviet and Belarusian cellist, conductor, and pedagogue. He is a professor at the Belarusian State Academy of Music. He graduated from the Belarusian State Conservatory in the class of Professor Alexander Stogorsky (the brother of Grigory Pyatigorsky). In 1964 he won the national competition of musicians-performers.
Vladimir Perline dedicated his life to teaching. His pedagogical career started in 1971 at the Special Music School of the Belarusian Conservatory. An experienced teacher, Vladimir Perlin conducts master classes in Russia, Croatia, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, and the USA. Since 2005 he has been teaching at the master classes of the International Chamber Music Festival Musica Mundi in Belgium. He became the first Belarusian teacher to be invited to participate in the “New Names" charitable program.
Over the years, a whole galaxy of world-class musicians has emerged from Professor Perlin's class. His students include Ivan Karizna, Alexey Kiselev, Mikael Samsonov, Alexander Khramushin, Georgy Anishchenko, Vladimir Sinkevich, Alexander Bagrintsev, Arkady Kuchinsky, Kirill Zlotnikov, and Ilya Laporev. Concerts by Vladimir Perline's class have been held at the most prestigious venues, including Cortot Hall in Paris, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, among others. In 1999 French director Dominique Perno made a documentary film about Vladimir Perline and his class, which received international awards and was broadcast on television in many countries. In 2003 by the decision of the French government Vladimir Perline became an officer of the Order of Academic Palms. In 2012 he was awarded the highest Order of the Republic of Belarus, the Order of Francysk Skaryna.
Born in 1988 in Vladivostok, Russia, he completed his studies at the Moscow Conservatory in 2012, studying cello under Professor Natalia Shakhovskaya and chamber ensemble under Professor Alexander Bonduryansky. He further honed his skills at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin.
He is a laureate of the prestigious Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki (2013), winner of many international competitions including the Beijing International Cello Competition, and the silver medalist at the International Tchaikovsky Competition (2015).
He has collaborated with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Spivakov, Vladimir Jurowski, Vladimir Fedoseev, Yuri Bashmet, Mikhail Jurowski, Alexander Sladkovsky, Dmitry Jurowski, and Alexander Lazarev. His cello performances have been heard in leading concert halls around the world, including the Philharmonie de Paris, Cadogan Hall in London, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Brucknerhaus in Linz, and venues in South Korea, South Africa, and Japan. He takes part in all major projects of the St. Petersburg House of Music and is a soloist with the Moscow Philharmonic.
Honored Artist of Russia
He is a professor at the Moscow Conservatory and the music college at the Moscow Conservatory, honorary professor of the Beijing and Shanghai Conservatories
Kirill Rodin graduated from the Moscow Conservatory and its assistantship-internship (class of Professor Natalia Shakhovskaya). He is a laureate of the Tchaikovsky Competition (1986; I prize). He has performed with solo, symphonic, and chamber programs in more than 50 countries. He played with the State Symphony Orchestra, the Tchaikovsky Grand Symphony Orchestra, "Moscow Virtuosi" chamber orchestra, orchestras of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Novosibirsk Philharmonics. He has given many concerts in Russia and abroad: in the ensemble of soloists of the Moscow Philharmonic, as part of the Brahms Trio, the Tchaikovsky String Quartet, the "Piazzolla-studio" ensemble. He has performed with conductors such as Vladimir Fedoseyev, Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Spivakov, Dmitry Kitaenko, Arnold Katz, Saulius Sondeckis, Alexander Dmitriev, Alexander Rudin, Valentin Uryupin, and others.
He is a member of the jury of international competitions, including the Tchaikovsky, Knuševitsky (Saratov), Davydov (Kuldiga, Latvia), Boccherini (Italy) competitions. He is the chairman of the jury of the All-Russian Competition of Musicians Performers (2010, 2014, 2018), a member of the expert council of the "New Names" program.
The extensive discography of Kirill Rodin includes the works by Bach, Beethoven, Haydn, Breval, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Glinka, Arensky, Shostakovich, Myaskovsky, Piazzolla. As part of the Brahms Trio, in collaboration with the Moscow Conservatory, he has recorded all the piano trios of Russian and Soviet composers.
People's Artist of Russia
An eminent representative of the St. Petersburg cello school Sergey Roldugin was tutored by the distinguished Professor Anatoliy Nikitin. He is a laureate of the "Prague Spring" International Cello Competition (1980). While still a student, he joined the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Evgeny Mravinsky, where he served for a decade. Roldugin dedicated the subsequent twenty years of his life to the Mariinsky Theatre, where he held the position of first soloist and principal of the cello section in the symphony orchestra. Embarking on a conducting career in 2004, he has since collaborated with leading ensembles in Russia and abroad and serves as a guest conductor at the Mariinsky Theatre. A professor at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, he was also its rector. Since 2006, he has been the artistic director of the St. Petersburg House of Music, which he initiated. As a soloist, he collaborates with orchestras from the Moscow, Novosibirsk, St. Petersburg, and Samara Philharmonic Societies, the Svetlanov State Symphony Orchestra, the St. Petersburg State Cappella Orchestra, and participates in leading music festivals. His performances have been recorded for radio and television. He annually conducts master classes in Russia, Europe, Korea, and Japan. Roldugin has served on the jury of prestigious music competitions, including the XV and XVI Tchaikovsky Competitions. He is a recipient of the Order of Honor, the Order of Alexander Nevsky, the Kazakh "Dostyk" Order, and the "For Merit to the Fatherland" Order.
People's Artist of Russia
One of the most prominent representatives of modern Russian musical art. A world-famous cellist, conductor who collaborates with both symphony and chamber orchestras, a pianist, an outstanding ensemble player, a researcher of old scores, an author of orchestral editions of chamber pieces, he belongs to a new type of Russian performers - the type of universal musicians. A laureate of international competitions, including the most prestigious ones such as the Bach Competition in Leipzig (1976), the Gaspar Cassadó Competition in Florence (1979), the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1978, 1982). People's Artist of Russia (2001), laureate of the State Prize, laureate of the Moscow Government Award, Chevalier of the Order of Friendship, Professor of the Moscow Conservatory.
Born in Milan in 1977. He pursued a professional education that led him to a degree in International Relations, which he simultaneously combined with his musical studies to deepen and complement his passion for opera. At the age of 24, he began his professional experience as an artist manager, which led him to realize his dream of working for some of the greatest artists on the international scene and with the world’s leading opera houses. In 2011, he founded the agency that bears his name: Ariosi Management. Since then, he has the privilege of guiding established artists, working to launch rising young talents and gradually opening up his perspectives to event organization. Alessandro personally follows the career of each of his artists, thus realizing his professional aspiration: to combine his passion for opera with the management of his artists. He carefully supervises their career development, seeking to fulfil the aspirations and unique characteristics of each and every one of them, and establishing relationships with theatres and promoters on an international scale, with the aim of bringing out the full potential of each of his artists.
People's Artist of Azerbaijan
Baritone Elchin Azizov is a soloist of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia. He graduated from the Azerbaijan State University of Culture and Arts with a focus on film directing. He studied at the Mozarteum Summer Academy in Salzburg under Alessandro Milas, at the Opera Studio at the Baku Music Academy under Azad Aliyev, and at the Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Singing Center under Badri Maisuradze. He is a laureate of the International Bulbul Competition in Baku (2005), and Galina Vishnevskaya International Opera Singers Competition in Moscow (2008). He is also a recipient of the medal from the International Union of Music Practitioners, the "Star of the Commonwealth" award (2021), and the BraVo-2022 international professional music award.
Azizov's repertoire at the Bolshoi Theatre includes 16 roles from the Russian and European baritone repertoire, including such key roles as Scarpia in Tosca, Rodrigo in Don Carlo, Escamillo in Carmen, Giorgio Germont in La traviata, title role of Mazeppa, and many others. In 2015 Azizov made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Ibn-Hakia in Iolanta under the baton of Valery Gergiev, with Anna Netrebko in the title role.
The soloist has performed in opera productions, concerts, and festivals across Europe, Asia, America, and Australia. His performances include roles at the Municipal Theatre of Santiago, Opera Monte Carlo, Theater an der Wien in Vienna, the Semperoper Dresden, the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Opéra de Lyon, Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, the Opera de Reims, and the Opera di Firenze.
Azizov has also worked in the film industry as an actor and director and has been involved in numerous theatrical productions.
People's Artist of Russia (2002). Laureate of the State Prize of Russia (2006)
She graduated from the Leningrad Conservatory (class of Irina Bogacheva) in 1989. Laureate of the XII All-Union Glinka Competition of Vocalists (Baku, 1987; I prize), Rosa Ponselle International Competition for the Vocal Arts (New York, 1988; Gold medal), Francisco Viñas Competition (Barcelona, 1989; Grand Prix). She made her debut at the Kirov (Mariinsky) Theatre in the role of Siébel in Faust (1988), and her calling card became the role of Marfa in Khovanshchina (debut in 1989). The singer's international solo career began with the role of Dalila in the opera Samson et Dalila at Covent Garden (1992), where her partner was Placido Domingo. She performed on the world's leading opera and concert stages: La Scala, San Francisco Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, Musikverein, Wigmore Hall, Santa Cecilia Academy, at the Edinburgh and Salzburg Festivals, and others. The singer's coloratura mezzo-soprano was appreciated in the productions of Rossini's operas La Cenerentola and L’italiana in Algeri (Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Metropolitan Opera). Her repertoire also includes Carmen, Princess de Bouillon, Gioconda, Konchakovna, Marina Mnishek, Eboli, Amneris, The Countess in "The Queen of Spades". She often performs with concert programs, which include romances by Glinka, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, songs by Mahler, Songs and Dances of Death by Mussorgsky, solo parts in Verdi's Requiem, Berlioz in Roméo et Juliette, Prokofiev's cantata Alexander Nevsky. She has collaborated with record companies Decca, where her solo album "Olga Borodina. Portrait" was released, and Philips Classics, which released a series of recordings of the Mariinsky Theatre performances featuring Olga Borodina and her solo album "Song of Desire". The recording of Verdi's Requiem, made with Borodina by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Riccardo Muti, received two Grammy Awards (2010). She served on the jury of the XV Tchaikovsky International Competition (2015). Honorary Professor of the St. Petersburg Conservatory and Professor of the Herzen Russian Pedagogical University.
Graduated from the vocal and conducting faculties of the Popov Choral Art Academy. He is a laureate of international competitions, including the Plácido Domingo's Operalia Competition in Los Angeles (in two categories), the Francisco Viñas Competition in Barcelona, and the M.I. Glinka Competition. He is also a recipient of the German Critics' Award "Luitpold", the "Triumph" Youth Award, Oleg Yankovsky Award of the "Cherry Forest" festival, and the Mayor of Moscow Award.
He has performed at some of the world's leading opera houses, including the Vienna State Opera, Paris Opera, La Scala, Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago among others. In 2022 he made his debut at the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia.
He has collaborated with renowned conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Kent Nagano, Zubin Mehta, Daniel Oren, Daniel Barenboim, Plácido Domingo, Alberto Zedda, Evgeny Svetlanov, Vladimir Fedoseev, Yuri Temirkanov, Vladimir Spivakov, Mikhail Pletnev, and others. He has performed at some of the world's most prestigious concert venues, including the National Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome, Carnegie Hall in New York, and Albert Hall in London.
In 2014 he began his career as a conductor. From 2016 to 2020 he was the principal guest conductor of the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre and a guest conductor of the Mikhailovsky Theatre.
Dmitry Korchak's discography includes more than 40 albums. He is the initiator and artistic director of the youth educational and creative project "Opera Class" (in collaboration with the Elena Obraztsova Foundation) and the founder of the annual Popov Award.
People's Artist of Russia
Darima Linkhovoin is a Russian pianist and artistic director of the opera of the Tsydynzhapov Buryat State Opera and Ballet Theatre. Born in Leningrad, she graduated from the secondary special music school of the Leningrad Conservatory, and in 1975 – the Leningrad Conservatory itself. After completing her education, she became a vocal concertmaster of the Buryat Opera and Ballet Theater.
She is the holder of three "Best Concertmaster" diplomas from the Glinka International Competition of Vocalists (1984, 1997, 2019). She is a laureate of the International Dyagilev Competition of Young Vocalists (1997), Baikal International Competition of Vocalists (2011), International Competition of Tenors of the Elena Obraztsova Foundation "Jose Carreras Grand Prix" (2018), etc.
Her repertoire includes more than 100 operas, including Khovanshchina, Boris Godunov, The Queen of Spades, Eugene Onegin, Iolanta, Sadko, The Tsar's Bride, Don Carlos, Attila, Aida, Otello, Un ballo in maschera, Tosca, Carmen. She leads an active concert and teaching life, performing in concert halls in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Japan, Mongolia, France, Belgium, Germany, the USA, and has come with master classes to South Korea and China. She gave concerts with Mati Palm, Hendrik Krumm, Maria Bieshu, Bulat Minzhilkiev. For many years she prepared soloists of the Buryat Opera and Ballet Theater for participation in prestigious music competitions, including the International Tchaikovsky Competition (among the singers prepared by her is Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar, who won the I prize and Grand Prix in 2015).
She is Honorary Professor of the East Siberian State Institute of Culture (Ulan-Ude).
Was born in Rome. His formal studies began at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome, where he graduated in composition and conducting; later, he received the fellowship diploma at the National College of Music and Arts in London. Then, he studied opera conducting with Angelo Campori.
Marcovalerio Marletta was engaged by conductor Antonio Pappano as a chorus master and conductor at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Foundation where he was critically acclaimed, receiving two international awards for the CD Colbran, the Muse, Virgin Records, with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato. In 2016, the artist was hired at the Opernhaus Zürich where he has released the DVD of Verdi’s Requiem with conductor Fabio Luisi.
Marcovalerio Marletta has also performed as a solo singer, instrumental soloist for the major Italian lyrical-symphonic institutions, and as a composer with many of his original compositions, transcriptions, and orchestrations, being performed and published both in Italy and abroad. For his work as a musician, he has received special commendation letters from composers such as Fabio Luisi, Ennio Morricone, Antonio Pappano, Goffredo Petrassi, Edward Shore, and Luis Bacalov.
Marcovalerio Marletta was Principal Conductor of the Orchestra Barocca Italiana, the Centro Italiano di Musica Antica Chorus, and the Athestis Chorus. He is Guest Chorus Master at the Seiji Ozawa Festival (Matsumoto, Japan), the Teatr Wielki Opera Narodowa (Warsaw), the Opernhaus Zürich, and the Shaanxi Grand Opera House (Xi An, China) as well as Second Chorus Master at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome.
Pianist and voice coach Craig Rutenberg was born in New Haven, Connecticut, USA in 1952.
He studied with John Wustman, Martin Isepp, Geoffrey Parsons and Pierre Bernac.
Mr. Rutenberg has worked at The Metropolitan Opera, where he was Head of Music (1990-92/2006-2015), the San Francisco Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Houston Grand Opera.
In Europe he has coached at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Senior Coach), the Opéra de Paris, the Opéra-Comique, the Royal Operas in Stockholm, Oslo, Gothenburg and Copenhagen as well as the Mariinsky.
In recital he has appeared with Diana Damrau, Dawn Upshaw, Maria Guleghina, Christine Brewer, Christine Goerke, Régine Crespin, Frederica von Stade, Susanne Mentzer, Susan Graham, Ben Heppner, Jerry Hadley, Placido Domingo, Thomas Hampson, Bryn Terfel, Samuel Ramey and Willard White. He has also recorded with or appeared on television/radio with most of the artists mentioned.
His recordings are found on the DG, Warner, EMI/Angel, Naxos labels.
Honored Artist of Russia (2017). People’s Artist of the Republic of Tatarstan (2009) and recipient of the Ğabdulla Tuqay State Prize of the Republic of Tatarstan (2011)
Albina Shagimuratova was born in Tashkent. She graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory named after Tchaikovsky under People's Artist of the RSFSR, Professor Galina Pisarenko. Graduate of the Youth Opera Program of the Houston Grand Opera (USA, 2006-2008). She took lessons from Dmitry Vdovin in Moscow and Renata Scotto in New York. Laureate of International competitions: Viñas Competition (Barcelona, 2005; III prize), Glinka Competition (Chelyabinsk, 2005; I prize), Tchaikovsky Competition (Moscow, 2007; I prize)
In 2008 she made her debut at the Salzburg Festival in the role of the Queen of the Night in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Riccardo Muti. The singer performed this role at the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, La Scala, Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Bolshoi Theater of Russia, and others.
Her repertoire includes roles in the operas of Mozart, Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini, Verdi, Massenet: title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor, Semiramide, Anna Bolena, Manon; as well as Elvira (I puritani), Aspasia (Mitridate, re di Ponto), Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Gilda (Rigoletto), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Amina (La sonnambula) and others; soprano parts in choral and symphonic works.
She has performed at the Glyndebourne and Edinburgh festivals, "BBC Proms", in major concert halls such as Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Concertgebouw. In 2017, she starred in the feature film under the direction of Karen Shakhnazarov "Anna Karenina. Vronsky's Story" in the role of opera diva Adelina Patti.
In 2019, she chaired the jury of the International Glinka Vocalists Competition and was a member of the jury of the International Tchaikovsky Competition. Laureate of the Russian Opera Award Casta Diva (2011). Soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre.
Honored Artist of Russia. Recipient of the Medal of the Order for Services to the Fatherland, 1st category
Irina Soboleva is the principal opera concert mistress of the Mariinsky Theatre, Artistic Director of the Opera Company of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre. Graduated from the Rimsky-Korsakov Leningrad State Conservatory with distinction in classes of Dmitry Svetozarov and Yevgeny Shenderovich. Diploma recipient at the International Tchaikovsky Competition (1986). Onegin National Opera Award (2016). Productions the pianist has worked on include dozens of operas including The Queen of Spades, Eugene Onegin, Sadko, Ruslan and Lyudmila, Prince Igor, Mazepa, The Enchantress, The Tsar’s Bride, The Snow Maiden, Boris Godunov, War and Peace, The Love for Three Oranges, Semyon Kotko, Katerina Izmailova, The Nose, Carmen, Macbeth, Un ballo in maschera, Adriana Lecouvreur, Król Roger, The Makropulos Affair, The Turn of the Screw, Aida and A Midsummer Night’s Dream among others. She worked on the world premieres of Shchedrin's operas The Lefthander and A Christmas Tale and the St. Petersburg premiere of the opera Lolita. Has performed with the Mariinsky Opera among other opera companies; she has been involved in the Stars of the White Nights festival, the Moscow Easter Festival, the Mikkeli Festival and the Gergiev Festival in Rotterdam. As an outstanding expert in Russian opera, she has been invited to Welsh National Opera, as well as to the Théâtre du Châtelet and the Opéra Bastille in Paris and the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari in Sardinia, the Finnish National Opera, and the Korea National Opera. Has taken part in recordings of Boris Godunov, Mazepa, Semyon Kotko, Prince Igor, War and Peace, The Love for Three Oranges, Eugene Onegin, Iolanta and others. She has taught at the Rimsky-Korsakov St Petersburg State Conservatory, conducts masterclasses in Russia and abroad, she is a jury member for many international competitions.
Yuan Chenye won Gold Medal at the 10th International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1994 and was a jury member at the 15th Competition in 2015. He has also won 1st prize at the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition in Finland and was a national winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in New York.
Yuan Chenye has established himself as one of the leading baritones at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. In 2013, he shared the role of Nabucco with Plácido Domingo in Gilbert Deflo’s new production conducted by Eugene Cohn. In 2014, he performed the part of Eugene Onegin in Alexei Stepanyuk’s production under the baton of Valery Gergiev. In 2015, he played the role of Amonasro in Francesco Micheli’s new production of Aida conducted by Zubin Mehta, and debuted as Carlo Gerard in David McVicar’s production of Andrea Chenier. In 2016, Yuan Chenye sang the parts of Wolfram von Eschenbach in Pier’Alli’s new production of Tannhäuser, Escamillo in Francesca Zambello’s production of Carmen and Sergeant Vaskov in The Dawns Here Are Quiet. In 2017, he performed the role of Zhou Enlai at Houston Grand Opera’s Nixon in China directed by James Robinson and conducted by Robert Spano. He has performed the role of Rigoletto in nine different productions, and appeared as Michele in Il tabarro, Renato in Un ballo in maschera, Prince Seikyo in Tan Dun’s Tea: A Mirror of Soul, Giorgio Germont in La traviata, and Gianni Schicchi.
He has appeared as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony and Philadelphia orchestras.
Yuan Chenye is currently a vocal professor at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.
Born in Moscow, he graduated with honors from the Moscow Conservatory, studying the clarinet under Professor Vladimir Sokolov (2001) and the opera and symphony conducting under Professor Gennady Rozhdestvensky (2009).
Laureate of the Stefan Turchak Competition of Conductors (Kyiv, 2010, 2nd prize) and the Competition of Young Conductors “Lovro von Matačić” (Zagreb, 2011, 1st prize), winner of several international clarinet competitions.
He was a clarinet soloist in the Bolshoi Orchestra (1997–2011) and the Russian National Orchestra (2001–2011). Has collaborated with Evgeny Svetlanov, Mstislav Rostropovich, Valery Gergiev, Yuri Temirkanov, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Semyon Bychkov, Paavo Berglund, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, and Charles Dutoit.
In 2011–2012, he served as an assistant to Vladimir Jurowski at the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia “Evgeny Svetlanov”.
Since 2012, he has been a conductor at the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia.
Has performed with many Russian orchestras including the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, the Russian National, St. Petersburg Symphony, and Mariinsky orchestras. Has appeared with orchestras and at theatres in Lithuania, Ukraine, Croatia, Norway, Spain, Italy, Serbia, the Czech Republic, and Japan. Constantly collaborates with the Yekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre.
As a music director, Bogorad has conducted performances including The Nutcracker, Wash ‘Em Clean, L’Enfant et les sortilèges, The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Marco Spada, Le Corsaire, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, The Naiad and the Fisherman, Turandot, Three Sisters, Greek Passions, Eugene Onegin, The Queen of Spades, Boris Godunov, Giselle, La Bayadère, etc.
Jin Jingchun was born to a family of oboists. In 1987, he enrolled at the Middle School affiliated to the Central Conservatory of Music. He studied under Zhu Dun at the Central Conservatory of Music, and upon graduation in 1997, became a teacher there. Also in 1997, Jin Jingchun entered the Asian Youth Orchestra as Principal Oboist. In 2001, he enrolled at the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music, Moscow, studying under Ivan Pushechnikov. While studying abroad, he won 3rd prize at the Rimsky-Korsakov Competition in St. Petersburg.
Since coming back from abroad, Jin Jingchun has been teaching the oboe at the Central Conservatory of Music and serving as Professor, Doctoral Supervisor, Vice President and Director of Wind Division at the Middle School affiliated to the Central Conservatory of Music. In recent years, his students have won highest awards at international competitions, and some of them work as principal oboists at several Chinese orchestras. Besides teaching, he is also active on music stages at home and abroad, playing solo oboe, chamber music, and in the orchestra. He has held solo concerts in Beijing and Bangkok.
Since 2001, Jin Jingchun has been Principal Oboist of the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, taking part in about 800 concerts on tours. In 2011, he and other woodwind players of the orchestra jointly established the Beijing Woodwind Quintet. They held chamber music concerts in a number of music halls in Beijing.
Jin Jingchun has been a member of the jury at international music competitions in Beijing, Vladivostok, and St. Petersburg. In 2018, he served as Chairman of the Beijing Wind Music Association, and in 2019 he was elected Vice President of the Asian Double Reed Association.
Honored Artist of Russia
Graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory (class of Professor Valery Bezruchenko).
Soloist of “Saint Petersburg Camerata” orchestra conducted by Saulius Sondeckis (1989 -1991), Mussorgsky Opera and Ballet Theater (1991 – 1994). Since 1995 – principal clarinet of the Mariinsky Orchestra. Viktor Kulyk performs all solo parts in almost all opera and ballet performances, participates in tours and recordings of the orchestra on the Mariinsky label. Was a guest principal clarinet of the World Orchestra for Peace under direction of Valery Gergiev.
Conducts master classes at the St. Petersburg House of Music, Sirius Educational Center (Krasnodarsky Region), Russian National Youth Orchestra.
Jury member of the Mozgovenko International Memorial Competition, International Competition of Young Performers on Wind and Percussion Instruments of the Central Music School of the Moscow Conservatory. Honorary member of the jury of the Nizhny Novgorod Festival-Competition “Clarnetino”.
Born in Huainan, Anhui Province, Yong Ma studied with Professor Yongxin Wang at the Central Conservatory of Music. In 1998, he was admitted to the Juilliard School, where he studied with Carol Wincenc and Robert Langevin.
Yong Ma has earned an impressive list of awards and honors, including 1st prizes at the 2003 Young Artist Competition of the National Flute Association, the 2002 New York Flute Club Competition, the 2000 Young Artist Competition of the Flute Society of Washington, awards in the 2002 Artist International Award, the 2000–2002 Li Foundation Fellowship and the 1999 Olga Koussevitzky Music Competition.
He is presently a flute professor of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, also he is very active as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician. He was Principal Flute of the China National Opera and the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, has performed as a soloist and conducted master classes throughout China, the USA, Europe, Singapore, and South Africa. He has been invited to be a jury member for many domestic and international competitions such as the 3rd Nicolet International Flute Competition, the 2018 Guangzhou International Flute Competition, and others.
Born in 1979 in Leningrad. Graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory (class of Professor Aleksandra Vavilina-Mravinskaya). Continued his education at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe (class of Professor Renate Greiss-Armin), he also studied with Professor Aurèle Nicolet at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana (Siena, Italy).
He is a laureate of the Garth Foundation Competition (St. Petersburg, 2000) and International Competition ARD in Munich (as part of the St. Petersburg Woodwind Interuments Quintet; he performed with that group in Belgium, Finland, Israel, USA, and Germany)
Worked at the theatre “Saint Petersburg Opera”, Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, Russian National Orchestra (associate principal of the flute group, 2004-2006). From 2006, he was an associate principal of the flute group of the Mariinsky Orchestra, principal – since 2013. He participated in the biggest international festivals, including the Stars of the White Nights, Moscow Easter Festival, Salzburg Festival, festivals in Verbier and Mikkeli, “Sound Ways”, and others.
He was born in 1940, in Leningrad. Survivor of the Leningrad Blockade. He graduated the Saint-Petersburg State Conservatory named after Rimsky-Korsakov and completed postgraduate studies by professor Dmitry Eremin.
The laureate of International Competition in 1963, the winner of International Competition in Budapest (1965) and Prague (1968). Honored Artist of the Russian Federation.
From 1963 to 1972, he was the soloist of Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, and from 1972 to 1989 - the soloist-regulator of bassists group of the Honored Collective of Russia, the Academic Symphony Orchestra of Leningrad Philharmonia under the baton of Evgeny Mravinsky.
Since 1973 he has been teaching at the Saint-Petersburg State Conservatory named after Rimsky-Korsakov. Since 1991, he is the head of of woodwinds department.
During his teaching at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, over 50 bassoonists graduated the class of Kirill Sokolov. Among his students are many laureates and diplomants of All-Russian and International competitions. His students work in orchestras of St. Petersburg, Moscow and other cities of Russia, as well as European countries. They teach at conservatories.
The International Council for Science of the American Biographical Institute honored Kirill Sokolov with the title "Man of the Year 1998".
Kirill Sokolov constantly conducts master classes both in Russia and abroad. He takes part in International and All-Russian Competitions as a chairman, or as a member of the jury.
He was awarded the prize of the Regional Public Foundation "Russian Performing Arts" for outstanding creative achievements in 2003 and 2004.
He was awarded the Order of Honor under the RF Presidential Decree in 2007.
He regularly gives master classes and actively collaborates with the St. Petersburg Music House.
Born in 1975 in Moscow. He graduated from the Russian Gnesin Academy of Music (class of Professor Ivan Pushechnikov), then from the Detmold High School of Music (class of Professor Gernot Schmalfuss). He is the laureate of the All-Russian Competition of Woodwind Performers in St. Petersburg (1994), the Richard Lauschmann Competition in Mannheim (1999), and the International Sony Oboists Competition (Japan, 2000). He worked as a principle of the oboe group of the Berg Symphony Orchestra (Solingen - Remscheid, Germany), the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin, the orchestra of the Berlin Komische Oper. As a guest principle of the oboe group, he collaborated with orchestras of the Berlin Konzerthaus, Hamburg Opera, South-Western Radio (Stuttgart), Bavarian State Opera, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, and others. He performed under the direction of Kirill Petrenko, Roger Norrington, Georges Prêtre, Kent Nagano, Charles Dutoit, Yuri Temirkanov and others. He was a principle of the Oslo Philharmonic (2009-2015). Also, as a soloist, he performed with the Sinfonietta Köln Chamber Orchestra, the German Symphony Orchestra Berlin, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Novosibirsk Chamber Orchestra, and others. He collaborated with Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt) and the Moscow Ensemble of Contemporary Music. He is a regular soloist of the Consortium Classiсum chamber ensemble (Germany). Since 2014, he has been a principle of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. He was a professor at the Oslo School of Music (2012–2018). He currently teaches at the Mussorgsky Music School in St. Petersburg.
He is a graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory (class of Professor Kirill Sokolov). He continued his education at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media in the class of Professor Dag Jensen. In 2007 he graduated from the postgraduate program at the St. Petersburg Conservatory and the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media. Winner of the International Gartow Charity Competition (Germany) and Yamaha Competition. A scholarship holder of the European Cultural Foundation (Strasbourg, 2001). Laureate of the All-Russian Rimsky-Korsakov Competition of Wind Instruments (St. Petersburg, 2000; I prize), "Bereg Nadezhdy" competition (Albena, Bulgaria, 1998; I prize), ARD Quintet Competition (Munich, 2001; III prize), JDR Wind Instruments Competition (Tokyo, 2007; Grand Prix), Bassoonists Competition (Provo, Utah, 2008; I prize) and others. In 1997, while still a student, he began working at the Mariinsky Orchestra, since 2004 - he is a principal of the bassoon group. He tours extensively as a soloist with the Mariinsky Orchestra and other ensembles from St. Petersburg. He plays in the Woodwind Quintet of the Mariinsky Theatre. Since 2010, he has been a guest participant in the World Orchestra under the direction of Valery Gergiev. He has released two solo albums with masterpieces of French composers for bassoon: one was recorded by the Dobringen und Grimm company (2012), the other by the "Melodia" company (2014). Together with the Mariinsky Orchestra and conductor Ivan Stolbov, he performs concerts for bassoon by Vivaldi, Weber, and Andre Jolivet. He has been a professor at the St. Petersburg Conservatory since 2020.
Honored Artist of Russia
Born in 1957 in Moscow, he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory (1980; class of Associate Professor Anatoly Petrov) and its postgraduate school. He is the laureate of the Moscow City Prize (2016). Alexey Utkin brought the oboe as a solo instrument to the world stage. He has performed with Vladimir Spivakov, Yuri Bashmet, Heinz Holliger, Jean-Christophe Spinosi, Natalia Gutman, Eliso Virsaladze, Elena Obraztsova, David Daniels, Frederic Kempf, Boris Berezovsky, and other stars of the classical scene. He has played in the most prestigious halls in the world: Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall (New York), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Palace of Catalan Music (Barcelona), National Concert Hall (Madrid), Academy of Santa Cecilia (Rome), Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (Paris), Hercules Hall (Munich) and others. He was a soloist of the ensemble "Moscow Virtuosi", then he created the ensemble "Hermitage", with which he played numerous concerts and released 10 albums on the Caro Mitis label. In 2010, he headed the State Chamber Orchestra of Russia (Rudolf Barshai Orchestra). He is a professor at the Moscow Conservatory. The musician's recordings (Bach's concerts for oboe and oboe d'amore, pieces by Rossini, Pasculli, Vivaldi, Salieri, Penderecki) were released by RCA/BMG. He plays on a unique oboe made by F. Lorée, specially crafted by the renowned French master Alain de Gourdon.
After having graduated from China’s Central Conservatory of Music and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, studied with Huang Yuanfu, Tao Chunxiao, and Herman Braune, he has started a career as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player, cooperated with leading orchestras and virtuosos both in China and abroad.
Mr. Yuan is now a clarinet professor of the Central Conservatory of Music, Director of the Central Conservatory of Music Orchestra Teaching and Research Office, Guest Associate Principal Clarinetist of the China Philharmonic Orchestra. 1st prize winner and Chinese work prize winner of the China National Clarinet Competition and the National Woodwinds Chamber Music Competition.
He has been invited as a jury member at many international clarinet competitions in Serbia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, South Korea, etc.
Mr.Yuan has been invited to give recitals and master classes at many conservatories and clarinet festivals around the world, including Belgrade Conservatory, the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles, the 3rd Europe Clarinet Festival, the Camerino Music Festival, the Italian Clarinet University Summer Courses, Boston Clarinet Academy, the International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest 2016, the Buffet Crampon 190th anniversary, Germany’s Alexander Music Festival, the Shanghai International Clarinet Festival, the Xi’an International Clarinet Festival, festivals in Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan among others.
He is the founder, organizer, and Artistic Director of the Central Conservatory of Music International Clarinet Festival.
Mr.Yuan is Buffet Crampon Artist. He has made several recordings and published several papers considering history and methods of clarinet.
Born in Leningrad in 1979, he studied trumpet playing with Georgy Kaminsky, then at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with Professor Yuri Bolshiyanov. He interned at the Luxembourg Conservatory where he studied with Malte Burba, Jukka Harjanne, Charles Consbruck, and Roman Zarembo. He is a laureate of the Maurice Andre Competition (France), the Raimo Sarmas International Competition (Finland), and the "Prague Spring" competition. From 2003 to 2005 he was a soloist of the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia under the direction of Vladimir Spivakov. In 2005 he was invited by Teodor Currentzis to the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theater - as a soloist of the Symphony Orchestra and the musicAeterna Chamber Orchestra. Since 2007 he has been a soloist of the Symphony Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre. He has performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein, London's Albert Hall, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Zurich Tonhalle, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Tokyo's Suntory Hall, and many other venues. He participates in the Salzburg, Edinburgh, and Diaghilev festivals, the Beethoven Festival in Bonn, the Music Festival in Mikkeli (Finland), the Moscow Easter Festival, etc. His solo trumpet performance in Mahler's Fifth Symphony at the "BBC Proms" festival in 2010 is one of the best performances of this work to date. He conducts master classes in Russia and abroad. Since 2018 he has been an artist for Schagerl company (Austria).
Born in 1986 in Chișinău, Moldova. While studying at the S. V. Rachmaninov Lyceum he became the winner of the International E. A. Mravinsky Youth Competition (St. Petersburg, 2003). He graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory (class of Professor Andrey Glukhov). He honed his skills at the postgraduate school of the Rostock University of Music and Theatre (class of solo horn Professor Michael Höltzel and orchestral horn class of Professor Ignacio Garcia, 2012). Artist of the horn group of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic (2005-2010). Principle of the horn section of the National Theater of Chile (Santiago, 2011-2012). Since 2013, he has been an associate principle, and since 2019 - a principle of the horn group of the Mariinsky Orchestra. He regularly conducts master classes, appears in solo and chamber concerts.
Dai Zhonghui graduated from International University in San Diego, California, and the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. He studied trumpet performance and conducting from Thomas Stevens, Boyde Hood, Charles Schlueter, Daniel Lewis, and Douglas Lowry.
Has performed, taught, and adjudicated competitions in the USA, Canada, Hungary, France, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan among others. The former principal trumpet of the Santa Monica Symphony, the Riverside Philharmonic, and the Ventura College Symphony Orchestra; in 1996, he was invited to return to China to become the first principal trumpet of the China National Symphony, a position he held until 2006. He is currently Principal Conductor of the Changsha Symphony Orchestra.
Dai Zhonghui is currently a professor and doctoral advisor at the Central Conservatory of Music. He is also the chairman of the Wind Department at the Yehudi Menuhin School Qingdao, a professor and doctoral advisor at St. Paul University Philippines and an artistic advisor at Mahidol University in Thailand. He is an expert advisor at the Chinese Department of Education for confirmation of academic degree standards, the chairman of the Asia region for the World Trumpet Association, the vice-chairman of wind instruments for the Chinese Music Association, the head of the Chinese Trumpet Conference and from 2006 until 2019 was an officer of the International Trumpet Guild.
Professor Dai has had numerous students who have won prizes at international competitions, as well as principal and assistant principal positions in major orchestras in China.
Singapore / China
Chang Chou Han
He began studying the horn at 13 and has performed professionally for 41 years. His first mentor was his father, the renowned horn player, Han Xian Guang. Chang Chou Han studied under Liang Kechao before entering the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where he studied under Wu Zhuxi and his father. His other teachers include Barry Tuckwell, Douglas Hill, Hans Pizka, Philip Myers, and Gerd Seifert.
He has been the principal horn at the Singapore Symphony Orchestra since 1987 and the visiting principal horn with the Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenzhen symphony orchestras as well as the China Philharmonic Orchestra. Has also played with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken, the Dortmunder Philharmoniker, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Han was a soloist with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra at the 27th International Horn Society workshop in Yamagata, Japan, and one of the soloists in Schumann’s Konzertstück for four horns with the Shanghai Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has collaborated with Mstislav Rostropovich, Seiji Ozawa, Claudio Abbado, Christoph Eschenbach, Stefan Dohr, Cho-Liang Lin, and Riccardo Muti among others. In 2014, he recorded Richard Strauss’ two horn concertos with Singapore’s Metropolitan Festival Orchestra as part of the composer’s 150th birthday celebration.
Han has been Horn Professor at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore, since 2003. He is also a resident faculty of the Tianjin Juilliard School and Artistic Advisor of the China NCPA Orchestra.
Born in 1948 in Budapest, Gusztáv Hőna studied at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest. He furthered his training at Florida State University under Professor William Cramer (1978–1979).
He was a soloist with the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1972 to 2010. He is the founder of the Hungarian Brass Ensemble and the Hőna Trombone Quartet. Both ensembles have performed worldwide and have recorded numerous works by contemporary Hungarian composers for Hungarian Radio.
Since 1990, he has served as a professor and, since 2019, as an honorary professor at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music. Has conducted master classes in the USA, Germany, Australia, Brazil, France, and Switzerland.
He was awarded by the International Trombone Association (ITA) in 2010.
Member of the jury at international trombone competitions in Prague, Brno, Kingersheim, and Moscow. Gusztáv Hőna is the organizer of the Budapest international competitions for tenor trombone and bass trombone performers (2016, 2018).
Born in 1951 in Kerch, he completed his education at the Kiev Conservatory (Professor Nikolai Berdyev) and was a laureate of the Ukrainian Republican Competition of Performing Musicians (Kiev, 1977; I prize). As a student in 1970 he joined the symphony orchestra of the Kiev Opera and Ballet Theatre, where for a decade he held the prominent position of principal trumpet.
In 1980, upon invitation by Yevgeny Mravinsky, he assumed the role of principal trumpet in the renowned St. Petersburg Philharmonic. He participated in concerts, recordings, and tours of this illustrious group throughout the USSR and many countries worldwide.
In Leningrad he was a member of the brass ensemble, which also included trumpeter Yuri Bolshiyanov, horn player Vitaliy Buyanovsky, trombonist Viktor Venglovsky, and tubist Valentin Galuzin. From 1991 to 2012, he served as the super-soloist of the French National Symphony Orchestra of Bordeaux — Aquitaine.
Kafelnikov leads an active concert life as a soloist, performing with piano ensembles and accompanied by chamber and symphony orchestras on various European stages. As part of instrumental duo, he recorded with the Melodia company.
In 1982, he began teaching at the Leningrad Conservatory (Associate Professor from 1987) and continues his pedagogical work in France, conducting internships and master classes. Kafelnikov’s exceptional breath control, pure intonation, lyricism, technical precision, and meticulousness towards the musical content of the performed piece make his performances vivid and expressive.
Born in Leningrad, Alexei Lobikov graduated from St Petersburg Conservatory (2009) where he also completed his postgraduate studies with Viktor Sumerkin. Has taken part in master classes conducted by Chris Houlding, George Wiegel, Jacques Mauger, Ian Bousfield, Jean Raffard and other major trombonists.
Prize-winner of the Prague Spring International Music Competition (3rd prize, 2011), the International Mravinsky Competition in St. Petersburg (1st prize, 2006), the International Rimsky-Korsakov Competition for Wind Instruments in St. Petersburg (1st prize, 2008), the Lions European Music Competition in Tampere (Grand Prix, 2009), and the Tchaikovsky International Competition (2019, 1st prize).
From 2006 he was a principle of the trombone section of the St. Petersburg State Cappella Symphony Orchestra. He has also taken part in concert programs of the St. Petersburg House of Music.
Since September 2012 he is a principal trombone of the Mariinsky Orchestra.
Since 2016, he has been teaching at the St. Petersburg Conservatory.
He leads an active concert life as a soloist and a member of ensembles. He performed solo concerts in Germany, Spain, Sweden, Austria, Japan, Slovenia, Czech Republic.
Since 2012 - a full member of the International Trombonist Association (ITA, USA), in 2020 nominated for the position of official member of the ITA Board of Advisors.
Since 2019 - official performer of Conn Selmer and Bach firms.
The trombonist Michael Massong was born in Germany in 1969. He was educated at the Royal College of Music in London and at the Juilliard School in New York.
Has held principal trombone positions with the Symphoniker Hamburg and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Denmark’s Aalborg Symphony Orchestra as well as the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 2015, he has applied himself entirely to his career as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher.
Michael Massong is a regular guest trombonist with the London and Royal Liverpool philharmonic orchestras, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra among others.
As a soloist and teacher, Michael Massong performs and gives master classes regularly in Germany, Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Scandinavia, Malaysia, Spain, Slovenia, Russia, and the USA. His performances at brass festivals around the world have included recitals at the International Trombone Festival at the University of Texas in Austin in 2009 and at Columbus State University in 2013, at the SliderAsia Festival 2015 in Hong Kong as well as at the Trombonanza Festival in Argentina in 2022.
In 2015, he released two CDs on the German classical label MDG: Sing-Übungen. The Lyrical Trombone and an album with romantic works for trumpet, trombone, and piano.
Michael Massong is an exclusive artist for THEIN Brass (Bremen).
Maximiliano Santos Ferrer
He was born in Buñol, Spain, in 1971. Graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Music of Madrid with honors. Furthered his musical studies at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst Stuttgart, where he did postgraduate studies with Professor Radovan Vlatković.
Laureate of the “Ciudad de Cullera” National Band Contest (Valencia, 2006, 1st prize and honorable mention for the best band), the City of Valencia International Band Contest (2006, 2nd prize), the National Band Contest “Villa de Magallón” (Zaragoza, 2008, 1st prize), and the International Contest of Music Bands “City of Valencia” (2010 and 2016, 1st prize).
He is a founding member of the wind quintet “Madrid Cámara”, with which he has performed at numerous concerts and festivals. Since 2003, Maximiliano Santos Ferrer has been the director of the symphonic band “La Lira de Pozuelo” in Madrid, with which he has won the highest awards at national and international competitions, thus becoming one of the best music bands in Europe.
Has taught the horn, chamber music, and orchestra at the Conservatorio Profesional de Música de Alcalá de Henares, the Conservatorio Profesional de Música Amaniel (Madrid), and the Conservatorio Profesional de Música de Getafe.
It is worth noting him as an arranger having done countless works for groups of all kinds, which have played at such important events as the inauguration of the new Reina Sofía School of Music in Madrid or the International Tchaikovsky Competition.
As a musician and studio director, he has made many recordings for film and TV with the Mad4Strings orchestra.
Born in 1954 in Mindelzell in South Germany, he played the horn since the age of 12. Studied with Georg Schmid in Augsburg, with Jack Meredith in Munich, and privately with Michael Höltzel. He twice won the German Youth Competition Jugend musiziert, was principal horn of the Bundesjugendorchester and Bundesstudentenorchester.
In 1974 he became the principal horn with the Munchner Symphoniker, in 1976 with Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, in the season 1977/78 he was associate principal horn with Berlin Philharmonic, and from 1978 to 1988 - back in Munich again as a principal horn with the Munich Radio Orchestra. There he recorded more than 30 solo concertos with orchestra and chamber music works. From 1978 on, he worked on developing the Engelbert Schmid Horns, that were exhibited for the first time in 1980 at the European Horn Workshop in Trossingen, and were praised by clients like Hermann Baumann and Peter Damm.
In 1988 he quit his top orchestral position but went on performing as an international soloist until 1993. He then stopped playing, concentrating fully on horn making. In 2019, after a very long break, Engelbert Schmid accepted the invitation and performed again as a soloist on stage in Sao Paulo in Brazil during the International Brass Week.
Nikolai Slepnev was born in 1960 in Leningrad. In 1979, he graduated from Leningrad’s Mussorgsky Music School, and in 1985 – from the Leningrad Conservatory, where he studied tuba under Valentin Galuzin.
Laureate of the All-Russian Competition of Music Performers (Saratov, 1983) and the All-Union Competition of Music Performers (Alma-Ata, 1984).
As a conservatory student, he played in the Brass Ensemble of the Leningrad Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Since 1985, he has been an artist in the Orchestra of the Kirov Opera and Ballet Theatre (later the Mariinsky Theatre). Nikolai Slepnev is also a member of the Mariinsky Theatre’s Brass Quintet and Brass Ensemble.
He served as a jury member for the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition (2019).