Universally hailed as one of the world’s finest musicians, and often referred to as today’s greatest living string player, Grammy award winner Maxim Vengerov (violin) is one of today’s most in-demand soloists and also enjoys international acclaim as a conductor.
Born in 1974, he began his career as a solo violinist at the age of five, won the Wieniawski and Carl Flesch international competitions at ages 10 and 15 respectively, studied with Galina Tourchaninova and Zakhar Bron, made his first recording at the age of 10, and went on to record extensively for high-profile labels including Melodia, Teldec and EMI, earning among others, Grammy and Gramophone artist of the year awards.
In 2007, he followed in the footsteps of his mentor, the late Mstislav Rostropovich, by turning his attention to conducting, and in 2010, he was appointed the first chief conductor of the Gstaad Festival Orchestra. June 2014 saw Vengerov graduate with a Diploma of Excellence from the Moscow Institute of Ippolitov-Ivanov with Professor Yuri Simonov and he has since finished a further two-year program in opera conducting.
In the last few seasons Vengerov has performed as soloist and/or conductor with all major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, and the Chicago, Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras. He has also toured extensively around the world as a recitalist.
Highlights of 2018–19 saw Vengerov opening the season of the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala with Maestro Riccardo Chailly, and residences with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic and the Philharmonie in Paris.
In January of last year, Vengerov became Classic FM’s first solo Artist in Residence and released a new recording of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with conductor Myung-Whun Chung and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, coupled with works by Saint-Säens and Ravel as well as a live recital from Carnegie Hall. Further recordings will follow to coincide with Vengerov’s September 2022 celebration of 40 years on stage at the Royal Albert Hall; for this, he was joined by his colleagues Misha Maiski, Martha Argerich, the Oxford Philharmonic with its music director Marios Papadopoulos and students from the Royal College of Music London.
One of Vengerov’s greatest passions is the teaching and encouraging of young talent, and he has held various teaching positions around the world. He currently holds the Stephan and Viktoria Schmidheiny Stiftungsprofessor at the Mozarteum University Salzburg and since September 2016 is also the Polonsky Visiting Professor of Violin at the Royal College of Music in London. In 2018, Vengerov became the Goodwill Ambassador of the Musica Mundi School—a unique institution, that supports talented young artists. With the vision of democratising access to music learning, he launched his own online platform (www.maximvengerov.com) in January 2021, creating an impact across 170 countries and reaching over 190 million people. His first-year programs include partnerships with musical institutions from around the world, the Lottery Ticket program, guest artist series inaugurated with Brett Yang from TwoSet Violin, as well as his new global community group who’s initiatives include the world-leading Mentoring program, rural musical communities initiative, and the Musical Pen Pals program for children.
Vengerov has been profiled in a series of documentaries that include Playing by Heart, which was recorded by Channel Four Television and screened at the Cannes Television Festival in 1999, and Living the Dream, which was released worldwide and received the Gramophone Award for Best Documentary in 2008.
Vengerov has received prestigious fellowships and honors from a number of institutions. Honors include an Honorary Visiting Fellowship at Trinity College Oxford (2012); an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Music London (2019); and the Order of Cultural Merit from the Palace Monte Carlo (2019).
Other awards includde the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (with Orchestra), two Gramophone awards (1994, 1995), a Classical Brit Award (2004), five Edison Classical Music Awards (1995, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2004), two ECHO awards (1997, 2003) and a World Economic Forum Crystal award (2007), honoring artists who have used their art to improve the state of the world.
Maxim Vengerov plays the ex-Kreutzer Stradivari (1727).