Maxim Vengerov - biography
Maxim Alexandrovich Vengerov (Russian: Максим Александрович Венгеров, born August 20, 1974) is a violin virtuoso and conductor who was born in the Soviet Union.
Born on 20 August 1974 in Novosibirsk, Russia, to a family with musical tradition. At the age of 5, he began studying the violin with Borbala Hwang, and two years later – with Zakhar Bron. When Bron left Russia in 1987 to teach at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM), Vengerov and his mother followed him there, and did so again after Bron moved to Lübeck to open a school there. 1984 saw the 10-year-old Maxim go abroad for the first time; in Lublin, Poland, he won the 1st prize at International Karol Lipiński and Henryk Wieniawski Young Violin Player Competition (years later, he recalled, "I thought Poland was somewhere at the end of the world. One does not forget such trips; no wonder I always remember Poland very fondly…").
In 1990, Vengerov proved his extraordinary talent with victory at the International Carl Flesch Competition in London. At the time, he had already studied with Z. Bron in London and Lübeck. His public appearances – both solo and with orchestras – at major European music venues sparked interest of major record labels (to date, he has recorded close to 100 compositions or cycles) and music magazines. Numerous recording prizes and “Artist of the Year” titles (incl. one from Gramophone) followed, as did the celebrated Grammy Award, Edison Award (for the recording of Shostakovich Second Concerto), and the highly prestigious “Echo Klassik” annual distinction awarded to him by the German Television in 2003 (for recital feat. compositions by J. S. Bach).
In 1997, he became UNICEF’s Envoy for Music and has met and performed for children in such places, as Uganda, Thailand or Kosovo. “Playing by Heart”, a Channel 4 production about the virtuoso’s meetings with young musicians during his master classes, which was shown at the Cannes Festival in 1999, enjoyed tremendous popularity throughout the world. Contacts with Mstislav Rostropovich, Daniel Barenboim or Vag Papian, as well as performances with the world’s most famous orchestras, like the Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic or the Chicago Symphony, exerted profound influence upon Maxim Vengerov’s artistic progress and development of his musical skills. The artist took a two-year course in the Baroque violin and repertoire of the epoch. However, he does not restrict himself to the violin alone; the viola, jazz improvisation, dance, and conducting have caught his attention. Since the earliest stages of his career, he has been playing various Stradivari instruments; at present, it is the 1727 “Ex-Kreutzer”.
Since 2005, Maxim Vengerov has been Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Recently, the artist has also renewed and consolidated his ties with Poland. He has been performing with the Sinfonia Varsovia, the Sinfonietta Cracovia and the Polish Baltic Philharmonic. In October 2006, his concert with the Sinfonia Varsovia conducted by Andrzej Boreyko closed the 13th International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poznań. In June 2009, Maxim Vengerov assumed the post of the chairman of the jury at the 14th edition of the competition, which shall be held in October 2011.