Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Violinist and conductor Maxim Vengerov comes to Tel Aviv

On September 19th and 20th 2014, the Tel Aviv and Israeli concert scene will wake from its aestivation (aestivation: inactivity and lower metabolic rate in response to high temperatures…) with the first Vengerov Festival to take place in Israel. Both concerts will take place at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium, Tel Aviv. Alongside Maxim Vengerov, the concerts will feature pianist Shira Shaked, conductor Vag Papian, the Menuhin Academy Orchestra (Switzerland) and the Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion.

The first program (September 19th 14:00) will not only pay homage to composers who wrote for the violin; it will pay homage to the tradition of fine violin playing itself and to some of the greatest violinists, namely Auer, Brodsky, Sarasate, Albertini and Oistrakh. We will hear Vengerov the chamber musician in works of Barber and Prokofiev and Vengerov the soloist and conductor performing Tchaikovsky and Saint-Saëns with the Menuhin Orchestra.

In the second concert (September 20th 21:00), Vengerov will solo in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major (under the baton of Vag Papian) and will both solo and conduct in Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade”. Musicologist and journalist Yossi Schiffmann will host the evening’s event.

Israeli pianist Shira Shaked (b.1981), a graduate of both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem Academies of Music, resides in New York and is currently studying for a doctoral degree with Prof. Gilbert Kalish at Stony Brook University, New York. She has given recitals in Israel and abroad and accompanies singers at the New Israeli Opera and the Beit Zvi School for the Performing Arts. Shira Shaked is a composer; she has recently recorded some of her music.

Conductor and pianist Vag Papian was born in 1956 in Erevan, Armenia and completed studies at the Moscow and St. Petersburg Conservatories. He took the position of associate conductor of the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra in 1984, becoming its artistic director and chief conductor in 1987. An internationally performing artist, he immigrated to Israel in 1990, has conducted several Israeli orchestras, making his conducting debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 2005. In 2006 he took up the appointment of artistic director of the Ashdod Symphony Orchestra and in 2008 was appointed chief conductor and artistic director of the Kazakhstan State Academic Orchestra. Vag Papian teaches piano and conducting at Tel Aviv University. As a recital partner of Maxim Vengerov, Maestro Papian has toured in Europe, the USA and the Far East, recording with Vengerov for the EMI Classic label.

Founded in 1977 and formerly known as “Camerata Lysy” and “Camerata Menuhin”, the Menuhin Academy Soloists are an ensemble consisting of gifted young string players, all of whom attend the International Menuhin Music Academy (Switzerland). There they study instrumental technique, chamber music, take master classes and workshops and have opportunities to gain solo- and ensemble concert experience. Performing with the Menuhin Academy Soloists is an integral part of the Menuhin Academy’s educational agenda.

Violinist and violist Maxim Vengerov was born in 1974 to a Jewish family with a strong musical tradition in Novosibirsk, Russia. He began his solo career at age five, making his first recording at age ten. He studied conducting at the Ippolitov-Ivanov Moscow Institute. He solos and conducts worldwide, frequently doing both in the same concert. Vengerov’s interest in many forms of musical expression has also brought him in contact with Baroque music, jazz and rock. In 2013, the Vengerov Festival was launched in Tokyo. Maxim Vengerov has a passion for teaching and encouraging young talent. He is presently visiting professor of the Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland and Menuhin Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 1997 he became the first classical musician to be appointed International Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF. Maestro Vengerov has been hailed as one of the world’s finest musicians and has been referred to as the “greatest living string player in the world today”. He will be introducing the Soloists of the International Menuhin Music Academy to the Israeli public, an orchestra led by him internationally and recently at the acclaimed Sion Music Festival.

What makes a musical giant like Maxim Vengerov tick? Two opportunities to find out await Israeli audiences very soon. The first Vengerov Festival in Israel promises exciting concert fare!

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