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The Warsaw Voice » Stage & Screen » September 2, 2011
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Viola Virtuoso in Warsaw
September 2, 2011   
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Violist Yuri Bashmet and the world-famous Moscow Soloists chamber orchestra will be performing at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw Oct. 13 in an extraordinary concert where all works will be performed on Stradivarius instruments. The Polish connection is violinist Agata Szymczewska, who will be playing a violin that once belonged to the great 19th-century Polish violinist and composer Henryk Wieniawski.

Bashmet is arguably the most charismatic musician in Russia. He enrolled at the Moscow Conservatorium when he was 18 and became the youngest person ever to teach there five years later.

Bashmet is constantly expanding his repertoire and transposes works written for other instruments for the viola. Composers from Russia and elsewhere dedicate works composed for solo viola to him.

Bashmet has worked with many top conductors, including Rafael Kubelik, Seiji Ozawa, Colin Davis and Mstislav Rostropovich. He was appointed artistic director of Moscow’s December Evenings festival, a position that had previously been occupied by pianist Sviatoslav Richter for 17 years. In addition to being an outstanding musician, Bashmet is involved in many other activities and has been presenting The Station of Dreams, a TV program on classical music, for almost 20 years.

Bashmet’s dazzling solo career has not hampered the musician from directing the Moscow Soloists chamber ensemble for the past 19 years. He was also appointed director of the New Russia symphony orchestra in 2002. Both ensembles are highly regarded abroad and work with the world’s leading musicians. The Moscow Soloists have appeared at Carnegie Hall in New York and Cite de la Musique in Paris. They won a Grammy Award in 2007 for a recording of music by Stravinsky and Prokofiev and were nominated again in 2008 for a recording of works by Japanese and Chinese composers.

Ticket sale proceeds from the concert are being donated to a music school run by the Society for the Blind in Laski near Warsaw. Tickets will be available from the National Philharmonic booking office in September.
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