Universally hailed as one of the world’s finest musicians, and often referred to as the greatest living string player in the world today, Grammy award winner Maxim Vengerov also enjoys international acclaim as a conductor and is one of the most in-demand soloists in all of classical music.
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, and turned his attention to conducting and in 2010 was appointed the first chief conductor of the Gstaad Festival Orchestra. June 2014 saw Mr Vengerov graduate with a Diploma of Excellence from the Moscow Institute of Ippolitov-Ivanov with professor Yuri Simonov and he has since enrolled in a further two-year program of opera conducting – –scheduled to conduct his first performance of Eugene Onegin in Brisbane in November and Moscow in December 2017.
June 2013 saw the launch of the annual Vengerov Festival in Tokyo as well as an artist residency at the Barbican Centre London with five different concerts showcasing his versatility as an artist. That season he also accepted his current position as Artist in Residence with the Oxford Philharmonic.
In 2014/15 Mr Vengerov opened the season of the Orchestre de Paris and took part in the opening of Shanghai’s newest Symphony Hall alongside Maestro Long Yu and pianist Lang Lang. He returned to the New York Philharmonic to a “hero’s welcome” (New York Times), as well as toured and recorded the Tchaikovsky concerto with Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Myung-Whun Chung.
The 2015/16 season highlights saw Mr Vengerov again in concert with the New York and Munich Philharmonic orchestras as well as complete five recital tours in Australia, Canada, Asia, Europe and South America.
In the 2016/17 season Mr Vengerov will return to Australia to open the season of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and to conduct the season finale of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, with whom he will return as Artist in Residence in 2017. Further guest conducting engagements will include appearances with the RTE Orchestra Dublin, Munich Philharmonic and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. The coming season will also see a European tour with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and performances at the Park concerts with the New York Philharmonic in New York and Shanghai.
As one of Mr Vengerov’s greatest passions is the teaching and encouraging of young talent, he has held various teaching positions around the world and is currently Ambassador and visiting Professor of the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland (IMMA) and as of September 2016, the Polonsky Visiting Professor of Violin at the Royal College of Music in London - the UK’s leading conservatoire.
Mr Vengerov has received numerous awards including Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (with Orchestra) (2003), 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) - honouring artists who have used their art to improve the state of the world.
In 1997 Mr Vengerov became the first classical musician to be appointed International Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF.
He plays the ex-Kreutzer Stradivari (1727).
“Menuhin firmly believed that music should build bridges and that a Competition should be about participation and learning, and the Menuhin Competition continues this legacy.”