Universally hailed as one of the world’s finest musicians, Grammy Award winner Maxim Vengerov 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 International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition and Carl Flesch International Violin Competition at ages 10 and 15, respectively, and has gone on to record extensively for high-profile labels that include Teldec and EMI.
Mr. Vengerov turned his attention to conducting in 2007, following in the footsteps of his mentor, Mstislav Rostropovich. Mr. Vengerov graduated in 2014 with a diploma of excellence from Moscow’s Ippolitov-Ivanov Institute, where he studied with Yuri Simonov, and has since completed a two-year program in opera conducting. He made his conducting debut in Moscow with Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.
Highlights of Mr. Vengerov’s 2018–2019 season include opening the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala’s season with Riccardo Chailly, as well as residencies with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and Paris’s Philharmonie. During the 2017–2018 season, Mr. Vengerov premiered a new concerto by renowned composer Qigang Chen at the Beijing International Music Festival, conducted the Orchestre National de France in Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10, and toured Europe, China, and the US in recital.
Encouraging young talent is one of Mr. Vengerov’s greatest passions, and he has held various teaching positions around the world. He is currently a professor at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland, recently accompanying and conducting a concert that featured his students and Cecilia Bartoli at Rosey Concert Hall. Since September 2016, Mr. Vengerov has been the Polonsky Visiting Professor of Violin at London’s Royal College of Music. In 1997, he became the first classical musician to be appointed an International Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF. Mr. Vengerov plays the ex-Kreutzer Stradivari violin from 1727.
Born in Kazan, Russia, Roustem Saïtkoulov entered the Kazan Conservatory at the age of six. He went on to attend the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied with Eliso Virsaladze and received his soloist’s diploma, as well as the Munich Music High School. Mr. Saïtkoulov has won prizes at numerous international competitions, including the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition, Unisa International Piano Competition, Long-Thibaud-Crespin Competition, and Concours Géza Anda. He also received first prize in the “Roma” International Piano Competition and grand prize in the Monte-Carlo Music Masters.
Mr. Saïtkoulov performs frequently with the world’s most renowned orchestras, including the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Prague Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo New City Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, and Sinfonia Varsovia, as well as London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Turin’s RAI National Symphony Orchestra.
He has performed concerts and recitals all over the world in Russia (Moscow’s International House of Music and St. Petersburg’s Philharmonia), China (Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts and Guangzhou’s Opera House), Japan (Tokyo’s Metropolitan Art Space and Osaka’s Symphony Hall), Argentina (Buenos Aires’s Teatro Colón), Mexico (Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes), and Australia (Sydney Opera House), as well as in the US, Canada, South Africa, Chile, and in many of the most important European venues.
Mr. Saïtkoulov has been invited to perform in leading festivals that include the Montreux Jazz Festival, Festival International de Piano de la Roque d’Anthéron, Festival Pianistico Internazionale di Brescia e Bergamo, Piano aux Jacobins, Festival Radio France Occitanie Montpellier, and Festival Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo, as well as festivals in Yokohama, Bologna, Merano, Edinburgh, and Menton. He has recorded several solo piano albums for EMI Classics and Dinemec Classics, and released an album with Master Chord Records in 2012 that featured Chopin’s piano concertos with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Grzegorz Nowak. Mr. Saïtkoulov also performs in a critically acclaimed duo with Maxim Vengerov.