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Maxim Vengerov Festival

Siberian-born Russian violin virtuoso Maxim Vengerov came back completely rejuvenated in 2011 from the long hiatus he'd taken to cure psychological burnout and shoulder injury. He captivated the audience with his riveting performance of Bach's D minor Partita and Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata in 2012 when he gave recitals in Tokyo and Kyoto - his first visit to Japan in eight years.

This coming June, thirty-eight-year-old Vengerov returns to Tokyo to launch his latest project - Vengerov Festival 2013.

As violin soloist, Vengerov gives a Brahms concert with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra led by Japanese conductor Junichi Hirokami, including the composer's Violin Concerto and lyrical Double Concerto featuring Japanese cellist Dai Miyata. Vengerov will also play a recital of well-known violin sonatas by Mozart, Beethoven and Franck as well as Saint-Saëns' romantic music, in tandem with his long-time Armenian piano accompanist Vag Papian. In addition, Vengerov will perform as soloist and conduct three works, including Bach's Double Concerto for Two Violins featuring up-and-coming young Japanese violinist Kazuhito Yamane, Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto and Rimsky-Korsakov's symphonic suite Sheherazade - his first conducting in Japan.

Vengerov, who studied violin in the late Soviet era and won the prestigious Carl Flesch International Violin Competition in London in 1990 at the age of fifteen, earned worldwide popularity for his fiery and ecstatic virtuoso performances. Fearful of burnout, he took a break in 2005 from his unrelenting schedule of over a hundred concerts per year. In 2006, he swapped bow for baton and trained as a conductor under the renowned Russian conductor Yuri Simonov, before making a conducting debut at New York's Carnegie Hall in a performance of Mozart and Shostakovich works in 2007, during a European and North American tour with UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra. After sustaining a right shoulder injury, Vengerov subsequently stopped violin performance in 2008 and underwent surgery in 2010, before making a thrilling comeback in May 2011 when he performed Brahms' sonatas in Brussels. Since then he has performed recitals but also taken on the dual role of soloist and conductor to present Bach's Double Concerto, Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto and also Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade in Asia and North America. Earlier this year, he joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Taipei, Taiwan, to play the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto under Finnish conductor Osmo Vanska. He also joined the Berlin Philharmonic to perform Brahms' Violin Concerto under Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons at the Philharmonic's 2013 Easter Festival in Baden-Baden.

On Monday 10 June 2013, 7pm at Tokyo's Bunkamura Orchard Hall, the Vengerov Festival 2013 will kick off with a performance of Brahms' Academic Festival Overture by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Junichi Hirokami who won the first prize of the Kondrashin International Conducting Competition in Amsterdam in 1984, before guest-conducting the London Symphony Orchestra and various American orchestras. Vengerov will team up with the Philharmonic led by Hirokami and twenty-six-year-old cellist Dai Miyata, trained at Geneva Conservatoire and Kronberg Academy near Frankfurt am Main, who became the first Japanese to win the grand prix of the prestigious International Rostropovich Cello Competition in Paris in 2009, to perform Brahms' 1887 Concerto for violin, cello and orchestra, Op 102. Vengerov will also perform Brahms' Violin Concerto in D with the Philharmonic under Hirokami.

On Wednesday 12 June 2013, 7pm, at Tokyo's Suntory Hall, Vengerov will pair with Vag Papian, the Moscow and St Petersburg Conservatory-trained and Tel Aviv-based pianist and conductor who collaborated with Vengerov and the ensemble of eleven violinists Virtuosi, founded in 1993, to make a successful recording of nineteenth century German and French music - the 2001 release Vengerov & Virtuosi. Vengerov and Papian will perform Mozart's Violin Sonata No 32 in B flat, K 454, Beethoven's Sonata No 10 in G and Franck's Violin Sonata in A. They will also perform Saint-Saëns' dance music, including the Havanaise in E and the Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A, dedicated to Pablo de Sarasate.

On Thursday 13 June 2013, 7pm at the same venue, Vengerov presents a soloist-cum-conductor program. First he will perform Bach's Concerto for Two Violins, Strings and Continuo in D minor, BWV 1043 of 1717-23 with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and teenage violinist Kazuhito Yamane, who shot to fame in 2010 when he won the 79th Music Competition of Japan. Vengerov and the Philharmonic will perform Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto and Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade.


Posted: 17 May 2013 by Nobuko Yamazaki

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