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Grammy-nominated Ukrainian-British violist and conductor Maxim Rysanov has established himself as one of the world’s most vibrant and charismatic musicians of his generation. He is principally known for his performances as a violist, guest of the crème of international music scene such as BBC Proms (including the Last Night), Verbier Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Salzburg Festival, Bejing Festival, Istanbul Festival, Berlin Festival and Crescendo Festival among others. He now combines his viola performance with a career as a conductor.


In the season 2015-2016 Maxim is making his conducting debut with the Russian National Orchestra, Spanish Radio Orchestra, La Verdi Orchestra Milan, Baltic Neopolis, Scottish Ensemble, London Mozart Players and the Danubia Orchestra as well as returning to conduct the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra and Riga Sinfonietta.


Previous conducting engagements included the Basel Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Camerata, Moscow Musica Viva, Kiev Soloists, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Georgian National Symphony Orchestra, Częstochowa Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra CHAARTS, Detmold Chamber Orchestra, Dala Sinfonietta, Southbank Sinfonia as well as conducting at festivals in Dubrovnik (with Roger Moore as narrator), Utrecht (with Janine Jansen leading), Boswil (with Vilde Frang as soloist), and the finale of the Beijing Viola Festival.


As a concerto soloist Maxim will perform the world premiere of a new Viola Concerto by Peteris Vasks in May 2016. The work is being co-commissioned for him by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Vale of Glamorgan Festival and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg.


His enthusiasm for new music is growing. Maxim is continuing collaborations with Sergei Akhunov, Dobrinka Tabakova, Benjamin Yusupov, Michael Pletnev, Leonid Desyatnikov, Giya Kancheli and Kshishtof Penderecki. In 2014 Maxim presented the Penderecki's double concerto in a Russian premiere, which was conducted by maestro Fedoseev. This year this work is being repeated with the Sinfonia Varsovia under Penderecki’s baton.


Among Maxim’s concerto highlights are Mariinsky Orchestra (Valery Gergiev), Russian National Orchestra (Mikhail Pletnev), BBC Symphony Orchestra (Jiří Bělohlávek), Seattle Symphony (Andrey Boreyko), Orquesta de Castilla y Leon and Oslo Philharmonic (Vasily Petrenko), DSO Berlin (Tugan Sokhiev), Moscow Philharmonic (Yuri Simonov), BSO (Vladimir Fedoseev), Gurzenich Orchestra (Sir Mark Elder), Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra (Philippe Herreweghe), NDR Philharmonic Orchestra (Eivind Gullberg Jensen), Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra (Juraj Valcuha), RTE Symphony Orchestra (Olari Elts), the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (Arvo Volmer), the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (Vladimir Verbitsky), Auckland Symphony Orchestra (Eckehard Stier), Danish National Symphony Orchestra (Michael Schoenwandt), Malaysian Philharmonic (Yan Pascal Tortelier), Shanghai Symphony (Long Yu), Orquesta Sinfonica de Euskadi (Diego Matheuz), Ulster Orchestra (Paul Watkins), European Union Youth Orchestra (Matthias Bamert), Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and Krakow Philharmonic (Michal Dworzynski).


Maxim is a keen chamber musician. His chamber partners include Leif Ove Andsnes, Nicola Benedetti, Kristina Blaumane, Boris Brovtsyn, Michael Collins, Alice Coote, Augustin Dumay, Martin Frost, Sol Gabetta, Janine Jansen, Jakob Katsnelson, Gidon Kremer, Konstantin Lifschitz, Mischa Maisky, Denis Matsuev, Viktoria Mullova, Eldar Nebolsin, Alexei Ogrintchouk, Vadim Repin, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Maxim Vengerov and Ashley Wass.


Maxim has long been recognised by the international music scene and his list of prizes affirm that status. These include the Classic FM Gramophone Young Artist of the Year Award and the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Award, as well as the Geneva, Lionel Tertis and Valentino Bucchi international viola competitions.


Maxim's first solo commercial CD burst onto the recording scene with a Gramophone Editor's Choice award; his next two releases gained the same accolade and a fourth reached the top of the iTunes charts in the USA. In the 2014/15 season his recording output is further extended with a new release on BIS of Martinu viola repertoire in collaboration with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jiří Bělohlávek, Alexander Sitkovetsky and Katya Apekisheva; as well as a recording of the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with Vilde Frang on Parlophone. Maxim also featured as both soloist and conductor on the debut disc of composer Dobrinka Tabakova (ECM) in 2013 - a disc that reached number 2 in the UK classical charts and was shortlisted for a Grammy award in 2014.


Originally from Ukraine, Maxim has made London his home. He studied viola with Maria Sitkovskaya in Moscow and John Glickman in London at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He studied conducting with Alan Hazeldine at the Guildhall School of Music in London, and has taken part in several masterclasses including with Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Jorma Panula.


Maxim is currently Artist in Residence at the Royal College of Music. He is delighted to have a Giuseppe Guadagnini viola (1780) on extended loan from the Elise Mathilde Foundation.

Maxim Rysanov, viola and conductor

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