Maxim Rysanov

“The warmth of Rysanov’s viola left you wondering why composers bother with the violin.” London Evening Standard

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Ukrainian-British violist Maxim Rysanov has established himself as one of the world’s most vibrant and charismatic musicians of his generation, combining his viola performances with his career as a conductor.

He is guest of the crème of the international music scene, such as BBC Last Night of the Proms, Edinburgh International Festival and Salzburg Festival. He has performed concertos with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including BBC Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, NDR Radio Philharmonic, Adelaide Symphony, Shanghai Symphony and Orquesta de Castilla y Leon.

Maxim has won the Classic FM Gramophone Young Artist of the Year Award, BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Award, and prizes in the Geneva, Lionel Tertis and Valentino Bucchi competitions.

As a keen chamber musician, his chamber partners include Leif Ove Andsnes, Nicola Benedetti, Michael Collins, Alice Coote, Martin Frost, Janine Jansen, Jakov Katsnelson, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Maxim Vengerov and Ashley Wass.

Maxim’s enthusiasm for new music has generated collaborations that have extended the viola repertoire. These include performing world premieres by Dobrinka Tabakova, Richard Dubugnon and Valentin Bibik and developing close working relationships with other composers including Peteris Vasks, Benjamin Yusupov, Leonid Desyatnikov, Giya Kancheli, Artyom Vassiliev and Elena Langer.

Maxim’s first three solo commercial CDs won Gramophone Editor’s Choice awards and his fourth reached the top of the US iTunes charts. Maxim also featured as both soloist and conductor on the debut disc of composer Dobrinka Tabakova in 2013 – a disc that reached number 2 in the UK classical charts and was shortlisted for a Grammy award in 2014.

He is delighted to have a Giuseppe Guadagnini viola (1780) on extended loan from the Elise Mathilde Foundation.

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One of the big projects in recent years for Maxim has been recording Bach’s cello suits on viola. Here him in action and talking about it on this film:

Maxim Rysanov, image © Irina & Pavel Kozhevnikov

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Maxim played Tchaikovsky’s Rococco Variations at The Last Night of the Proms in 2010 – here’s a clip of him talking about the experience and him playing part of the piece: