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Maxim Rysanov & Alexander Kobrin

Viola & Piano


Music Room

Tickets are $40, $20 for members and students with ID; museum admission for that day is included. Advance reservations are strongly recommended.

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Grammy-nominated Ukrainian-British violist and conductor Maxim Rysanov will make his Washington, DC debut with pianist and Van Cliburn alum, Alexander Kobrin. The concert will include works by Schubert, Desyatnikov, Akhunov, and Shostakovich.


Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Arpeggione Sonata arr for Viola and Piano

Leonid Desyatnikov (b. 1955)
Wie der Alte Leiermann

Sergey Akhunov (b. 1967)


Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
Sonata for Viola and piano

About the Artists

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, and Salzburg Festival. He now combines his viola performance with a career as a conductor.

In the 2015-2016 season Rysanov 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.

As a concerto soloist this season Rysanov will give a world premiere of a new viola concerto by Peteris Vasks, which was co-commissioned by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Vale of Glamorgan Festival, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg. In 2014 Rysanov performed Penderecki’s Double Concerto in a Russian premiere, conducted by maestro Fedoseev. This year he will present the work with the Sinfonia Varsovia under Penderecki’s baton.

Among Rysanov’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 (Vasily Petrenko), DSO Berlin (Tugan Sokhiev), Moscow Philharmonic (Yuri Simonov), BSO (Vladimir Fedoseev), and Gurzenich Orchestra (Sir Mark Elder).

Rysanov is a keen chamber musician. His chamber partners include Leif Ove Andsnes, Nicola Benedetti, Michael Collins, Augustin Dumay, Martin Frost, Sol Gabetta, Janine Jansen, Jakob Katsnelson, Gidon Kremer, Konstantin Lifschitz, Mischa Maisky, Denis Matsuev, Alexei Ogrintcouk, Vadim Repin, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Maxim Vengerov, and Ashley Wass.

Rysanov has long been recognized 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, the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Award, the Geneva, Lionel Tertis, and Valentino Bucchi international viola competitions.  

Rysanov’s first solo commercial album 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 US. In 2013, Rysanov featured as both soloist and conductor on the debut disc of composer Dobrinka Tabakova-a disc that reached number two in the UK classical charts and was shortlisted for a Grammy award. He is delighted to have a Giuseppe Guadagnini viola (1780) on extended loan from the Elise Mathilde Foundation.

Called the “Van Cliburn of today” by the BBC, pianist Alexander Kobrin has placed himself at the forefront of today’s performing musicians. His prize winning performances have been praised for their brilliant technique, musicality, and emotional engagement with the audience. The New York Times has written that Kobrin was a “fastidious guide” to Schumann’s “otherworldly visions, pointing out hunters, flowers, haunted corners, and friendly bowers, all captured in richly characterized vignettes…This was a performance that will be revered and remembered as a landmark of the regeneration of exceptional classical music in Central New York.”

In 2005, Kobrin was awarded the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Gold Medal at the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, TX. His numerous successes in competitions also include top prizes at the Busoni International Piano Competition (First Prize), Hamamatsu International Piano Competition (Top Prize), Scottish International Piano Competition in Glasgow (First Prize), and the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (Third Prize).

Kobrin has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Russian National Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Verdi, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Moscow Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Berliner Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Swedish Radio Symphony, Birmingham Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductors he has collaborated with include Mikhail Pletnev, Mikhail Jurovsky, Mark Elder, Vassiliy Sinaisky, James Conlon, Claus Peter Flor, Alexander Lazarev, Vassiliy Petrenko, and Yuri Bashmet.

He has appeared in recital at major halls worldwide, including the Louvre Auditorium and Salle Cortot in Paris, Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Munich Herkulesaal and Berliner Filarmonia Hall in Germany, the Kennedy Centre in Washington, Avery Fisher Hall in New York, the Great Hall at the Moscow Conservatoire, Sheung Wan Civic Centre in Hong Kong, as well as Sala Verdi in Milan and many others. Other past performances have include recitals at Bass Hall for the Cliburn Series, the Washington Performing Arts Society, La Roque d’Antheron, the Ravinia Festival, the Beethoven Easter Festival, Busoni Festival , the renowned Klavier-Festival Ruhr, the Festival Musique dans le Grésivaudan, the International Keyboard Institute & Festival, and annual concert tours in Japan, China and Taiwan. Kobrin has also performed a two-piano recital in collaboration with his friend of many years, French pianist Frederic d’Oria Nicolas at Salle Gaveau, Paris which was broadcast by both Mezzo and ARTE.

Kobrin has released recordings on the Harmonia Mundi, Quartz, and Centaur labels, covering a wide swath of the piano literature. Gramophone Magazine raved about his Cliburn Competition release on Harmonia Mundi, writing that “in [Rachmaninoff’s] Second Sonata (played in the 1931 revision), despite fire-storms of virtuosity, there is always room for everything to tell and Kobrin achieves a hypnotic sense of the music’s dark necromancy.”

Kobrin was born in 1980 in Moscow. At the age of five, he was enrolled in the world-famous Gnessin Special School of Music after which he attended the prestigious Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire. His teachers have included renowned professors Tatiana Zelikman and Lev Naumov.

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