Yuri Bashmet is one of the greatest viola players of our time, was born on 24 January 1953. He has appeared all over the world with the leading conductors and orchestras in this capacity and has a large discography. He is an ICA artist and is here featured as one of ICA's Live series as a conductor.
Bashmet began his conducting activity in 1985. In 1992, he re-organised The State Symphony Orchestra Novaya Rossiya (founded in 1990) featuring some of the most talented young musicians of Russia who are graduates and postgraduate students of the Moscow Conservatoire. Bashmet became Chief Conductor in 2002. The orchestra performs in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire and has toured extensively abroad, also recording for EMI Classics and Sony Classics. The orchestra has been conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy and Valeri Gergiev amongst others.
David Nice in his booklet notes commented, ‘So it was with some amazement that I heard these performances by an orchestra many of us will not have heard of outside Russia’ ……‘A certain lean and hungry approach that’s never for a moment ascetic, inform much of what we hear in these razor-sharp performances of core symphonic repertoire’. Of the Brahms interpretation, Nice noted,’Mravinsky- like are the implicit force of the opening and the absolute fidelity to dynamics and controlled power’. Of the Tchaikovsky, he went on to say, ‘Mravinsky’s interpretation never lost its freshmness and this one runs it close in in that respect’.
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