Maxim Rysanov, Viola

Month

Biography

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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 made 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 recently performed the world premiere of a new Viola Concerto by Peteris Vasks in May 2016. The work was 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. The year after in 2015 the work was 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

Calendar

Maxim Rysanov's appearance in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

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Repertoire

Please note: This repertoire list is for reference only. The choice of repertoire for a particular project remains at the artist’s discretion.

Concertos

Alfred Schnittke

Concerto for Viola and Orchestra
Tripelkonzert (Concerto for Three) - for Violin, Viola, Cello und Strings

Antonio Rosetti

Concerto for Viola and Orchestra in D Major

Artem Vassiliev

Duo concertante for Viola, Cello and Orchestra

Béla Bartók

Concerto for Viola and Orchestra

Benjamin Britten

Elegy for Viola Solo

Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf

Sinfonia concertante for Viola, Double Bass and Orchestra in D major

Dmitry Shostakovich

Viola Sonata. Arranged for Viola, Strings and Celeste by Vladimir Mendelssohn

Dobrinka Tabakova

Concerto for Viola and Strings

Edward Elgar

Cello Concerto Arranged For Viola

Franz Anton Hoffmeister

Concerto for Viola and Orchestra in D Major

Giya Kancheli

"Styx" for Viola, Chorus and Orchestra

Hector Berlioz

Harold in Italy, Op. 16

Ivan Handoshkin

Concerto for Viola and Orchestra in C Major

Johann Sebastian Bach

Brandenburg Concerto no. 6 in B flat Major, BWV 1051

John Tavener

"The Myrrh Bearer" for Viola and Chorus

Karl Stamitz

Concerto for Viola and Orchestra in D Major

Paul Hindemith

Sonata Op. 11, no.4

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Rococo Variations (Arr. for Viola)

William Walton

Concerto for Viola and Orchestra

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Sinfonia Concertante in E flat Major, KV 364 for Violin and Viola
Pieces for Viola and piano

Artem Vassiliev

In a Golden Cage, for Viola and piano

Benjamin Britten

Lachrymae - Reflections on a Song of John Dowland, Op. 48 for viola and piano

Bohuslav Martinu

Sonata for Viola and piano No.1

Dmitry Shostakovich

Seven Preludes from Op.34
Sonata for Viola and piano, Op.147

Frank Bridge

Pensiero and Allegro Appassionato

Johann Sebastian Bach

Sonata No. 1 for Viola da gamba and harpsichord in G Major, BWV1027
Sonata No. 2 for Viola da gamba and harpsichord in D Major, BWV 1028

Johannes Brahms

Scherzo for Violin and piano in C minor
Sonata for Viola and Piano no 1 in F minor, Op. 120 no 1
Sonata for Viola and Piano no 2 in E flat major, Op. 120 no 2

Ludwig van Beethoven

Var. from Notturno, Op. 42

Mikhail Glinka

Sonata for Viola and piano in D minor

Paul Hindemith

Sonata for Viola and piano, Op.11, no.4
Viola Sonata (1939)

Sergej Prokofiev

Fragments from "Romeo and Juliet"
Pieces for Solo Viola

Igor Stravinsky

Elegy for Viola Solo

Johann Sebastian Bach

Fantasia Chromatica, BWV919

Nicolo Paganini

"La Campanella" for viola and piano

Paul Hindemith

Sonata for Viola Solo Op. 11 No.5
Review
Yuri Bashmet
Culture, Moscow
Mon, 2004-01-12
My rival has arrived!
Brett Allen-Bayes
Australia
Thu, 2006-06-01
Rarely have I heard playing of such beauty and concentration
Dominic McHugh
musicOMH.com
Sun, 2006-01-01
Maxim Rysanov's deep tone gave the viola part (in Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante) a searing passion.
Maxim Rysanov
Tully Potter, The Strad
Thu, 2005-09-01
Maxim Rysanov - Overcame every challenge.
Maxim Rysanov
Tully Potter, The Strad
Fri, 2005-04-01
Rysanov strikes me as one of the most talented violists of his generation.
Stunningly virtuosic and expressive
Classical Music
Sat, 2004-01-31
Max is a stunningly virtuosic and expressive performer.
Britten
The Strad
Mon, 2002-04-08
In Britten’s solo Elegy, Rysanov banished all thought of this being an early piece and made it sound like a mature masterpiece, clearly believing in every note, holding the structure together with firm rhythmic control and producing fine shades of tone.
Convincing Bartók
Wormser Zeitung
Thu, 2007-03-22
...nevertheless the finely compiled program came well across, thanks to a wonderfully well disposed orchestra and an excellent soloist. Regarding the latter it concerns the young violist Maxim Rysanov, who by a masterful achievement made Béla Bartók's Viola Concerto the concert's highlight. The lanky Ukrainian reminded through his outfit of the virtuoso violinist Paganini. And actually the stringplayer magically enticed a beautiful, rich and gorgeous sound from his instrument with the technical perfection and ferocity of the virtuoso. With convincing presence he unfolded his musicianship in such a way that the large orchestra did not require much coaxing to supply a suitable accompaniment. The Viola Concerto, completed by Tibor Serly according to Bártok's sketches, is despite the composer's ideas and effects is not the lightest music. The successful interpretation seemed however to overcome the Wormsian audience.
The Viola Devil
Mannheim Morgen
Wed, 2007-03-21
The Viola Concerto composed from fragments was taken on by the excellent soloist Maxim Rysanov without problems. The young Ukrainian proved that this late Vartók, this Barók in America, is deeply rooted in the native folklore. Neither technically or the sound presented any difficulty, his instrument can whisper, bark, threat, wail: Rysanov, the Viola Devil.
The Poet and the Virtuoso
Die Rheinpfalz
Wed, 2007-03-21
Brilliant viola solo by Maxim Rysanov. ....with Maxim Rysanov as interpreting partner in Bartók's fragment concerto, completed by Tibor Serly. Rysanov presented himself as a brilliant virtuoso with a rare beautiful sound and showed impressive musical intelligence.
EDITOR’S CHOICE
Gramophone
Fri, 2007-06-01
“….. makes an effective recital programme, the items setting one another off, leading up to the major work (Franck) and concluding with a perfect encore (Tabakova). And the playing, in its technical command and imaginative grasp, is outstanding. One feels that Maxim Rysanov has a very special relationship with his Guadagnini viola, delighting in bringing out the particular qualities of its different registers – husky lower notes, brilliant high ones which, however, retain weight and intensity. He’s well matched by the energy and vitality of Evelyn Chang’s playing, strikingly so at the start of the CD (Brahms). On the following tracks (Glinka), she shows very different qualities; sparkling passagework and elegant lyrical expression, and she’s equally convincing with the impressionistic sonorities of the Enescu. ….throughout the disc, my attention was grabbed by powerfully expressive duo playing. Rysanov appears as a true virtuoso in the Enescu and in the second of the Bridge pieces, yet he’s able to scale down his performance for the intimate, dreamy Tabakova Lullaby, and in the Glinka he brings a subtly individual quality to each melodic phrase. And there’s a strong sense that Chang and Rysanov really enjoy playing together.”
A Real Winner
International Record Review
Tue, 2007-05-01
”...the unusual and inventive programme, makes this disc a real winner. Rysanov really is an outstanding player, passionate and warm in the great tradition, with an equally impressive accompanist in Evelyn Chang…..Rysanov and Chang are certainly passionate players, and they communicate this not only between themselves but very directly to the listener.”
A Veritable Cracker
The Scotsman
Fri, 2007-05-18
“VIOLA players have suddenly emerged as more than just poor men's violinists. The latest is the Ukrainian-born Maxim Rysanov, whose new CD with pianist Evelyn Chang is a veritable cracker. Rysanov's own transcription of the scherzo from Brahms' F A E Sonata opens the disc with explosive impact. His tone is virile, his musicality breathtaking. Things get even more interesting in Glinka's airy D minor Sonata, George Enescu's mercurial Concert Piece and Franck Bridge's delicious miniatures - the ruminative Pensioro and stormy Allegro Passionato. But beyond Rysanov's arrangement of yet another famous violin sonata (Cesar Franck's) the most beautiful moment comes in the last track, a haunting miniature - Whispered Lullaby - by the London-based Bulgarian composer Dobrinka Tabakova which, with its Debussyesque colourings, draws this hugely impressive disc to a meltingly calm end”.
Charming
Metro - London
Fri, 2007-06-08
A charming new piece by Dobrinka Tabakova (born 1980) concludes the disc, a thrilling recital by the viola and piano team Maxim Rysanov and Evelyn Chang, in a similarly impressionistic mood of delicacy. The rest of the programme is much more romantic and includes versions of the stormy FAE sonata movement by Brahms and Franck's heady Violin Sonata, both arranged for viola. Rysanov is a magical performer with a great talent for mellifluous lyricism.
Moving Violist
Kristelig Dagblad
Tue, 2011-03-01
Maxim Rysanov displayed world class One was pleasantly surprised when one was presented with the viola's many fantastic sound variations by the first amongst violists - Maxim Rysanov. He was soloist in Walton's Viola Concerto with the DR Symphony Orchestra. It was a brilliant performance with superior technique, rock solid intonation and very precise colouring of Walton's score, which is not the traditional battle between soloist and orchestra but a dialogue. Rysanov never indulged in pure show-off but showed great musical intelligence in the interpretation of the chamber music qualities in the piece. Conductor Michael Schønwandt caught the English melancholy and never allowed the orchestra to unfold wildly and expressively, but instead they played with elegance and precision. A rare harmony between orchestra and soloist.
Count Dracula in the Concert Hall
Politiken
Wed, 2011-03-02
Very few have experienced a violist who can move around on the instrument with same force and intensiveness as a violinist. But this is what Ukrainian Maxim Rysanov did. Resembling Dracula dressed in a capelike coat with blood red stripes on the sleeves he brought the viola into the limelight: from the uncelebrated existence as middle voice producer in the orchestra to a full-blooded solo instrument. There are not many concertos for viola and orchestra and even fewer are well known to the audience. Although Maxim Rysanov filled the beautiful concert hall with his clear and insisting sound - and although his interpretation of the many long melodies were followed through with deep logic and consequence - it was almost impossible to recall the music shortly after. The best was definitely to witness Rysanov showing the viola a very interesting and special instrument with force and presence and constantly in the front of the sound picture, as an insisting singer with a penetrating and original voice.
Delightful
Jyllandsposten
Wed, 2011-03-02
Who knows William Walton? He dropped out of his composition studies to compose on his own and it out of this came among other a concerto for the rare solo instrument the viola. Today it is one of the greatest works for the violin's big sister. To hear Maxim Rysanov interpret the piece with his warm and full viola sound was delightful. The melodic passages were played with ember and depth, while the tones danced from the instrument in the faster middle movement. Rysanov's face was serious and he hardly lifted his eyes from the music. Yet he was in close contact with the conductor Michael Schønwandt and the attentive orchestra musicians. Every little dialogue with the orchestra bubbled with life.
Tango-Rock
Jyllands-Posten
Sun, 2011-10-02
'The main piece in the concert was 'Viola Tango Rock Concerto'by Benjamin Yusupov composed in 2005. Maxim Rysanov was the magician who created strong contrasts between the gentle passages and the hard, sharp rock motifs. Yusupov has humour: During the concerto themes from the Deep Purple hit 'Smoke on Water' appeared from time to time. It was amplified and projected through loudspeakers. Rysanov made the most of the concerto's passionate moments and kneeled on stage in the best rock guitarist style, while delivering the rough rock solos. The concerto ended with a lovely tango where two highly professional dancers added to the experience.
Virtuoso
Vestmanlands Läns Tidning
Fri, 2012-03-30
'Maxim Rysanov was soloist, a musician who displays the whole scale of interpretative colours based on his talent and gift, and the musical qualities which lie in the piece. He has a personal, virtuoso way of handling his high class viola and his energy seemed endless yesterday, carried forward by the dramatic orchestral passages. Birgit Ahlberg - Hyse
Excellent Play
Music Web International
Tue, 2013-03-19
Maxim Rysanov is one of our best violists, with a pure rich instrumental tone and great expressive ability. I love his CD of three Bach cello suites in arrangements, and I like this one too: French impressionist music arranged for viola and piano. We have Debussy, Ravel, and Fauré, plus their spiritual descendant, maybe, in Richard Dubugnon (b. 1968). Everything here is in arrangement. The Ravel Pavane pour une infante défunte sets the discs tone-lyrical but gently melancholy-and will be followed by, among others, Faurés Élégie, Pavane and Romance, and Debussys omnipresent Clair de lune and La fille aux cheveux de lin. Some arrangements are more successful than others: Faurés Pavane comes off especially well, and the girl with the flaxen hair is depicted with really fantastic subtlety. On the other hand, I wonder if Rysanovs own arrangement of the Fauré Elegy doesnt start off in too high a register. Its still good. Then theres Richard Dubugnon, who has contributed two substantial pieces to the program in arrangements made especially for Maxim Rysanov. Incantatio, a three-movement work spanning fifteen minutes and drawing inspiration from paranormal/psychic rituals (!), is a stylistic odd man out on the CD, more percussive and stubborn than the rest of the music here. It can get, if this isnt a weird word to use, scratchy. Its never hard or less than intriguing, but I dont know that it belongs with Clair de lune, necessarily. On the other hand, Dubugnons Lied does fit in splendidly, and its six-minute arc really does feel like a worthy successor to the other music here. So I can congratulate Rysanov for his excellent playing, Dubugnon for at least one really excellent piece, and BIS for once again creating an exciting program blending old and new. "That brings me to the most valuable player: pianist Ashley Wass. His contributions are simply phenomenal, with a softness of touch which makes one forget the piano is percussive. Wasss sensitivity and luminous but slightly understated tone are enough to make me want to learn a stringed instrument so he can accompany me too. As a soloist rather than accompanist, Wass is the first-ever artist with an exclusive contract on Naxos. I hope Naxos is reading this: your Debussy, Fauré and Ravel piano cycles are out-of-date and not especially loved; Ashley Wass is the perfect man for the job. What I wouldnt give to hear him play La plus que lente  In the meantime, this is a good enough album that you should not at all judge by its cover. The artists are what make this worth having. Brian Reinhart
Excellent Playing
Music Web International
Tue, 2013-03-19
Maxim Rysanov is one of our best violists, with a pure rich instrumental tone and great expressive ability. I love his CD of three Bach cello suites in arrangements, and I like this one too: French impressionist music arranged for viola and piano. We have Debussy, Ravel, and Fauré, plus their spiritual descendant, maybe, in Richard Dubugnon (b. 1968). Everything here is in arrangement. The Ravel Pavane pour une infante défunte sets the discs tone-lyrical but gently melancholy-and will be followed by, among others, Faurés Élégie, Pavane and Romance, and Debussys omnipresent Clair de lune and La fille aux cheveux de lin. Some arrangements are more successful than others: Faurés Pavane comes off especially well, and the girl with the flaxen hair is depicted with really fantastic subtlety. On the other hand, I wonder if Rysanovs own arrangement of the Fauré Elegy doesnt start off in too high a register. Its still good. Then theres Richard Dubugnon, who has contributed two substantial pieces to the program in arrangements made especially for Maxim Rysanov. Incantatio, a three-movement work spanning fifteen minutes and drawing inspiration from paranormal/psychic rituals (!), is a stylistic odd man out on the CD, more percussive and stubborn than the rest of the music here. It can get, if this isnt a weird word to use, scratchy. Its never hard or less than intriguing, but I dont know that it belongs with Clair de lune, necessarily. On the other hand, Dubugnons Lied does fit in splendidly, and its six-minute arc really does feel like a worthy successor to the other music here. So I can congratulate Rysanov for his excellent playing, Dubugnon for at least one really excellent piece, and BIS for once again creating an exciting program blending old and new. "That brings me to the most valuable player: pianist Ashley Wass. His contributions are simply phenomenal, with a softness of touch which makes one forget the piano is percussive. Wasss sensitivity and luminous but slightly understated tone are enough to make me want to learn a stringed instrument so he can accompany me too. As a soloist rather than accompanist, Wass is the first-ever artist with an exclusive contract on Naxos. I hope Naxos is reading this: your Debussy, Fauré and Ravel piano cycles are out-of-date and not especially loved; Ashley Wass is the perfect man for the job. What I wouldnt give to hear him play La plus que lente  In the meantime, this is a good enough album that you should not at all judge by its cover. The artists are what make this worth having. Brian Reinhart
Pavane
BBC Music Magazine
Fri, 2013-02-01
Ravel: Pavane pour une infante défunte; Fauré: Après un réve; Elégie; Romance; Pavane; Debussy: Clair de lune; La fille aux cheveux de un; Dubugnon: lncantatio; Lied Maxim Rysanov (viola) Ashley Wass (piano) Sometimes it can be fruitful to embrace stereotypes. The notion of the noble, melancholic viola dates back at least as far as Berlioz. Maxim Rysanov has previously demonstrated that there is far more to the instrument than Romantic brooding, but this disc finds him exploring that cliché. None of the works here was originally conceived with viola in mind and, with two notable exceptions, the repertoire is exactly what you might expect from a collection of French music. It takes its name from the opening and closing works: Ravel's Pavane pour une infante defunte and Fauré's Pavane; in between, the latter's Apres un rêve, Elegie and Romance nestle alongside Debussy's Clair de lune and La fille aux cheveux de lin. The arrangements are exceptionally fine and the playing is utterly sublime, especially Rysanov's delicacy in upper registers and gossamer-like harmonics. At times Ashley Wass is too much the straight man - he's slightly rigid in Faure's Elégie - but his touch is exquisite. The sense throughout is more of fine dark chocolate than sugar, and what (only just) prevents this becoming too sickly is the inclusion of Richard Dubugnon's Lied and, especially, Incantatio. These are not so much arrangements as recompositions, adding a little spice to the mix. By: Christopher Dingle
Discography
Bach, Britten, Paganini, Prokofiev & Tabakova
J S Bach: Fantasia Cromatica for viola solo (arr. Z Kodaly & M Rysanov) B Britten: Lachrymae for viola and piano N Paganini: La Campanella for viola and piano (arr. W Primrose) S Prokofiev: Farewell and Death of Juiliet for viola and piano D Tabakova: Insight for string Trio
Brahms, Bridge, Enescu, Franck, Glinka, Tabakova
Brahms: Scherzo, "FAE Sonata", Wo02 (arr. Rysanov), Bridge: Allegro Appassionato, Pensiero, Enescu: Piéce de concert, Franck: Violin Sonata (arr. Rysanov), Glinka: Viola Sonata, Tabakova: Whispered Lullaby
Roman Mints Violin
Violin: Roman Mints Viola: Maxim Rysanov Cello: Kristina Blaumane New Prague Sinfonia West Kazakhstan Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor: Mikel Toms
Bach: Inventions and Partitas
Janine Jansen - Violin Maxim Rysanov - Viola Torleif Thedeen - Cello
Kancheli: Styx
Pavane
Piano Ashley Wass. BIS-SACD-1773
Press Service

Photo: Laszlo Emmer

Photo: Laszlo Emmer

Photo: Laszlo Emmer

Photo: Laszlo Emmer

Representation:
DK, NO, SE, FI