Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Elena Kharitonova

Elena Kharitonova is a Russian violinist born on September 12, 1964 (Heifetz was 63 years old.) She is presently one of the top chamber musicians in Russia. She graduated from the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatoire, class of Professors B.Belenky and O.Krysa and completed postgraduate studies in quartet class under Professor A. Shishlov - the first violinist of the Shostakovich Quartet. She was second violinist with the Glazunov Quartet for eight years. During her studies at the Moscow Conservatoire, she won All-Union quartet's competition and received diplomas of the Shostakovich First International quartet's competition and the Sixth International competition of chamber ensembles in Tokyo. From 1998 to 2008, she was the second violinist of the Glinka Quartet, whose repertoire ranged from Bach to Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Shostakovich, and all the rest. She is now the second violinist of the New Russian Quartet, which is barely two years old. I do not know if she has ever played in the U.S. She has also recorded more than 12 CDs.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Russian Quartet

The New Russian Quartet is the resident string quartet of the Moscow Conservatory.  Established in January, 2008, it is already one of the world's best string quartets. Its members are also all graduates of the Conservatory.  It is more or less the equivalent of the Juilliard Quartet in the U.S.  Julia Igonina is the quartet's first violinist, Elena Kharitonova plays second violin, Alexander Galkovsky is the violist, and Alexey Steblev is the cellist.  Except for Julia Igonina, who is actually a brilliant concert violinist, they are all seasoned chamber music players.  As their website indicates, the name of the ensemble implies that the musicians  remain faithful to the Russian performing tradition as they also explore uncharted areas in chamber music.   Their core repertoire consists of the standard literature by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Bartok and all the rest but they also perform contemporary works composed specifically for them.  They have collaborated with such outstanding artists as Jessie Norman, Vladimir Spivakov, Alexander Rudin, Yuri Bashmet, and Shlomo Mintz (playing viola.)  The New Russian Quartet frequently performs in Russia’s best concert venues and participates in music festivals throughout Europe and Asia.  As far as I know, they have not yet toured the U.S.  The members of the quartet perform on Italian instruments from the Russian State's collection.  They also have many superlative videos on YouTube. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Emmy Storms

Emmy Storms is a Dutch violinist born on December 22, 1988 (Perlman was 42 years old.)  She began violin lessons at age five.  She has been studying at the Royal School of Music in The Hague since age 8, where her principal teacher is Koosje van Haerlingen.  In 2005, at age 16, she took first prize at the Davina van Wely Competition and in 2009 a third prize at the National Oskar Back Violin Competition, playing the Tchaikovsky violin concerto with the Orchestra of the Conservatory in The Hague.  Many in attendance felt she deserved the first prize at that competition.  Since 2006 she has taught at the Conservatory in The Hague.  It is just a matter of time before she is discovered as a world-class talent, justifiably belonging in the top ranks of violinists – alongside Hilary Hahn, Leonidas Kavakos, Leila Josefowicz, Gil Shaham, Maxim Vengerov, and Pinchas Zukerman.