Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Anna Rabinova

Anna Rabinova is a Russian violinist who plays in the New York Philharmonic.  She is also a concert violinist, teacher, and chamber musician whose career includes playing as a soloist and recording artist as her schedule allows.  I have chosen her to exemplify the high caliber of artists currently playing in the world’s best (and most prestigious) orchestras – Berlin, Concertgebouw, Vienna, London, Chicago, Philadelphia, and, of course, the New York Philharmonic, to name a few.  I was recently captivated by her live recording of the Mendelssohn concerto on YouTube (with a European Orchestra) which you can listen to here.  I am very discreet with compliments but I must say that its lyricism, sincerity, and beauty took me by surprise.  (As so often happens, I found Rabinova’s YouTube performance purely by accident – while researching something else – but I was very glad I did.)  She began her violin studies at age 6 with Lev Kogan (pupil of Peter Stolyarsky, the eminent Russian pedagogue who was himself an orchestral violinist.)  Later on, at the Moscow Conservatory, she studied with Igor Bezrodny (who premiered Kabalevsky’s violin concerto and was the violinist of the Moscow Trio and pupil of Abram Yampolsky), Mikhail Kopelman (first violinist with the Borodin Quartet and concertmaster of the Moscow Philharmonic), and in New York with Joseph Fuchs.  Her debut was in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.  Rabinova first played in the U.S. in August of 1992 and soon after decided to stay.  She joined the New York Philharmonic in 1994.  In April 2004 she served as concertmaster of the Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Symphony Orchestra.  In October 2008, she was a soloist with the Philharmonic in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, with Lorin Maazel on the podium.  Of course, she also frequently performs as a chamber musician when the members of the Philharmonic break up into trios, quartets, sextets, and other larger combinations to perform in New York or elsewhere, as do also musicians in other top orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic (with its famous 12 cellists), the Pittsburgh Symphony, and others.  Rabinova, whose repertoire includes all of the standard concertos, has toured Germany, Italy, Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Bulgaria, performing with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra and numerous other European orchestras.  These include the Halle Philharmonic, Moscow Radio Orchestra, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Russian State Symphony, and Berlin Symphony.  In the U. S., she has made solo appearances with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the American Symphony Orchestra, among many others, and has premiered works by John Corigliano, David Winkler, and Alfred Schnittke.  As a recitalist in Europe, she has appeared in the Shauspielhaus in Berlin, Tchaikovsky Philharmonic Hall in Moscow, and the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, as well as in venues in Rome, Leipzig, and Belgrade.  In the U.S. she has performed at the Phillips Gallery in Washington, D.C., Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and many other venues too numerous to mention.  Her festival performances have included appearances at the Schleswig Holstein, Berlin Chamber Music, Long Island Mozart festival, the Music Festival of the Hamptons, and Tanglewood.  Rabinova’s recordings include works by Schuman (for Germany’s Auris-Subtilis) and David Winkler’s Violin Concerto (Naxos); in 1998 she recorded sonatas by Brahms and Schubert for an NHK-TV (Japan) chamber music series.  Rabinova also recently premiered (May, 2010) a new double violin concerto (with Dmitri Berlinsky) by Winkler.  I do not know whether that recording has been issued.  She has performed on television in New York, as well as on German and Russian radio.  Her violin is a Carlo Landolfi (1758 – Mozart was two years old when it was constructed.) 

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