Valeriy Sokolov is a Russian (Ukrainian) violinist born (in Kharkiv) on September 22, 1986. He has a very busy concert career and he tours throughout Europe regularly. He is known for having a highly personal (and distinctive) style of playing. He began his studies in his native Ukraine but left at age thirteen (1999) upon receiving a scholarship (from the Sarasate violin competition) to study in England with Natalya Boyarskaya. He began his violin studies in Kharkiv at age five but I do not know who his first teachers were. He later studied with Felix Andrievsky and in Germany and Vienna with (among others) Ana Chumachenco, Mark Lubotsky, and Boris Kuschnir. By 2006, his career was firmly established. He was barely 20 years old. Sokolov is particularly well known for this interpretation of Bartok’s second concerto which he has recorded. He made his U.S. debut in 2007. Sokolov is the subject of a 2004 documentary about his emerging career. Here is a short YouTube video of him playing Beethoven. Photo is courtesy of Derry Moore.