Maxim Vengerov

Universally hailed as one of the world’s finest musicians and often referred to as the greatest living string player in the world today, Grammy Award winner Maxim Vengerov also enjoys international acclaim as a conductor and is one of the most in-demand soloists.

Born in 1974, he began his career as a solo violinist at age 5, won the Wieniawski and Carl Flesch international competitions at ages 10 and 15, studied with Galina Tourchaninova and Zakhar Bron, made his first recording at age 10 and went on to record extensively for high-profile labels including Melodiya, Teldec and EMI, earning among others, Grammy and Gramophone Artist of the Year awards.

In 2007, he followed in the footsteps of his mentor, the late Mstislav Rostropovich, and turned his attention to conducting and in 2010, was appointed the first chief conductor of the Gstaad Festival Orchestra. June 2014 saw Vengerov graduate with a diploma of excellence from the Moscow Institute of Ippolitov-Ivanov with Professor Yuri Simonov; he has since finished an additional two-year program of opera conducting.

Highlights of recent seasons saw Vengerov opening the season of the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala with Maestro Riccardo Chailly, a residence with Monte Carlo Philharmonic and the Philharmonie in Paris, as well as a worldwide recital tour. Highlights of the 22-23 season saw him in an extensive U.S. and Canadian recital tour including Berkeley, Kansas City, New York and Toronto, and an 11-concert tour in the United Kingdom. Other orchestral performances as a soloist include Montreal, Vienna, London, Paris and Taiwan, and chamber music concerts with Evgeny Kissin and Steven Isserlis at Carngie Hall, and in Switzerland with Simon Trpcesky and Steven Isserlis.

He also joined Aspen and Bravo! Vail festivals in the States this summer in recital, master classes and concerto performance with Fabio Luisi and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and celebrated 40 years on stage at the Royal Albert Hall in a big gala concert in April 2023. In 2023-24, he will open the Shanghai International Festival with Christoph Eschenbach, will embark on another worldwide recital tour including North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia and will perform orchestra concerts in, among others, Vienna, Paris and Milan.

In 2020, Vengerov became Classic FM’s first solo artist-in-residence and released a new recording of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with conductor Myung-Whun Chung and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, coupled with works by Saint-Säens and Ravel, as well as a live recital from Carnegie Hall.

As one of Vengerov’s greatest passions is the teaching and encouraging of young talent, he has held various teaching positions around the world. He currently holds the post of Stephan and Viktoria Schmidheiny Stiftungsprofessor at the Mozarteum University Salzburg. Since September 2016, he is also the Polonsky Visiting Professor of Violin at the Royal College of Music in London. In 2018, Vengerov became the goodwill ambassador of the Musica Mundi School, a unique institution that supports young talents.

With the vision of democratizing the access of music learning, he launched his own online platform in January 2021: and created an impact across 170 countries, with a reach of more than 190 million. His first-year programs include partnerships with musical institutions worldwide, the lottery-ticket program and guest artist series inaugurated with Brett Yang from TwoSet Violin, as well as his new global community group whose projects include the world-leading mentoring program, rural musical communities initiative and the Musical Pen Pals program for children.

Vengerov has been profiled in a series of documentaries, including “Playing by Heart,” which was recorded by Channel Four Television and screened at the Cannes Television Festival in 1999, and “Living the Dream,” which was released worldwide and received the Gramophone Award for best documentary in 2008.

Vengerov has received prestigious fellowships and honors from many institutions. In 2012, he was awarded an honorary visiting fellowship at Trinity College Oxford. In 2019, he received an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Music London, as well as the Order of Cultural Merit from the Palace Monte Carlo.

Vengerov has also received many honors, including Grammy Award for best instrumental soloist performance (with orchestra) (2003), two Gramophone Awards (1994, 1995), a Classical Brit Award (2004), five Edison Classical Music Awards (1995, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2004), two ECHO Awards (1997, 2003) and a World Economic Forum Crystal Award (2007), honoring artists who have used their art to improve the state of the world.

He plays the ex-Kreutzer Stradivarius (1727).

Please note: Biographies are based on information provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on websites of the artists or their management.