Vladimir Spivakov and the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra
friday 21 October 2016, 8.30 p.m.
Recital had to coincide with the exhibition Icons of Modern Art. The Shchukin Collection.
Vladimir Spivakov, Violin and Conducting
The Moscow Virtuosi, Chamber Orchestra
Violin Concerto in E Minor (soloist: V. Spivakov)
Sonata for Strings No. 3
Symphony in D Minor
Chamber Symphony Op. 110bis (To the Victims of Fascism and War)
Elegy & Polka for Strings
Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Moscow Virtuosi chamber orchestra.
Vladimir Spivakov, an outstanding violinist and conductor, has brightly realized his multi-faceted talent in the music art and in various fields of social life.
As violinist, Vladimir Spivakov had passed the brilliant school of Yuri Yankelevich, a famous professor of the Moscow Conservatory. Not less was the impact of his second teacher and idol – David Oistrakh, one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century.
While still very young, Vladimir Spivakov was awarded high prizes at several important international contests, such as the Marguerite Long – Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris (1965), the Paganini Competition in Genoa (1967), the Montreal International Competition (1969) and the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1970).
In 1975 following his triumphal recitals in the U.S.A., Vladimir Spivakov started his brilliant international career. He performed as soloist with the most important symphonic orchestras in the world, including philharmonic orchestras of Moscow, Leningrad, Berlin, Vienna, London and New-York, symphonic orchestras of Paris, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburg and Cleveland under the baton of the most eminent conductors of the 20th century, such as E. Mravinsky, E. Svetlanov, K. Kondrashin, Y. Temirkanov, M. Rostropovich, L. Bernstein, S. Ozawa, L. Maazel, C.M. Giulini, R. Muti and C. Abbado. Critics of the leading musical countries unanimously appreciate Spivakov’s deep insight into composers’ intentions, the richness, beauty and volume of his tone, his fine phrasing and love for nuance, the emotional impact onto the audience, his refined artistry and intelligence.
Until 1997 Vladimir Spivakov had played a violin of Francesco Gobetti, a present from Professor Yankelevich. Since 1997 he plays a Stradivari which was given to him for life ownership by his admirers.
In 1979 Vladimir Spivakov together with some of his colleagues who shared his love of chamber music formed a new chamber orchestra named «Moscow Virtuosi» and has been its artistic director, conductor and soloist ever since. He studied conducting with Professor Izrail Gusman in Russia as well as with great Leonard Bernstein and Lorin Maazel in the U.S.A. Leonard Bernstein presented him with his own conducting stick as the sign of his sympathy and belief into his conducting future. Vladimir Spivakov never parts with the precious gift.
As chamber and symphony orchestra conductor, Vladimir Spivakov has appeared in the world’s most important concert venues and conducted European and American orchestras, such as symphony orchestras of London, Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Budapest, La Scala Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Academia «Santa Cecilia», the Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra, the French Radio Orchestra and best Russian orchestras.
V. Spivakov has recorded extensively both as soloist and conductor, and his over 40 compact discs reflect different music styles and époques from European baroque music to the works of the 20th century’s composers: Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Penderecki, Schnittke, Pärt, Kancheli, Shchedrin and Gubaydulina, mostly recorded with the BMG Classics.
V. Spivakov was the founder of the International Colmar Music Festival (France) in 1989, and has been its Artistic Director ever since. Many prominent musical groups and ensembles have appeared at the Festival during the years of its existence, a considerable part of them being the best Russian orchestras and choruses as well as great world-known artists such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Yehudi Menuhin, Evgeny Svetlanov, Krzysztof Penderecki, Jose van Dam, Jessye Norman, Robert Hall, Thomas Quasthoff, Kristian Zimmermann, Michel Plasson, Evgeny Kissin, Vadim Repin, Nikolay Lugansky, Vladimir Kraynev, Sergey Leiferkus.
Since 1989 V. Spivakov has taken part as a jury member in many well-known international competitions (in Paris, Genoa, London, Montreal etc.); he is President of the Sarasate Violin Contest in Spain. In 2002 he presided over the Jury of the Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition in Moscow. V. Spivakov followed Nathan Milstein in leading the very prestigious annual violin master classes in Zurich in 1994.
For many years V. Spivakov has been involved in humanitarian and charity activities.
Together with the «Moscow Virtuosi» Chamber Orchestra he performed in Armenia soon after the horrible earthquake of 1988 and in Ukraine 3 days after the Chernobyl disaster, gave hundreds of charity concerts throughout the territory of the former Soviet Union.
In 1994 V. Spivakov founded the Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation aimed at humanitarian, artistic and educational targets, such as improving life standards for orphans and disabled children, as well as creating conditions for creative development of young talents, i.e. providing musical instruments, allocating scholarships and grants, attracting the most talented musicians, children and teenagers, to “Moscow Virtuosi” performances and at the Colmar Music Festival, organizing international art exhibitions for young artists, etc. Through the years of its existence the Foundation has furnished tangible assistance to hundreds of children and young talents.
In 1999-2002 V. Spivakov was Principal Conductor of the Russian National Orchestra, whereas since 2003 he is Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the National Philharmonic of Russia and President of the Moscow Performing Arts Centre.
V. Spivakov was awarded the honorary title of the People’s Artist of the USSR (1989), the State Prize of the USSR (1989), the Order of Peoples’ Friendship (1993), and the Order for Services To Fatherland, Grade III (1999) and II (2009), the Order for Merits of Grade III (Ukraine), the St. Mesrop Mashtots Order (Armenia), l’Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et Letters (France), le Chevalier et l’Officier de l’Ordre de la Legion d’Honneur (France, 2000 and 2010), Commander of the Order of the Star of Italy (2012), international prize “Person of the Year 2012”, and others. The Russian Space Center gave the name of Spivakov to one of small planets on the occasion of his 50th birthday. In 2002 he was elected an Honorary Doctor of the Moscow State Lomonosov University, while in May 2005, together Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Leonid Roshal, he was chosen the Russian of the Year in the «Russia Without Borders» nomination.
In 2006 Vladimir Spivakov was designated UNESCO Artist for Peace for his great contribution into the world of art and his activities aimed at peace and dialogue between cultures. In 2009 he received UNESCO’s Mozart gold medal. V. Spivakov is Ambassador of the Arts for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
In 2012 V. Spivakov was awarded the State Prize of the Russian Federation for outstanding achievement in the field of humanitarian work (in the previous years the laureates of the Prize were Patriarch Alexius II of Russian Orthodox Church, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Valentina Tereshkova, Juan Carlos I of Spain, and Jacques Chirac).
Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra
In 1979 Vladimir Spivakov, an outstanding virtuoso violinist, with a group of his friends and artistic associates, mostly winners of international music competitions, as well as soloists and section leaders of the best Moscow symphonic and chamber orchestras, founded the "Moscow Virtuosi" Chamber Orchestra. Thus, the highest performance standard was set up from the very moment of the orchestra’s establishment, which justified its claim for a rather ambitious, at first glance, title of "Moscow Virtuosi".
The years witnessed an arduous, but joyful consolidation of virtuosi musicians, each being a bright personality, into a world-class, finely-organized musical ensemble with its own performance style and a huge repertoire comprising pieces by a large number of composers from Bach to Schnittke. The process is not completed up to now, but even in the mid 1980s the main performance and artistic features of the orchestra became evident.
Every year the "Moscow Virtuosi" give over 100 concerts, mostly on tours. The geography of the tours is very extensive: it includes all regions of Russia, the former Soviet Union territory, European countries, the United States of America, Canada, Turkey, Israel, China, Japan etc. In all the countries the Virtuosi give their concerts not only in the best and most prestigious concert halls, such as “Concertgebouw” in Amsterdam, “Musikverrein” in Vienna, “Royal Festival Hall” and “Albert Hall” in London, “Pleyel” and “Champs Elysees Theatre” in Paris, “Carnegie Hall” and “Avery Fisher Hall” in New York, “Santory Hall” in Tokyo, but also in ordinary venues of small towns.
A truly European manner of ensemble performance, concern for tiny details and nuances, solicitous and creative interpretation of author's concepts, bright artistic talent and love both for the pieces performed and for the audience make the "Moscow Virtuosi" so different from many other chamber orchestras. To excite the audience emotionally and to enthrall every listener, even an ignorant one, intellectually, to endow him with the pleasure of enjoining music masterpieces, to evoke the desire to come to chamber music concerts again are considered by the "Moscow Virtuosi" the most important goals.
Since the foundation of the orchestra, Vladimir Spivakov, an outstanding violinist and conductor, benefactor and prominent social figure, has been its artistic director, conductor and soloist. Thanks to Maestro Spivakov and the three and a half decades of his activities for the sake of the orchestra, the "Moscow Virtuosi" is now undoubtedly within the best chamber orchestras of the world with their own grateful audiences everywhere and is enjoying the high reputation that has been acquired by years of persistent and hard work.
Since 2003 the “Moscow Virtuosi” Chamber Orchestra is permanently located and rehearses at the Moscow International Performing Arts Centre.