Not just an outstanding technique, but also a dynamic expertise of unique expressiveness" - these qualities were attributed to violinist Nikolai Znaider for his latest CD recording featuring the concertos of Max Bruch and Carl Nielsen. His violin playing, said the magazine "Strad", is "reminiscent of the good old days of great violin artistry". Born in 1975 as the son of Polish-Israeli parents in Denmark, he began his studies with Milan Vitek at the Royal Danish Conservatory. After winning the first prize at the 1992 Carl Nielsen Competition, he perfected his training with Dorothy DeLay at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. Above and beyond this, Nikolai Znaider has studied since 1994 with the renowned violin teacher Boris Kuschnir at the Vienna Conservatory. He first attracted international notice in 1997 when he won the first prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. Since then, the artist described by Lord Yehudi Menuhin as "the successor to Ysaye" is in great demand world-wide as a soloist and chamber musician. In February of this year a tour with the London Symphony Orchestra under Mstislav Rostropovitch took him to Japan. Further highlights in his career have included appearances with major international orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Koninklijke Concertgebouw Orkest ub Ansterdam, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, the Munich and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestras as well as the Philhadelphia Orchestra, with which he made his debut in New Yorkґs Carnegie Hall. His musical partners have included such luminaries as Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Herbert Blomstedt, Sir Colin Davis, Neeme Jarvi, Kurt Masur, Mstislaw Rostropovitch, Mariss Jansons and Yuri Temirkanov. Nikolaj Znajder plays a violin built by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu in 1732, placed at his disposal by Machold Rare Violins. The artist was most recently heard at a special benefit concert for the Orchestra Academy with Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto as guest of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He also recorded this concerto with the Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Mariss Jansons along with the Glazunov Violin Concerto and Tchaikovsky‘s Meditation Opus 42 on a CD which is soon to be released. Nikolai Znaider is an exclusive BMG/RCA Victor Red Seal Artist.
There is a long and interesting partnership that links Nikolaj with us. He performed in St Petersburg on a number of occasions, both at the Mariinsky Theatre main stage (at the “Stars of the White Nights” Festival in 2005) and at the Concert Hall, where he featured in a dual capacity of violin soloist and conductor. Nikolaj joined our Orchestra on tour in Italy and Germany, as well as in some Russian cities during the “Moscow Easter Festival” over the last few years. These tours are particularly memorable to us, as they reflect our educational mission for those audiences in the country that are located faraway from St Petersburg. Nikolaj is open to exploring various capacities as a musician: thus, in one of the concerts of the “Moscow Easter Festival” in 2006, he featured as the soloist in a violin concerto as well as the orchestra leader in a symphony. It was his personal wish to perform some relatively unexplored works for violin and orchestra by the XX century composers for the audiences in Russia at the Easter Festival this year.
Valery Gergiev and Nikolaj Znaider performed together in numerous concerts in Rotterdam, Vienna, London, Rome and Milan along with various bands. Their joint recording of Violin Concertos by Brahms and Korngold together with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was recently released on “Sony Music” (RCA Red Seal).
In accordance with our Artist of the month project, Nikolaj will perform in three concerts that feature his art in three different ways. All three concerts are themed around the masterpieces written in the XIX century by Western European composers (except for the Violin Concerto by Elgar, which was composed in the beginning of the XX century).
These concerts starring Nikolaj Znaider, without doubt are among the most remarkable events of this month and we hope that you will enjoy these carefully programmed evenings at our Concert Hall.