Maxim Vengerov supports new global UNICEF initiative

As a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations Children’s Fund, Maxim Vengerov has lent his support to UNICEF’s new global initiative to help end violence against children. Launching on July 31, the campaign focuses on eradicating child abuse by bullying or sexual violence and trafficking in homes, areas of conflict, and schools. As UNICEF writes, “Just because you can’t see violence, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Make the invisible visible.”

Vengerov has said of his work with UNICEF, “Helping children in need and sharing classical music with young people is perhaps the greatest responsibility of my life.” Learn more about his work with the organization here.

Maxim Vengerov Appears on Gala Programs in Monte Carlo and Brussels

In between concerts at the Ravinia and Verbier Festivals, violinist and conductor Maxim Vengerov can be heard in Monaco and Brussels this weekend, appearing on two gala programs.

On July 27, Vengerov appears at the Naked Heart Foundation’s Love Ball in Monte Carlo, supporting the charity’s mission to ensure a loving family and safe place to play for all children, in its annual fundraiser. Vengerov appears alongside compatriot ballerina Diana Vishneva, a principal of both the Mariinsky Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Together, they perform Mikhail Fokine’s ballet The Dying Swan, set to Saint-Saëns’s “Le Cygne” from Carnival of the Animals, at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo.

The evening of July 28 finds Vengerov in Château du Lac, Brussels, for the closing gala concert of Musica Mundi, the summer music-training course for young musicians. As an artist-in-residence for the program, Vengerov appears alongside fellow violinist Ivry Gitlis and pianist Itamar Golan, as well as the Young Talents Ensembles and Orchestra of Musica Mundi.

“If Vengerov is not the finest talent of his generation, I don’t know who is.”

Maxim Vengerov’s recent return to the United States won over audiences and critics alike at the Ravinia Festival on July 15 and 17. John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune once again led the acclaim for Vengerov’s interpretation of Britten’s Violin Concerto, restating his initial praise from 20 years prior, “If Vengerov is not the finest talent of his generation, I don’t know who is.”

“Fingers and bow moving at a seemingly impossible speed, he gave the Prokofiev-like Vivace a propulsive drive that was tremendously exciting: You half-expected the instrument…to burst into flame,” he wrote, adding, “Given performances as vital as this, Britten’s shamefully neglected concerto will not languish in obscurity much longer.”

“Vengerov went straight to the music and made this entirely a tale of harmony, melody and structure,” noted Andrew Ratner of the Chicago Sun-Times, while Lawrence A. Johnson of The Classical Review wrote that “Vengerov was clearly in synch with this enigmatic work, bringing incisive virtuosity to the bursts of spiky agitation and terraced dynamics to the more introspective pages. The soloist underlined the Shostakovich influence in the cadenzas and conveyed the searching expression of the concluding Passacaglia, finding a degree of solace in the bleakly hushed coda.”

Vengerov’s next concerts take him to Brussels and the Verbier Festival. For more information, click here.

Maxim Vengerov Makes a Hotly Anticipated Return to the United States

With two concerts at the Ravinia Festival on July 15 and 17, violinist and conductor Maxim Vengerov will make a much-anticipated return to the United States in both a recital and concert setting. On July 15, Vengerov reprises his recital program with pianist Itamar Golon that the two performed on July 12 in Bordeaux, which features sonatas by Beethoven, Schubert, and Franck, as well as Saint-Saëns’s Havanaise and Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso.

On July 17, Vengerov joins James Conlon and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Britten’s Violin Concerto, marking the composer’s centennial with the first performances of his 1939 work at Ravinia. The program continues the Britten celebration with Four Sea Interludes from his opera Peter Grimes, and also celebrates Wagner’s bicentennial with overtures and preludes from Rienzi, Der fliegende Holländer, and Lohengrin.

Maxim Vengerov Guests in Riga and Bordeaux This Week

Following recent successes in Tokyo with his first annual Vengerov Festival (where he performed four different programs as violinist, conductor, and teacher) as well as closing the Istanbul Music Festival with Dvorak’s Violin Concerto, Maxim Vengerov continues his busy summer with two concerts in Europe this week. This starts on July 10 when he joins the Filarmonica de Cámara de Valencia in Riga, Latvia. Comprised of members of the Valencia Opera House’s orchestra, hand-picked by Lorin Maazel and Zubin Mehta, the chamber orchestra performs at Riga’s Dzintari Concert Hall. Vengerov will be heard throughout the program with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in D minor, Bach’s Double Concerto in D minor, and three works by Tchaikovsky: Sérenade mélancolique, Souvenir d’un lieu cher, and Valse-scherzo in C major. Ricardo Casero conducts the evening’s proceedings.

Two days later, Vengerov turns to Bordeaux for Musique en Graves, of which he is honorary president. The festival’s opening night on July 12 finds Vengerov with frequent recital partner Itamar Golan in performance at the Domaine de Chevalier vineyard in Léognan. The pair offers sonatas by Beethoven, Schubert, and Franck, as well as Saint-Saëns’s Havanaise and Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso.

These two concerts precede Maxim Vengerov’s return to the American concert stage, where he reprises his recital program with Golan (July 15) and plays Britten with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (July 17), both at the Ravinia Festival.