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Violist & Conductor


He is principally known for his performances as a violist, guest of the crème of international music scene such as BBC Last Night of the Proms, Edinburgh Festival, Salzburg Festival. He now combines his viola performance with a career as a conductor.


Conducting engagements include the Basel Symphony Orchestra, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Riga Sinfonietta, Oslo Camerata, Moscow Musica Viva, Kiev Soloists, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Georgian National Symphony Orchestra, Częstochowa Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra CHAARTS as well as conducting at festivals in Dubrovnik (with Roger Moore as narrator), Utrecht (with Janine Jansen), Boswil (with Vilde Frang), and the finale of the Beijing Viola Festival. Forthcoming engagements include the Detmold Chamber Orchestra, Dala Sinfonietta, and Southbank Sinfonia.


Among his concerto highlights are Mariinsky Orchestra (Valery Gergiev), Russian National Orchestra (Mikhail Pletnev), BBC Symphony Orchestra (Jiří Bělohlávek), Seattle Symphony (Andrey Boreyko), Orquesta de Castilla y Leon (Vasily Petrenko), DSO Berlin (Tugan Sokhiev), Moscow Philharmonic (Yuri Simonov), BSO (Vladimir Fedoseev), Gurzenich Orchestra (Sir Mark Elder), Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra (Philippe Herreweghe), NDR Philharmonic Orchestra (Eivind Gullberg Jensen), Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra (Juraj Valcuha), RTE Symphony Orchestra (Olari Elts), the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (Arvo Volmer), the West Australian Symphony Orchestra (Vladimir Verbitsky), Auckland Symphony Orchestra (Eckehard Stier), Danish National Symphony Orchestra (Michael Schoenwandt), Malaysian Philharmonic (Yan Pascal Tortelier), Shanghai Symphony (Long Yu), Orquesta Sinfonica de Euskadi (Diego Matheuz), Ulster Orchestra (Paul Watkins), European Union Youth Orchestra (Matthias Bamert), Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg (Michal Dworzynski).


Maxim is a keen chamber musician. His chamber partners include Maxim Vengerov, Janine Jansen, Mischa Maisky, Gidon Kremer, Nicola Benedetti, Vadim Repin, Augustin Dumay, Viktoria Mullova, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Sol Gabetta, Kristina Blaumane, Leif Ove Andsnes, Denis Matsuev, Ashley Wass, Michael Collins, Martin Frost, Alexei Ogrintcouk, Alice Coote, Eldar Nebolsin, and Jacob Katsnelson.


Maxim has long been recognised by the international music scene and his list of prizes affirm that status. These include the Classic FM Gramophone Young Artist of the Year Award and the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Award, as well as the Geneva, Lionel Tertis and Valentino Bucchi competitions.


His enthusiasm for new music has generated collaborations, which have extended the viola repertoire.  This includes world premieres by Dobrinka Tabakova, Richard Dubugnon and Valentin Bibik. Other composers with whom Maxim has developed a close working relationship include Benjamin Yusupov, Leonid Desyatnikov, Giya Kancheli, Artyom Vassiliev and Elena Langer. In 2014 Maxim presented the Penderecki's double concerto in a Russian premiere. In 2016/17 he will be premiering a new work for solo viola and string orchestra by Peteris Vasks.


Maxim's first solo commercial CD burst onto the recording scene with a Gramophone Editor's Choice award; his next two releases gained the same accolade and a fourth reached the top of the iTunes charts in the USA. In the 2014/15 season his recording output is further extended with a new release on BIS of Martinu viola repertoire in collaboration with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Jiří Bělohlávek, Alexander Sitkovetsky and Katya Apekisheva, as well as a recording of the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with Vilde Frang on Parlophone. Maxim also featured as both soloist and conductor on the debut disc of composer Dobrinka Tabakova (ECM) in 2013 - a disc that reached number 2 in the UK classical charts and was shortlisted for a Grammy award in 2014.


Originally from the Ukraine, Maxim has made London his home. He studied viola with Maria Sitkovskaya in Moscow and John Glickman in London at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He studied conducting with Alan Hazeldine at the Guildhall School of Music in London, and has taken part in several masterclasses including with Gennady Rozhdestvensky and Jorma Panula.


He is delighted to have a Giuseppe Guadagnini viola (1780) on extended loan from the Elise Mathilde Foundation.



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Grammy-nominated Ukrainian-British violist and conductor Maxim Rysanov has established himself as one of the world’s most vibrant and charismatic musicians.