"Yuri Bashmet confounds all the old viola-player jokes. Flamboyant and intense, he has rescued the viola from its reputation as the introverted nerd of the string family, and transformed it into an instrument for the communication of Byronic emotional drama".
Stephen Johnson. BBC Music Magazine
"The evening's highlight was Schnittke's Viola Concerto, a subtle and lyrical masterpiece written for its peerless soloist, Yuri Bashmet. To hear a more authentic performance would be impossible, a finer one inconceivable".
Fiona Maddocks. Evening Standard
"This is a terrific example of ensemble string-playing. The 18 players of Yuri Bashmet's Moscow Soloists bring corporate vigour, subtlety and virtuosity to bear on a trio of diverse Soviet chamber symphonies... The bite of the playing and the exploitation of the music's gut-wrenching emotion grip the ear from beginning to end..."
Matthew Rye. The Telegraph
"The high-point of the programme, which is expertly directed by the violist Yuri Bashmet, is an urgent performance of the Chamber symphony that Rudolf Barshai fashioned from Shostakovich's Eighth String Quartet. You won't find many quartet recordings that hammer out the fourth movement's imitated gunfire as forcefully as Bashmet's Muscovites do on this well-engineered recording".
Rob Cowan. The Independent
|General Partner of the Ensemble || || |
|Sponsor of the Ensemble|| || |
The ensemble made its debuts on 19 May 1992 at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire and on 21 May the same year at France´s Salle Playel in Paris. The ensemble has performed with great success at many famed and prestigious music venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Barbican Hall in London, the Tivoli in Copenhagen, the Berlin Philharmonic and in Wellington (New Zealand).
The ensemble has performed with soloists including Svyatoslav Richter (piano), Gidon Kremer (violin), Mstislav Rostropovich (cello), Vladimir Tretyakov (violin), Maxim Vengerov (violin), Vadim Repin (violin), Sarah Chang (violin, USA), Barbara Hendricks (soprano, USA), James Galway (flute, USA), Natalia Gutman (cello), Lynn Harrell (cello, USA), Mario Brunello (cello, Italy) and Thomas Quasthoff (bass, Germany).
In 1994 the Moscow Soloists with Gidon Kremer and Mstislav Rostropovich recorded a compact disc for EMI. A disc of works by Dmitry Shostakovich and Johannes Brahms with Sony Classics was named “best recording of the year” by STRAD magazine critics and nominated for a Grammy. The ensemble received a repeat Grammy nomination in 2006 for a disc of chamber symphonies by Shostakovich, Georgy Sviridov and Mieczyslaw Weinberg. In 2007, the Moscow Soloists won a Grammy award for a recording of music by Igor Stravinsky and Sergei Prokofiev.
The ensemble has frequently performed at the most prestigious music festivals, among them the Rostropovich Festival in Evian (France), the Music Festival of Montreux (Switzerland), Sydney Music Festival, Bath Music Festival (UK), The Proms at London´s Royal Albert Hall, Prestige de la Musique at Paris´ Salle Playel, Sony-Classical at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Semaines musicales de Tours (France) and the December Evenings in Moscow. Over sixteen years, the musicians have given over one thousand two hundred concerts, or around two thousand three hundred hours of music. In “trains, planes and automobiles” they have spent over four thousand three hundred and fifty hours, covering distances of one million three hundred and sixty thousand kilometres, equivalent to thirty-four times round the Earth´s equator.
The ensemble´s performances have met with passionate applause in over forty countries on five continents. Over two hundred masterpieces of world classics and rarely performed works by composers of the past and present make up the repertoire. The Moscow Soloists´ programmes stand out for their vivid nature, variety and interesting premieres. The orchestra regularly appears on various television programmes in Russia and abroad. Their concerts have been broadcast and recorded numerous times by the world´s leading broadcasting companies, such as the BBC, Bavarian Radio, Radio France and Japan´s NHK corporation.