Maxim Vengerov

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Maxim Vengerov
Максим Александрович Венгеров
Background information
Birth nameMaxim Alexandrovich Vengerov
Born (1974-08-20) 20 August 1974 (age 46)
Novosibirsk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union[1][2]
InstrumentsViolin, Viola
Years active1984–present
Associated actsZakhar Bron

Maxim Alexandrovich Vengerov (Russian: Максим Александрович Венгеров, IPA: [mɐkˈsʲim ɐlʲɪkˈsandrəvʲɪtɕ vʲɪnˈɡʲerəf]; born 20 August 1974) is a Russian-born Israeli violinist, violist, and conductor. Classic FM has called him “one of the greatest violinists in the world.”[3]


Vengerov was born the only child of Aleksandr and Larisa Borisovna, oboist and orphanage children’s choir director respectively.[2] He began studying the violin at age 5 with Galina Turchaninova. At the age of 10, Vengerov won the 1984 International Karol Lipiński and Henryk Wieniawski Young Violin Player Competition. For the next five years he was a pupil of Zakhar Bron, who in 1987 left the Soviet Union to teach at the Royal Academy of Music in London. When Bron relocated to the Musikhochschule Lübeck, Vengerov followed suit.[2] In 1990, Vengerov won the International Carl Flesch Competition in London, which led to his recording contract with Teldec and the launch of his international career.

In 1997, Vengerov became the first classical musician to be appointed an International Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF,[citation needed], performing for children in Uganda, Thailand, and Kosovo. Playing by Heart, an American television production on NBC about the violinist’s meetings with young musicians during his master classes, was screened at the 1999 Cannes Festival. He later took a two-year course in Baroque violin performance practice and repertoire.[citation needed]

In 2010, he was appointed the first chief conductor of the Menuhin Festival Gstaad Orchestra. He continued his conducting studies with Yuri Simonov, and graduated with a diploma of excellence from the Ippolitov-Ivanov State Musical Pedagogical Institute in June 2014. Vengerov then enrolled in a further two-year program of opera conducting. Vengerov's work with contemporary composers has included premiering the violin concerto La Joie de la souffrance by Qigang Chen.[4]

During 2019–20, he was artist-in-residence with the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra.[5] Currently he is Ambassador and Visiting Professor at the Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland (IMMA) and Polonsky Visiting Professor of Violin at the Royal College of Music, London.[6] Aside from teaching, Vengerov has also served on numerous competition juries, including the Donatella Flick conducting competition, the Menuhin Violin Competition, and also as chairman of the Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in 2011 and 2016. In May 2013, he conducted the finals of the Montreal International Violin Competition.

Across his career Vengerov has earned numerous awards including the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (with Orchestra) (2003), two Gramophone Classical Music Awards (1994, 1995), a Classic Brit Award (2004), five Edison Classical Music Awards (1995, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2004), two Echo Music Prizes (1997, 2003), and a World Economic Forum Crystal Award (2007). In addition, he has earned fellowships and honors from the Royal Academy of Music, an Honorary Visiting Fellowship at Trinity College, Oxford, and orders of merit from Romania and the German state of Saarland.


Vengerov currently performs on the late period 1727 "ex-Kreutzer" Stradivarius violin made just after the "Golden Period" of Stradivarius violins which was previously owned by the Frenchman Rodolphe Kreutzer (1766– 1831) for whom Beethoven's 9th Violin Sonata was named.[7] He purchased the violin with aid from Countess Yoko Nagae Ceschina and bought at Christie's 1 April 1998, with the assistance of violin dealer Haim Lazarov, on behalf of Vengerov for £947,500.[8]

Personal life[edit]

In November 2011, Vengerov married Olga Gringolts, sister of the violinist Ilya Gringolts and an art historian. The couple has two daughters.[9] The family resides in Monaco.[8]


  1. ^ Verghis, Sharon (28 November 2015). "Violinist Maxim Vengerov joins the QSO with Stradivarius". The Australian. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Adrian Hamilton (22 January 2005). "Maxim Vengerov: The showman". The Independent. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  3. ^ Classic FM. "Maxim Vengerov: Facts".
  4. ^ Chen Nan (23 October 2017). "For the sake of art". China Daily. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Armenian State Symphony Orchestra". Barbican Centre. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  6. ^ 2016-09-05T00:00:00+01:00. "Violinist Maxim Vengerov appointed visiting professor at London's Royal College of Music". The Strad. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  7. ^ Andrew Clark (30 November 2012). "Lunch with the FT: Maxim Vengerov". Financial Times. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  8. ^ a b Jessica Duchen (3 November 2015). "Editor's Lunch: Vengerov Takes It To The Max". Amati Magazine. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  9. ^ Adam Sweeting (16 November 2013). "Maxim Vengerov: new and turbo-charged". Telegraph. Retrieved 17 June 2018.

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