Michael Kugel

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Michael Kugel (Ukrainian: Михайло Бенедиктович Кугель; born December 5, 1946) is a Ukrainian viola player and composer.


Born in Kharkiv, USSR, he studied at the Beethoven School of Music, at the Music College in Kharkiv and later at the Leningrad (Saint Petersburg) Conservatory.

In 1975 he won First Prize (joint with Zoltan Toth) at the International Viola Competition in Budapest.[1]

During years 1975-1990 Michael Kugel was the soloist of the Moscow Philharmonic Organisation, violist of the Beethoven Quartet and professor at the Moscow Conservatory. From 1990 till 1996 Michael Kugel was a professor at the Jerusalem Rubin Academy of Music and Dance.

In 1996 he settled in Belgium and now he is a professor at the Ghent Conservatory (Belgium) and at the Conservatorium Maastricht in the Netherlands.

Michael Kugel appeared as a soloist with many major symphony orchestras in the world and also appeared as a conductor with many orchestras.

He has taken part in Festivals in Schleswig-Holstein, Lockenhause, Lille, Rolandseck, Passau, Jerusalem, Rizor, Orebro, Krems, Divonn, Menton, Mürzzuschlag, Venezia, Festival van Vlaanderen, Dubrovnik, Cincinnati, etc.

Michael Kugel was a member of jury for International competitions in England, Austria, Israel, USA, Croatia, Belgium, Germany and CIS:

Michael Kugel has given masterclass in Germany, England, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Finland, Mexico, Israel, France, Belgium, Croatia, CIS, Holland, Canada etc.

Michael Kugel has enriched the viola repertoire with many transcriptions and with his own compositions : Sonata-Poem for viola solo, Concerto for viola and orchestra, Suite in memoriam Shostakovich for viola and piano, sonatas etc. His compositions also include a piano sonata, chamber symphony and chamber music among others.

He has recorded about 20 discs and also made numerous records as a viola d'amore player as well.

He is the author of three books :

Michael Kugel is the founder and the President of the Belgian Viola Society.

Selected compositions[edit]

Michael Kugel's compositions are published by Alain Van Kerckhoven Editeur.

  • Il Carnevale di Venezia for Viola and Piano (2001)
  • Classical Preludes for Viola and Piano (1999)
  • Sonata-Poem for Viola Solo (1987)
  • Suite in Memoriam Shostakovich for Viola and Piano (1988)

Michael Kugel's works are published by Nototeka (publisher Dmitry Yuferov)


He has recorded about 20 discs and also made numerous records as a viola d'amore player as well. He made them in the former Soviet Union but unfortunately most of those records are unavailable.

His recent recordings include:

  • In Memoriam Shostakovich. Michael Kugel (viola), Vesna Podrug (piano), 1998, ASIN B000068VGR In Memoriam Shostakovich on iTunes
  • The recorded viola. Volume IV. Pearl GEMS 0039, PhonCD R2448 reva v.4, 1998
  • Mark Kopytman, Beyond all this... The Israel Camerata, Avner Biron (conductor), Michael Kugel (viola), 1999, IMI-CD-1929-03
  • Glinka, Paganini, Bizet, Waxman. Michael Kugel (viola) Asir Rozenberg (piano), 1999

"The greatest Russian violists" (MELODIA)-2009.

"Michael Kugel - Boris Berezovsky" (MELODIA - 2014)

Audio recordings[edit]


Some videos can be found here: [1]


  • Michael Kugel, History of an era. An interpretation of two works for viola, 2002, ISBN 978-2-87304-001-7
  • Masterpieces of the Instrumental Music, unpublished
  • Musical Essay, 2014, ISMN 979-0-9007107-0-3



External links[edit]