State Ensemble of violinists of
Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) “Virtuosos of Yakutia”
State Ensemble of violinists of Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) “Virtuosos of Yakutia” is gaining an increasing popularity in Russia and in the world, conquering one creative peak after another. Founded in 1994, the ensemble for 18 years has given over 1,500 concerts. Ensemble performed with instant success in 15 European and Asian countries, including five times in France, twice in Italy and Israel and also at United Kingdom, Austria, Portugal, Hungary, Ukraine, China, Germany, Croatia, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia, having covered the distance from Earth to the moon and back.
Since 1996, Ensemble annually performs in Moscow and St. Petersburg, where over the years has given over 50 and 60 concerts respectively.
- 1998, International Festival-Competition of E.A. Mravinsky in St Petersburg (Russia) – Winner
- 2000, Festival “Music Week of Tours” (France) – Winner
- 2002, Festival “Sounds and Colors of the world” in St. Petersburg (Russia) – Winner
- 2004, Festival in Cremona (Italy) – Grand Prix
- 2005, Festival in Miskolc (Hungary) – Grand Prix
- 2006, International Festival in Mullin D`Ande (France) – Winner
- 2009, 1st International Music Tournament «Terem Crossover», St. Petersburg (Russia). Having brilliantly performed among 71 participants from 21 countries, the ensemble became the best of the Russian artists, receiving a special prize of the M. Tariverdiev’s Foundation – “For the life-like creative development of traditions”
- 2010, International competition of chamber ensembles « Shabyt », in Astana (Kazakhstan) – Winner
Recognizing the importance of violinists’ ensemble of The Highest School of Music of Sakha in the development of cultural spirit of people of Yakutia, in December 2005, the ensemble has been assigned an honorable status – “State Ensemble of violinists of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia)” Virtuosos of Yakutia “.
Major Tours and Concerts
Four concerts in London and Carlisle city (UK) in August of 2001
In December-January 2001-02 ensemble delivered one month tour to Moscow and St. Petersburg with a solo program “Hot Strings of the North”. Concerts were given in such famous venues as a concert hall “Russia”, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, the Bolshoi Theatre, the Kremlin Armory and the Small Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic as well as performances in the embassies of India, Singapore, Australia and Malaysia. It was for the first time when our musicians appeared on three programs on National TV Channel One – “Russia”. More than 8,000 visitors have discovered and duly appreciated the highest performance technique of young yakutyanians.
Ensemble of violinists “Virtuosos of Yakutia” became the only group of artists from the Russia’s provinces honored to perform at the 300 anniversary of St. Petersburg in May. Ten concert performances at the best venues (in the Throne Room of the Catherine the Great Palace, the Square of the Arts, at the opening of the fountains in Petergof) had a triumphant success, marked with live broadcast on national and local TV channels.
In July 2003 the ensemble took part in the opera festival in the memories of F. Shalyapin. That’s what the all-Russian press wrote about it, yet another creative achievement of the young team:
“The special thrill of the festival – Ensemble of Violinists “Virtuosos of Yakutia”, in recent years has become a visit card of the Yakutia region not only in Russia, but abroad. They released two CDs and they’ve been always welcome guests at any festival”
The guest of honor of the 3rd festival – Count Peter Sheremetev, chairman of the Russian Musical Society of France and Russian rector of the Paris Conservatory, created by F. Shalyapin in 1923, applauded the Northerners standing and said that “… I am taking them to Paris (“Kultura” newspaper – July 17-23, 2003).
“…Performance schedule declared Ensemble of Violinists “Virtuosos of Yakutia” – as a team of young artists of an amazing coherence – capable of a fantastic performance of the most difficult musical pieces” (“Novoe vremya” magazine, № 32 – August 10, 2003).
“Ensemble of violinists “Virtuosos of Yakutia” is a unique and very successful team “(newspaper “Izvestia”, № 119 – July 9, 2003).
Ensemble gave three solo concerts in Portugal (Qashqai and Lisbon).
10-year anniversary was marked by a creative journey to Moscow and St. Petersburg in January of 2004, including solo concerts in the Great Hall of Moscow International House of Music and Concert Hall “Tchaikovsky”, the Large and Small Halls of the Moscow State Conservatory; recitals in St. Petersburg – worthy crowned the formation of a professional team.
More than a dozen of central mass media and three television channels covered the anniversary concerts. World-wide radio “The Voice of Russia” broadcasted a 47 minutes English-language show to over 150 countries globally about the ensemble of violinists, saying: “And there was a groan in the halls and Moscow public rattled …”.
It was an ovation at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in June 2005, the performance dedicated to 10th anniversary of EU; five concerts in Strasbourg and Honorary Diploma from the Permanent Representation and the Consulate of Russia in the European Council.
Ensemble gave four sold-out concerts, with the enthusiastic response of the audience, press and television in Israel in October 2005.
2006 was marked by the promotion of the ensemble to the east: Mongolia and China. Ten concerts over a single week and the most flattering invitation to tour around China. The Russian Ambassador in China, invited the band to attend a special reception of ambassadors of all countries, said: “We want to show the ambassadors of the world, what a young Russia is.”
Recital at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall on January 8, 2007 was filmed by a national TV channel “Culture” and broadcasted in a 40-minute version.
Ensemble gave 6 concerts in St. Petersburg. And again, national radio broadcasting company “The Voice of Russia” aired the performance all over the world, describing the ensemble as a phenomenon of “unprecedented, unthinkable, wonderful … “
In summer 2007 the ensemble performed in different cities of France and Italy, having great success among spoiled French and Italian audiences.
The participation in the Days of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in Moscow and St. Petersburg in December 2007, was marked by 15 concerts, including recitals at the Moscow International House of Music and, for the first time, at the Great Hall of the St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia and the Small Hall of St. Petersburg State Conservatory, as well as participation, along with the stars of the world of classical art, in a concert dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the Federal Security Service in the State Kremlin Palace.
The peak of appreciation of ensemble’s achievements came with an annual TV program “Music – 2007” on channel “Russia. Cultura” (“Culture”), presenting “Virtuosos” as “group of musicians of an unusual nature and very interesting” precluding ensemble’s performance in the Tchaikovsky Hall.
Germany became the 12th country that has enthusiastically accepted the art of the ensemble, where “Virtuosos” gave three concerts in Berlin in April 2008.
It was a high honor to give a solo concert at the close of the festival “Visiting Larisa Gergieva” in Vladikavkaz in June of 2008. “I want to introduce you a miracle. The miracle is the ensemble of violinists from Yakutia. It’s hard to impress me… But they did… This is an ultra boundary level. The ensemble’s performance has become an adornment and a worthy conclusion of the festival” – said Larisa Gergiev at the closing of the festival.
“We have “street kings “, but Russian has” Kings of the universe “- a high score of the ensemble was given in the bulletin of the international Motovun Film Festival in Croatia after 3 concerts in Zagreb and Motovun in July 2008.
It’s 15-year anniversary the ensemble “Virtuosos of Yakutia” celebrated with the unprecedented tour over all the seven federal districts of Russia and abroad – in South Korea.
It was the first time for the ensemble to make such a large-scale tour with 42 concerts in 28 cities!
The main indicator of success was the fact that the audiences were applauding standing for entire 5-7 minutes to effervescent art of young artists. Russian TV channel “Culture” filmed the concert in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory twice in January, May and in july. The group has received several proposals to re-tour. It is significant to note, that in Khabarovsk, where the ensemble is already known for previous performances, tickets were sold-out one week ahead of the concert.
At the end of the cultural program Ensemble took part in the 1st International Music Tournament «Terem Crossover» in St. Petersburg in March 2010. Having brilliantly performed among 71 participants from 21 countries, ensemble entered the top 12 finalists, where it became the best of russian artists, receiving Special Prize of .Tariverdiev’s Fund “For the living creative development of the traditions”.
From September 20th to 30th, 2010 the ensemble participated in the cultural program of the international fare “EXPO 2010″ in Shanghai (China), delivering 9 concerts in 9 days, having had an honor to perform at the Expo Center in front of the President of Russia – Mr. Dmitry Medvedev and Presindent of China – Mr. Hu Jintao.
A tour to Kazakhstan (Pavlodar, Astana and Almaty) in November 2010, not just provoked the enthusiastic reaction of the audience, but marked a victory (1st place) of the international competition of chamber ensembles (“Shabyt”) in Astana. «The walls of this hall for a long time (perhaps since the arrival of S. Richter) had not heard of such an ovation and did not observe such enthusiasm.» (The newspaper “New Era” Pavlodar)
The ensemble has completed a “high-powered” year of 2010 with the participation in a bénéfice performance dedicated to the 80th anniversary of a great artist – Professor Eduard Grach at Tchaikovsky concert hall and with a concert at 10th Congress of the Union of Russian Composers, devoted to its 50th anniversary.
The concert season of 2010-11 was marked by 6 thematic concerts in the subscription program “Anthology” of Virtuosos of Yakutia”, when 80 pieces of music repertoire were performed. The ensemble continued the series of concerts in 2011-12 subscription program “Art that endears hearts.”
At the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012, Ensemble performed a major concert tour devoted to the 380th anniversary of Yakutia joining the Russian state and the establishment of City of Yakutsk.
Sold-out concerts were held in Yaroslavl, the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, Smolny Cathedral in St. Petersburg together with “Terem Quartet”, Academic Capella of St. Petersburg, as well as the five cities of Yakutia.
The TV channel “Russia. Culture” having recorded a concert ensemble in the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, gave the broadcast of an hour-long program “Concert in the Great Hall – “Virtuosos of Yakutia” and then, included the recorded performance in seven various programs over the year.
The performance of young talents – a powerful force for emotional and aesthetic impact was a real treat for art lovers of classical music in Israel,”- so appreciated the concert of ensemble in Tel Aviv, the head of “Rossotrudnichestvo” company in Israel in March 2012.
In October-November 2012, the ensemble has made a major tour in the United States. 20,000 listeners, 20 cities of 12 states have discovered the art of sparkling Yakut violinists and with a standing ovation asked them to play an encore and come back again.
The ensemble presented their art to music lovers in 14 cities in 2013: among them Moscow, Yaroslavl, Eilat (Israel), Ulan-Ude, Vladivostok, Chita, Surgut, Khanty-Mansiysk, and local cities- Verkhnevilyuisk, Pokrovsk, Nizhny Kuranakh, Namcy, Berdigestjah, Maya.
Great success was achieved touring the countries of Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Guatemala, where from September 20 to October 10, 2014 “Virtuosos of Yakutia” gave 14 concerts
What critics say …
«The ensemble is absolutely unique. They are the pride of the Russian performance art. Ensemble’s concerts are always a resounding success».
Professor of Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory – E.Grach.
«The performances of Yakut violinists get an instant admiration of the most stringent musicians and critics. Simply sensational were the concerts in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Paris and many other cities in our country and abroad.
Professor of Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory – T. Gaidamovich.
«The ensemble amazes with meaningfulness of compositions’ content disclosure, with temperament, musical enthusiasm and professional skills handling the instruments».
Professor of St. Petersburg Conservatory – A.Vavilina -Mravinsky.
«It’s an amazing ensemble of violinists. Yakut children play and sound like a big violin of Julias Reentovich of Bolshoi Theatre».
Academician – V. Piyavko.
«I did not expect such a hearing. After listening to the ensemble of violinists from distant Yakutia, I got an enormous satisfaction. Ensemble’s play conquers with a saturated sound, sense of style and taste excellence».
Professor of St. Petersburg Conservatory – V.Ovcharek.
«What we have seen so striking that one can only shrug. This is something special. This is the highest skill and a completely new method of teaching».
St.-Petersburg CSchool of Music instructor – S.Shalman.
«Over the 50 years of teaching the violin it was the first time that I saw and heard such a high level of virtuosic ensemble skills».
St.–Petersburg School of Music #4 instructor – R.Talan.
«This is a young pearl, matured professionally. In no case we can afford to lose them, otherwise they will be acquired by other countries. Certainly, they belong to all mankind, but first and foremost they belong to Russia».
Head of the Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia – Mr. K.Dolgov.
«We were shocked by the artistry of young talents, their sincerity and love for playing. The atmosphere of inspiration prevailed at the concert of a unique, in its kind, ensemble of violinists»
Professor of Moscow State Conservatory – Vlasenko, Dozent of Russian Music Academy – L. Melnikov.
«The ensemble is worthy of the Hermitage».
Academician, Director of State Hermitage – M.B. Piotrovsky.
“You can include the Ensemble of Violinists “Virtuosos of Yakutia” in any decade of Russian art abroad right away”
Minister of Culture of Russian Federation – A.S. Sokolov.
«Ensemble of Violinists of Highest School of Music – is a property of not only the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), but ultimately of Russia as well»
President of Sakha Republic – V.A. Shtyrov.
In 2000 the Ensemble released its first CD, which was the first CD in the history of the Yakut classical instrumental art. The second CD was recorded in 2003. Ensemble recorded DVD live at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and released it in 2007. The 4th CD of the ensemble recorded live at the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory.
The ensemble consists of 12 violinists. They are the winners of four International Youth Competitions “Violin of the North” in Yakutsk, the open competitions of young violinists of Siberia in Novosibirsk, the International Youth Competition “New Names” in Moscow (2000 and 2008), international competitions in Cremona (Italy, 2004), Hungary (2005), France (2006), Italy (2007), the International Youth Competition “Tchaikovsky’s Homeland” in Izhevsk (2006), All-Russian Delphic Games in Samara (2009) and the International Delphic Games in Yerevan (2010).
Ensemble led by Honored art worker of Russian Federation, honored artist of the Republic of Sakha (Yakoutia)- Professor Larisa Gabysheva and Honored art worker of Russian Federation and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) – Professor Stanislav Afanasenko. Concertmaster – Honoured Artist of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) – Mrs. Nadezhda Petrova .