Maxim Vengerov | © Davide Cerati


Maxim Vengerov

Univ.-Prof. for ViolinDepartment String Studies
Considered one of the world's finest violinists, Grammy Award-winning Maxim Vengerov also enjoys international acclaim as a conductor and is one of the most sought-after soloists. Born in 1974, he began his career as a solo violinist at the age of five, won the Wieniawski and Carl Flesch international competitions at the ages of ten and fifteen, respectively, studied with Galina Tourchaninova and Zakhar Bron, and made his first recording at the age of ten. He has worked with high-profile labels such as Melodia, Teldec, and EMI, and has won Grammy and Grammophone Artist of the Year awards, among others.
Vengerov was inspired by many different styles of music, including baroque, jazz and rock, and in 2007 followed in the footsteps of his mentors, the late Mstislav Rostropovich and Daniel Barenboim, by turning to conducting. Since then he has conducted major orchestras around the world – including the Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras – and was appointed First Principal Conductor of the Gstaad Festival Orchestra in 2010. He continued his studies with Yuri Simonov, a representative of the Russian-German conducting school, and graduated with honors in conducting from the Moscow Institute of Ippolitov-Ivanov in June 2014. He also took part in a two-year opera conducting program. As a soloist and/or conductor, he appeared with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra, the Chicago Orchestra, the Montreal Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

In 2014/15 he opened the concert season of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Orchester de Paris and the newest Shanghai Symphony Hall alongside Maestro Long Yu and pianist Lang Lang. He also performed with the Orchester Philharmonique de Radio France and Myung-Whun Chung. In 2015/16 he completed five concert tours that took him to Australia, Canada, Asia, Europe and South America. In the 2016/17 season he returned he returned to Australia to open the Sydney Symphony Orchestra season and conducted the season finale of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, with whom he was Artist in Residence that year. Other guest conductors have included the RTE Orchestra Dublin, the Munich Philharmonic and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. In 2017/18 he returned to Carnegie Hall with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. At the Beijing Music Festival he played a world premiere by the composer Qigang Chen. In 2018/19 he performed with the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala and Maestro Chailly, with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic and the Philharmonie in Paris and played numerous concerts in the USA, China and Europe.

One of his greatest passions is teaching and promoting young talent. Vengerov has therefore held various teaching positions around the world and is currently a professor at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg. Since September 2016 he has also been Polonsky Visiting Professor for Violin at the Royal College of Music in London - the leading conservatory in Great Britain. In accordance with his belief that competitions are a platform for the international career of young artists, he has served on numerous juries, such as the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition, the Menuhin Violin Competition and, in May 2013, the finals of the Montreal International Violin Competition. Due to his success as chairman of the prestigious Wieniawski Violin Competition in 2011, which brought together over 200 musicians in nine capital cities around the world, Vengerov was re-elected to the jury chair in 2016.

In 1997 he became the first classical musician to be named an International Goodwill Ambassador by UNICEF, enabling him to inspire children worldwide through music. In this role he has worked for underprivileged children and communities in Uganda, Thailand, the Balkans and Turkey and helped raise funds for UNICEF. He is also a patron of the MIAGI project in South Africa, which connects children of different ethnic backgrounds through music. Maxim Vengerov has been featured in a number of documentaries including  Playing by Heart , a Channel Four Television production screened at the 1999 Cannes Television Festival, and  Living the Dream, for which he received the 2008 Grammophon Award for Best Documentary.

Vengerov has received numerous scholarships and honors from the Royal Academy of Music, the Orders of Merit of Romania and the German Saarland, as well as an Honorary Visiting Fellowship from Trinity College Oxford in 2012. He has also received numerous awards, including the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance with Orchestra (2003), two Gramophone Awards (1994, 1995), a Classical Brit Award (2004), five Edison Classical Music Awards (1995, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2004), two ECHOs (1997, 2003), and the World Economic Forum Crystal Award ( 2007) to recognize artists who have used their art to improve the state of the world. Vengerov plays the ex-Kreutzer Stradivarius (1727).