Award-winning Ukrainian-British violist and conductor Maxim Rysanov has established himself as one of the world’s most vibrant and charismatic musicians. As a violist, he is principally known as a frequent guest of the crème of the international music scene, such as BBC Last Night of the Proms and the festivals of Edinburgh, Salzburg and Verbier. He now combines viola performance with a thriving career as a conductor.
Conducting engagements include the Spanish Radio Orchestra, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Riga Sinfonietta, London Mozart Players, Baltic Neopolis Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble, Russian National Orchestra, Moscow Musica Viva, Kiev Soloists, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Georgian National Symphony Orchestra, Częstochowa Philharmonic Orchestra, Detmold Chamber Orchestra, Dala Sinfonietta, Southbank Sinfonia, Plovdiv Philharmonic, Sofia Opera Orchestra, Sofia Philharmonic, Royal College of Music String Orchestra, Badisches Staatsorchester, Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, as well as conducting at festivals in Dubrovnik (with Roger Moore as narrator), Utrecht (with Janine Jansen), Boswil (with Vilde Frang), Surrey Hills (with Nicola Benedetti) and the closing concert of the Beijing Viola Festival.
Conducting appearances this season include return visits to the Verdi Orchestra Milan and the Dala Sinfonietta, and debuts with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and the Stellenbosch Festival Orchestra in South Africa.
Among his concerto highlights are the Mariinsky Orchestra (Valery Gergiev), Russian National Orchestra (Mikhail Pletnev), BBC Symphony Orchestra (Jiří Bělohlávek), Seattle Symphony (Andrey Boreyko), Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León (Vasily Petrenko), Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Tugan Sokhiev), Moscow Philharmonic (Yuri Simonov), Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (Vladimir Fedoseev), Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne (Sir Mark Elder), Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra (Philippe Herreweghe), NDR Philharmonic Orchestra (Eivind Gullberg Jensen), Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra (Juraj Valcuha), RTE Symphony Orchestra (Olari Elts), Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (Arvo Volmer), West Australian Symphony Orchestra (Vladimir Verbitsky), Auckland Symphony Orchestra (Eckehard Stier), Danish National Symphony Orchestra (Michael Schoenwandt), Malaysian Philharmonic (Yan Pascal Tortelier), Shanghai Symphony (Long Yu), Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi (Diego Matheuz), Ulster Orchestra (Paul Watkins), European Union Youth Orchestra (Matthias Bamert) and Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg (Michał Dworzyński).
Upcoming viola engagements include the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Spanish National Orchestra, Reykjavík Midsummer Music Festival, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Orchestre de Caen, and Hong Kong International Music Festival.
Maxim is a keen chamber musician. His chamber partners include Maxim Vengerov, Janine Jansen, Mischa Maisky, Gidon Kremer, Nicola Benedetti, Vadim Repin, Augustin Dumay, Viktoria Mullova, Alexander Sitkovetsky, Sol Gabetta, Kristina Blaumane, Leif Ove Andsnes, Denis Matsuev, Alessio Bax, Michael Collins, Martin Frost, Alexei Ogrintchouk, Alice Coote, Eldar Nebolsin and Ashley Wass.
Maxim’s enthusiasm for new music generates many exciting collaborations which extend the viola repertoire. This includes world premieres by Dobrinka Tabakova, Richard Dubugnon and Valentin Bibik. Other composers with whom Maxim has developed a close working relationship include Benjamin Yusupov, Leonid Desyatnikov, Giya Kancheli, Artem Vassiliev and Elena Langer. Last season he premiered a new viola concerto by Pēteris Vasks which was co-commissioned by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Vale of Glamorgan Festival and Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg. Further performances of this piece include Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, Riga Sinfonietta, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn and Tallinn Chamber Orchestra.
Maxim’s recordings have gained numerous award nominations including Gramophone Editor’s Choice, ECHO, ICMA, and Grammy, as well as reaching the top of the iTunes charts in the USA. Maxim also featured as both soloist and conductor on the debut disc of composer Dobrinka Tabakova (ECM) in 2013 – a disc that reached number 2 in the UK classical charts and was shortlisted for a Grammy Award. In June 2017 Onyx released a double CD devoted to music by and inspired by Schubert, in which Maxim both conducted and played. It was listed as Classic FM’s Best New Recordings, KDFC Album of the Week and KUSC Album of the Week.
Maxim is a recipient of various awards, including the Gramophone Young Artist of the Year Award and the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Award. He is also a prize-winner at the Geneva, Lionel Tertis and Valentino Bucchi competitions.
Originally from the Ukraine, Maxim has made London his home. He studied viola with Maria Sitkovskaya in Moscow and John Glickman at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama London. He studied conducting with Alan Hazeldine at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and has taken part in several masterclasses with Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Jorma Panula and Oleg Caetani.
Maxim is delighted to have a Giuseppe Guadagnini viola (1780) on extended loan from the Elise Mathilde Foundation.