Maxim Rysanov

Conductor / Viola



Maxim Rysanov premieres Vasks’ Viola Concerto in Scotland

Maxim Rysanov premieres Vasks’ Viola Concerto in Scotland

Maxim Rysanov performs Vasks’ Viola Concerto with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Olari Elts in St Andrews (Younger Hall, 1/11), Edinburgh (Queen’s Hall, 2/11) and Glasgow (City Halls, 3/11) The concerto was written for Rysanov and co-commissioned by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Vale of Glamorgan Festival and Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg This ...

Maxim Rysanov performs with the Tallinn Chamber orchestra as both conductor and soloist

Maxim Rysanov performs with the Tallinn Chamber orchestra as both conductor and soloist

Maxim Rysanov will be both conductor and soloist in a programme consisting of Pärt, Vasks and Tchaikovsky on 26 October at The House of the Blackheads, Tallinn This collaboration with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra will see the Estonian premiere of the Viola Concerto by Peteris Vasks, written especially for Rysanov For further information and tickets, please visit http://wwwfilharmooniaee/en/concerts/event/691-maxim-rysanov...


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.


Ukrainian-born violist Maxim Rysanov was the fiercely committed soloist in the concerto, giving a performance of fearsome focus and intensity from untold sorrow through fury to – well, perhaps resignation, perhaps transcendence. He’s a breathtakingly perceptive, charismatic player, taking the audience with him on every note of his turbulent journey.
- Scotsman
 (5 stars)
, 2017
Superb player Maxim Rysanov gave the Scottish premiere performances of ... Latvian composer Peteris Vasks. The Ukrainian musician has been garlanded by awards and has a bowing technique is captivatingly graceful to watch as well as listen to.
- Herald Scotland
, 2017
Agile, expressive and with a mastery of line and dynamics, Rysanov is a prince among viola players, and this is one of his finest albums to date.
- Gramophone
 (Rob Cowan)
 (CD review of "In Schubert's Company")
, 2017
I fell in love with the incredibly beautiful sound of his instrument. In his playing I could feel an uncommonly high emotional tension.
- Pēteris Vasks (composer)
, 2016
In his solos, Rysanov showed great musical challenges playing extended cadenzas… I really enjoyed the Slavic passion and dramatic pauses in his solos that provided a certain atmosphere. After the fast finale, full of almost non-stop polyphony for the viola, both Rysanov and Joost were embraced by the audience.
- Bachtrack
 (Par Olli Lehtonen)
, 2016
Maxim Rysanov is the kind of musician who can do the musical equivalent of reading from the phone book and making it exciting.
- American Record Guide
 (Joseph Magil)
, 2015
Words to describe Rysanov's passionate and penetrating performances don't come easily. He is, of course, the main character on stage in all four works on the program, but Sitkovetsky astonishes with his dazzling playing in the duos(..)
- Fanfare
 (Jerry Dubins)
, 2015
Maxim Ryasnov's seductive viola in late works by Martinu would grace any sensible Want List.
- Fanfare
 (Phillip Scott)
, 2015
Maxim Rysanov's radiant viola playing catches the Bohemian spirit that runs through his Martinu programme.
- The Gramophone
 (Adrian Edwards)
, 2015
Maxim Rysanov is without a rival.
- Artamag
 (Jean-Charels Hoffelé)
, 2015
Rysanov's golden song carries us through to another perfect peace.
- BBC Music Magazine
 (David Nice)
, 2015
[Maxim Rysanov's] performances here are totally convincing and demonstrate both enthusiasm for and understanding of Marinu's musical language. (..) What a pleasure all around.
- MusicWeb International
 (Brian Reinhart)
, 2015
Vivant. Touchant. Superbe.
- Diapason
 (Nicolas Derny)
, 2015
Martinu’s viola works majestically performed by Rysanov.
- The Strad (The Strad recommends...)
 (Carlos Maria Solare)
, 2015
Maxim Rysanov's playing is outstanding – I've never heard a viola sing quite like this. If Rysanov's sotto voce statement of the hymn-like tune a few minutes before the close doesn't induce shivers, you've no heart.
- The Arts Desk
 (Graham Rickson)
, 2015
[Rysanov's] musicianship is gloriously impeccable throughout.
- MusicWeb International
 (Dominy Clements)
, 2015
Give to this excellent players, with the likes of Maxim Rysanov, who, with a vast range of repertoire, can play Johannes Brahms just as well as John Tavener.
- Crescendo
 (Jean-Baptiste Baronian)
, 2015
Maxim Rysanov and his partners give absolutely gripping performances of [Maritinu's] works.
- Pizzicato
 (Remy Franck)
, 2015
Only the Barbican's arid acoustic stops Norman Lebrecht awarding this disc of Martinu's viola music a rare fifth star, so fresh and contemporary are these performances by Maxim Rysanov.
- Sinfini Music (Album of the Week)
 (Norman Lebrecht)
, 2015


  1. Vasks Viola Concerto Maxim Rysanov & Sinfonietta Riga


Released March 2015 on BIS

Gramophone Editor’s Choice

The Strad Recommends

Sinfini Music Album of the Week

Guardian *****

Fanfare Want List

“Only the Barbican’s arid acoustic stops Norman Lebrecht awarding this disc of Martinů’s viola music a rare fifth star, so fresh and contemporary are these performances by Maxim Rysanov.”

Sinfini Music (27 April 2015)

Mozart Sinfonia Concertante
Released February 2015 on Warner Classics

“For the Sinfonia concertante, Frang finds an equally vivacious partner in Maxim Rysanov; the two written-out cadenzas are most imaginatively played and the controlled brilliance of the finale is irresistible.”


Bach Suites 2, 3 & 6
Released February 2014 on BIS

“These sharply etched, punchy realizations immediately impress for their power and vitality.”

International Record Review

Dobrinka Tabakova - String Paths
Released May 2013 on ECM

GRAMMY nominated album

“This is outstanding in every respect”

International Record Review

‘Top 3’ in the UK Specialist Classical Charts

Kristina Blaumane, Torleif Thedéen, Boris Andrianov (cello), Roman Mints, Janine Jansen, Julia- Maria Kretz (violin), Amihai Grosz (viola), Raimondas Sviackevicius (accordion), Donatas Bagurskas, Stacey Watton (double bass) & Vaiva Eidukaityte-Storastiene (harpsichord)

Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra

Released October 2012 on BIS

“…the playing is absolutely sublime.”

(BBC Music Magazine)

Ashley Wass (piano)

Schubert / Tchaikovsky / Bruch
Released July 2011 on BIS

“Rysanov’s dazzilng performance [of the Rococos] makes us believe that the work was tailor-made for his instrument.”

BBC Music Magazine

Muhai Tang (conductor)

Swedish Chamber Orchestra

on Onyx Classics

“It’s packed full of delicious surprises….superbly played”

Gramophone Magazine

Maxim Rysanov (viola)

Kristine Blaumane (cello)

Jacob Katsnelson (piano)

Brahms Viola 2
on Onyx Classics

“Viola discs are flooding the market currently…but this Brahms chamber music CD from Maxim Rysanov steals the limelight…It’s addictive.”

The Observer

Maxim Rysanov (viola)

with Boris Brovtsyn (violin), Julia Deyneka (viola), Kristine Blaumane (cello), Mariana Osipova (violin), Alice Coote (mezzo-soprano) & Ashley Wass (piano)

Bach Suites 1, 4 & 5
Released August 2010 on BIS

“No admirer of great viola playing should forgo the pleasures of Rysanov’s playing.”

The Sunday Telegraph

Brahms Viola 1
on Onyx Classics

“…..compelling, vivid and packed with moments of great musical insight”

BBC Music Magazine

Maxim Rysanov (viola)

Jacob Katsnelson (piano), Kristine Blaumane (cello) & Katya Apekisheva (piano)

Bach: Inventions and Partita
Released October 2007 on Decca

“Both sets of Inventions receive exceptional performances, bursting with spirit and imagination”

Gramophone Magazine

Maxim Rysanov (viola)

Janine Jansen (violin)

Torleif Thedéen (cello)

Kancheli - Styx
on Onyx Classics

“In short, here is a disc to blow the mind….”

Gramophone Magazine

Gramophone Editor’s Choice October 2007

Premiere recording of Tavener’s ‘The Myrhh Bearer’

Maxim Rysanov (viola)

Rihards Zalupe (percussion)

Men of the State Choir Latvija, Liepaja Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Maris Sirmais

Viola Recital: Maxim Rysanov
Released August 2006 on AVIE

“….the playing, in its technical command and imaginative grasp, is outstanding.”

Gramophone Magazine

Maxim Rysanov (viola)

Evelyn Chang (piano)