Yuri Bashmet, Russian violist
Yuri Bashmet is a Soviet and Russian violist and conductor, People’s Artist of the USSR (1991), laureate of the State Prize of the USSR (1986) and four State Prize of Russia (1993, 1995, 2000, 2013), Honorary Academician of the London Academy of Arts.
Yuri was born on January 24, 1953 in Rostov-on-Don into a Jewish family. In 1958, his family moved to Lvov, where he graduated from the Lvov Music School in 1971.
In 1972, Yuri bought a viola made by Milanese luthier Paolo Testore in 1758, which he uses for his performances to date.
In 1976, Bashmet graduated from the Moscow Conservatory. As a student Yuri was awarded the Second Award at the International Contest of Violists in Budapest (1975) and Grand Prix at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich (1976).
In 1976 Bashmet toured in Germany with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra founded by R. Barshay.
He has performed in leading concert halls all over the world: in Europe, USA, Canada, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
In 1985 Yuri started his conducting activity and in 1986 he created Chamber Orchestra Soloists of Moscow.
Bashmet has performed recitals, as well as his joint performances together with noted musicians including Mstislav Rostropovich, Gidon Kremer, Sviatoslav Richter, Isaac Stern, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Martha Argerich, Mischa Maisky, M. Portal, Shlomo Mintz, Oleg Kagan, Roberto Carnevale, and Viktor Tretiakov.
In 2006 Yuri Bashmet together with famous Belarusian pianist Rostislav Krimer established the annual Yuri Bashmet International Music Festival in Minsk (Belarus), which became one of the most prominent events in the CIS-countries.
Yuri Bashmet leads national education projects, as a presenter and art director of the TV programs The Station of Dream and Music in the Museums of the World.
Violist Natalia Timofeevna Bashmet is Yuri’s wife. They have two children: daughter Ksenia (she is a pianist) and son Alexander (he is an economist).
Yuri has brother Yevgeny Bashmet, who is also a musician.
His official site