Outstanding Russian Musician Celebrating His Jubilee

On January 24th, the world famous Russian musician, Yuri Bashmet, is celebrating his fiftieth anniversary. This day the Moscow conservatory's Big Hall will host a concert called "The Dream Station". The concert will gather great musicians from Russia, Denmark, the Czech republic, Italy, Israel and France. The jubilee party will also witness a presentation of Bashmet's book with the same title, "The Dream Station", issued by the Vagrius publishing house by the musician's anniversary.

After graduating from the Moscow conservatory in 1976, Bashmet began giving concerts and in 1986 set up his chamber orchestra, "The Moscow soloists". This orchestra has recorded several compact discs with the premier record of Alfred Schnitke's Treble concerto taking a special place among them.

Being a soloist and conductor, Bashmet appears on stage with the world's best philharmonic orchestras and his program contains music of different epochs and styles. Contemporary composers have written specially for Bashmet or devoted 38 viola concerto and other compositions to him.

Bashmet participates in many international festivals. His talent was appreciated best when he was appointed art director of the "December Evenings" musical festival in Moscow, which had been supervised by Svyatoslav Richter for 17 years. Bashmet is a founder and chairman of the jury at Russia's first and only international contest of viola-players in Moscow. He also presides at England's international contest of viola-players and participates in the jury at viola-player contests in Munich and Paris. Cinema and television companies of different countries including England, France and Russia have already made a few films about the musician's creative work. Bashmet is also known as a teacher as he has been a teacher at the Moscow conservatory since 1978 and professor and head of the experimental viola department. Many of Bashmet's students are laureates of international contests and now play in the world's biggest orchestras.

The International Charity Foundation founded by the musician has established the Shostakovich Prize for outstanding achievements in the world art. Kremer, Gergiyev and Tretyakov are among its laureates. In August 2002, Bashmet was appointed Chief Conductor and Art Director of the Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra.

Bashmet has won scores of prestigious awards and honorary titles, from his first award, Grand Prix at the contest of viola-players in Munich in 1976, and to Russia's highest award, "Order for Merits to the Country".

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