LSM Newswire

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mikhail Simonyan's VSO Debut

The VSO presents the Vancouver debut of trail-blazing

Russian violinist Mikhail Simonyan

Vancouver BC The VSO proudly presents Mikhail Simonyan a violinist hailed as having a flawless, liquid line and ravishing tone, by The Washington Post performing Chaussons Pome and Ravels Tzigane. The program, Fine French Fantasies, will be conducted by VSO Assistant Conductor Evan Mitchell and also features Berliozs Le corsaire, Op. 21, Ravels Mother Goose Suite and Dukas The Sorcerers Apprentice. The concerts take place on Saturday, March 28 at 8pm and Sunday, March 29 at 2pm at the Orpheum Theatre and will mark Mr. Simonyans debut with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Marking another debut, this concert features Evan Mitchells 2008/2009 Musically Speaking concert debut. These two great young artistic talents team up for a beautiful concert of French repertoire.

Mikhail Simonyan, who hails from Novosibirsk (the same city that Vadim Repin and Maxim Vengerov call home), began to study the violin at the age of five. As part of the first generation of artists to forge careers in an era with substantially decreased government support, he has blazed a trail for young musicians in Russia. In 1999, at 13, Mr. Simonyan made his acclaimed New York debut at Lincoln Center with the American Russian Young Artists Orchestra (ARYO) and his debut in St. Petersburg, Russia at the Mariinsky (Kirov) Theatre in ARYO's joint concert with the Mariinsky Youth Orchestra, performing the Szymanowski Violin Concerto No. 1.

Mr. Simonyan has earned first prize awards at the all-Russia Competition in Saint Petersburg, the Siberian Violin Competition, the National Prize Prizvanie in Moscow, and the Salon de Virtuosi in New York. He is a winner of the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation Award, and received the 2000 Virtuoso of the Year award in Saint Petersburg. In 2003, the National Academy of Achievement selected him for an award in the Performing Arts. In 2005, he received the highest level of recognition when President Putin received him at the Kremlin, in acknowledgment of his status as one of Russias most promising young musicians.

Now in his early twenties, Mr. Simonyan is recognized as one of the great talents of his generation. Celebrated for his breadth, lyricism and fleet technique by The New York Times and compared to master violinist David Oistrakh on a good day by The Miami Herald, Mr. Simonyan proves that he has the talent and dedication to be one of the great talents of our time.


Musically Speaking Series & Beltone Symphony Sundays Series:

Fine French Fantasies: Simonyan Plays Ravel and Chausson

Saturday, March 28, 8pm, Orpheum Theatre

Sunday, March 29, 2pm, Orpheum Theatre

Evan Mitchell, conductor

Mikhail Simonyan, violin

Berlioz Le corsair, Op. 21

Ravel Mother Goose Suite

Chausson Poeme, Op. 25

Ravel Tzigane

Dukas The Sorcerers Apprentice

Tickets $20 to $56 (Student, Senior and Subscriber discounts available)

Tickets available by phone at 604.876.3434 or online at

Generously Supported By:

Musically Speaking Series Video Screen Sponsor: TELUS

Video screen presentations created and produced by students and staff of digital video productions at Columbia Academy.

Symphony Sundays Series Sponsor: Beltone


Evan Mitchell, conductor

Conductor Evan Mitchell is proving to be one of Canadas most promising young conductors. Currently the Assistant Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony, Evan is slated to play a key role in programming, artistic development and of course performance with the VSO, leading the orchestra through a wide assortment of concerts.

Equally at home with chamber music, opera and full symphonic masterpieces, Evan has enjoyed critical acclaim with recent operatic performances including Brittens Albert Herring, Wards The Crucible, Hindemiths Hin und Zuruck and the world premiere of Glenn James opera To Daniel. Evan also won positions with the National Academy Orchestra of Canada for four consecutive years as both conductor and percussionist and now holds the title of Associate Mentor with the orchestra. Highlights include conducting violin soloist Elizabeth Pitcairn, the concertmaster of the New West Symphony and owner of the Mendelssohn Stradivarius 1720 Red Violin.

Evan is an advocate of contemporary music. Recently the resident conductor of NUMUS New Music Ensemble, he has premiered several new works, toured across Canada conducting a festival of contemporary Chinese music and recorded works for the CMC, collaborating with such Canadian artists as the Pentaedre Wind Quintet, Penderecki String Quartet and Dancetheatre David Earle. Evan has also conducted and performed works during the highly acclaimed Open Ears Festival.

As a percussionist Evan has enjoyed equal success. In demand as a recitalist and concert soloist (recent performances of the Rosauro Marimba concerto and the Mayuzumi Xylophone concerto), Evans percussive performance has been hailed as breathtaking in (his) sensitivity as well as wizardly and awe-inspiring. Evan has toured Canada, the United States and abroad, including a memorable tour as Canadian ambassador during a concert tour with virtuoso composer/percussionist Nebojsa Zivkovic, during which he performed as concert soloist and along with the composer in a sold out performance of Zivkovic's celebrated Trio per Uno at the Stuttgart International Theatre. Evan is a frequent performer with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and has performed with Orchestra London and the Toronto Symphony. Evan has also been a faculty member and guest lecturer with Wilfrid Laurier University, primarily as Music Director of the Flute Ensemble.

Awards include First Prize at the Werlde Musik Kontest in Kerkrade, Netherlands, finalist at the upcoming TD Canada Trust Elora Festival Competition and Winner in Marching category as part of the Kavaliers DCI Drum Corps. Evan is also the winner of the 2006 Pioneer Leading Edge Arts Award.

Evan is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University where he completed a Bachelor of Music degree as a percussion major; he is also a graduate of the University of Toronto, where he studied on a full scholarship sponsored by Elmer Iseler and Victor Feldbrill, earning a Masters degree in conducting. His principal conducting teachers include Raffi Armenian, Doreen Rao, Paul Pulford and Boris Brott. Additionally, he has studied and performed in concert series with Denise Grant, Martin Fischer-Dieskau and most notably, Helmuth Rilling, in the inaugural Toronto Bach festival.

Mikhail Simonyan, violin

At just 22 years of age, Mikhail Simonyan is already recognized as one of the most celebrated talents of his generation. The New York Times has praised his, breadth, lyricism and fleet technique, and reported that Mr. Simonyan play[s] as if every note counted. The Miami Herald has declared, Mikhail Simonyan . . . played with the poise, perfection and inner burning fire of a master like David Oistrakh in his prime on a good night.

Mr. Simonyan has performed with, among others, the Russian National Orchestra, the Kirov Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, the Vienna Tonknstler Orchestra, the Novosibirsk Philharmonic, and the Moscow Virtuosi. He has worked with conductors including Valery Gergiev, Mikhail Pletnev, Constantine Orbelian, Vladimir Spivakov, Arnold Katz, Kristjan Jrvi, Leon Botstein, and the late Yehudi Menuhin.

Performance highlights for Mr. Simonyan include a solo appearance with Leonard Slatkin at the Kennedy Center's 35th Anniversary Gala in 2001, after which he made his official debut with Maestro Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra in 2002. Later that same year, he performed at the Davos World Economic Summit.

In 2004, Mr. Simonyan made his debut with the Kirov Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre under Maestro Valery Gergiev in Eduoard Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, DE, and at Mechanics Hall in Worcester. Also in 2004, he made his subscription debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Maestro Gergiev. He also soloed with Maestro Constantine Orbelian at the Moscow State Conservatorys Great Hall, and in Saint Petersburg with the Novosibirsk Philharmonic.

In addition, he was selected to appear at the Horatio Alger Awards Dinner in Washington DC. In spring of 2004, he performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto at SUNY Performing Arts Center and with the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra.

In the autumn of 2004, after studying at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Mr. Simonyan returned to Russia and was immediately in demand by the leading Orchestras of his home country. After his debut with the Russian National Orchestra, the Moscow Times wrote, Ķ he seems destined to be ranked on the same Superstar level as fellow Novosibirsk natives Maxim Vengerov and Vadim Repin. Highlights of the 2004-2005 season included his debut in Viennas Musikverein as soloist with Maestro Kristjan Jrvi and the Tonknstler Orchestra, a highly acclaimed solo recital debut in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center, as well as recitals and orchestral performances in New York and other cities across the US.

Other performance highlights of Mr. Simonyans past seasons include a tour of the United States with the Kirov Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre under Maestro Valery Gergiev, concerts with Maestro Kristjan Jrvi and the Russian National Orchestra, his debut at the Prague Spring Festival under Maestro Pletnev, and recitals in Europe, Asia and the United States.

Highlights of Mr. Simonyans current concert season include debuts at the Wigmore Hall in London and at the Berlin Philharmonie; his debut at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile, performing the Bruch Violin Concerto; a recital during the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Musikfestival in Germany as part of the Junge Elite concert series; appearances with the Seoul Philharmonic, the Vienna Tonknstler Orchestra at the Musikverein, and the Vancouver Symphony; and recitals in the United States and Russia. In addition, his much anticipated debut recording of the Prokofiev Sonatas for Violin and Piano, recorded with Grammy Award-winning producer Adam Abeshouse, will be released in 2008.

Mr. Simonyan continues to work with Victor Danchenko in the United States and now lives in Philadelphia. He performs on a Zygmuntowicz violin. He is managed worldwide by Tanja Dorn at IMG Artists.

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