'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
Grammy nominated Ukrainian-British violist and conductor Maxim Rysanov has established himself as one of the worldʼs most vibrant and charismatic musicians. As a violist, he is principally known as a frequent guest of the crème of the international music scene. Parallel to playing viola, Maxim enjoys a thriving career as a conductor, often combining conducting and directing as a soloist within one concert.
Among his concerto highlights he counts the following: the Mariinsky Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Residentie Orkest the Hague, Svetlanov State Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Moscow Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, NDR Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Tampere Philharmonic, Turku Philharmonic, Nordic Chamber Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, European Union Youth Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Spanish National Orchestra, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Brno Philharmonic, Real Orquesta Sinfónica Sevilla and Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria.
Conducting highlights of the 2022/23 season will be his returns to La Verdi Milan, I Musici de Montreal and Croatian Radio Symphony Orchestra.
The past season saw the world premiere of a new viola concerto by Gabriel Prokofiev. The first performances also marked his debut as a conductor with the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn and with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, both of which have co-commissioned the new work together with La Verdi Orchestra Milan and the Oregon Music Festival. Further conducting highlights were his debuts with Ulster Orchestra, Orchestra of East Netherlands and Croatian Radio Symphony Orchestra, as well as return visits to BBC NOW, Detmold Chamber Orchestra, Kiev Soloists and Danubia Orchestra. Performing debuts with St Gallen Symphony Orchestra, Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, and Pannon Philharmonic rounded off the season.
Further highlights of the 2022/23 season will be his performing debuts with the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, Belgrade Chamber Orchestra and the CSO Presidential Orchestra in Ankara, as well as return visits to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Vasily Petrenko at the Ljubliana Festival, a recording project with the Hallé Orchestra and invitations to Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Carl Nielsen Festival Odense, O Modernt Stockholm, Moritzburg Festival and Westport Festival.
Highlights of previous seasons were Maxim's debuts with Hamburger Symphoniker under Sylvain Cambreling, Polish Baltic Philharmonic Gdansk and Croatian Radio Symphony Orchestra as well as appearances at Madrid's Auditorio Nacional, Konzerthaus Vienna, Tchaikovsky Hall Moscow, Marinsky Theatre St Petersburg, Teatro Liceo Salamanca and the festivals in Avila, Budapest and Frederiskvaerk
Maxim 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. Orchestras where he has appeared as a conductor include: Svetlanov State Symphony Orchestra, La Verdi Orchestra Milan, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Tatarstan State Symphony Orchestra, Spanish Radio Orchestra (RTVE), Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Dala Sinfonietta, Danubia Symphony Budapest, London Mozart Players, Southbank Sinfonia, Riga Sinfonietta, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, I Musici de Montreal, Detmold Chamber Orchestra, Musica Viva (Moscow), Voronezh Youth Orchestra, Kiev Soloists, Częstochowa Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra Chaarts, Budapest Festival Academy Orchestra, Classic FM Orchestra (Bulgaria), Georgian National Symphony Orchestra, Plovdiv Philharmonic, Sofia Opera Orchestra and Chorus, Sofia Philharmonic, Pforzheim Theatre Orchestra, Badische Philharmonie and Vivaldi Orchestra Morbegno.
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, Leif Ove Andsnes, Denis Matsuev, Alessio Bax, Michael Collins, Martin Frost, Alice Coote, Freddy Kempf and Yeol Eum Son among others. His enthusiasm for new music generates many exciting collaborations which extend the viola repertoire. This includes world premieres by Dobrinka Tabakova, Pēteris Vasks, 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 and most recently Gabriel Prokofiev.
' 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
'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)
Maxim's recordings have gained numerous award nominations including Gramophone Editor's Choice, ECHO and ICMA. Maxim 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. His album "In Schubert's company" was selected as Gramophone Critic's Choice of the Year. The latest disc "Voices" on the BIS label with Riga Sinfonietta features music of Pēteris Vasks, including the viola concerto which was written for and dedicated to Maxim, as well as the Symphony No. 1 which Maxim conducts. This was released in spring 2020 to great critical acclaim.
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.
Maxim studied viola with Maria Sitkovskaya in Moscow and John Glickman at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama London.
He is delighted to play a 1780 Giuseppe Guadagnini viola known as 'Il Soldato' on private loan that was kindly arranged by Premiere Performances Hong Kong.