Maxim Rysanov, the One to Watch everyone now wants to hear
In the past year Maxim Rysanov has enjoyed an exceptional rise in public awareness. Commissioned for Gramophone’s “One to Watch” pages for up-and-coming musicians, the Ukrainian viola-player had already garnered two Editor’s Choice awards by the time the issue went to press in November – an unprecedented event. The two albums – a recital disc with Evelyn Chang (6/07) and works by Kancheli and Tavener with the Latvia State Choir and Liepaja Symphony Orchestra (11/07) – drew praise: Duncan Druce wrote of Rysanov’s outstanding “technical command” and “imaginative grasp”, describing him as “a true virtuoso”, while David Fanning commented that “Rysanov’s viola has an inward, lamenting quality that Yuri Bashmet’s more conventionally projected manner misses”.
Equally warm in her praise is violinist Janine Jansen, who worked with the 30-year-old on her Bach Inventions and Partita disc (1/08). “Apart from his incredible musicianship, it is so inspiring to work and rehearse with Max,” she says. “He always has incredible new ideas and a great feeling for sound and colour. Suggestions that initially appear strange or unusual turn out to be genius, complete sense. He is one of the greatest viola-players in the world, if not the greatest.”
Such admiration is borne out by the calibre of artists lining up to collaborate with the musician. Since studying in Moscow and at the Guildhall School in London, where he now lives, Rysanov has regularly worked with the likes of Martin Fröst, Marc-André Hamelin, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky, Lev Markiz, Viktoria Mullova, Julian Rachlin and Maxim Vengerov.
A quick glance at his diary reveals a busy summer, followed by a UK tour with the Britten Sinfonia, tenor Mark Padmore and violinist Jacqueline Shave in October.
The BBC New Generation Artist and contemporary music advocate is a burgeoning conductor, too, having won the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Young Conductor scheme. Such wider musical concerns point to a well rounded and satisfyingcareer in the making froman already outstanding ambassador for the viola.