RUBEN AHARONIAN – FIRST VIOLIN
SERGEI LOMOVSKY – SECONE VIOLIN
IGOR NAIDIN - VIOLA
VLADIMIR BALSHIN - CELLO
BEETHOVEN：STRING QUARTET NO. 6 IN B-FLAT MAJOR, OP. 18
SHOSTAKOVICH：STRING QUARTET NO. 11 IN F MINOR, OP. 122
SCHUBERT：STRING QUARTET NO. 12 IN C MINOR ‘QUARTETTSATZ’, D 703
BORODIN：STRING QUARTET NO. 2 IN D MAJOR
*program is subject to change
For more than seventy years, the Borodin Quartet has been celebrated for its insight and authority in the chamber music repertoire. Revered for its searching performances of Beethoven and Shostakovich, the Quartet is equally at home in music ranging from Mozart to Stravinsky.
Described by the Daily Telegraph Australia as “the Russian grand masters”, the Borodin Quartet’s particular affinity with Russian repertoire is based on constant promotion, performances and recording of the pillars of Russian string quartet music - Borodin, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich, as well as Glinka, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Schnittke. The Quartet is universally recognised for its genuine interpretation of Russian music, generating critical acclaim all over the world; the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes about them “here we have not four individual players, but a single sixteen-stringed instrument of great virtuosity”.
The Quartet's connection with Shostakovich's chamber music is intensely personal, since it was stimulated by a close relationship with the composer, who personally supervised its study of each of his quartets. Widely regarded as definitive interpretations, the Quartet’s cycles of the complete Shostakovich's quartets have been performed all over the world, including Vienna, Zurich, Frankfurt, Madrid, Lisbon, Seville, London, Paris and New York. The idea of performing a complete cycle of Shostakovich's quartets originated with the Borodin Quartet. In recent seasons the ensemble has returned to a broader repertoire, including works by Schubert, Prokofiev, Borodin and Tchaikovsky, while continuing to be welcomed and acclaimed at major venues throughout the world.
The Borodin Quartet was formed in 1945 by four students from the Moscow Conservatory. Calling itself the Moscow Philharmonic Quartet, the group changed its name to Borodin Quartet ten years later and remains one of the very few existing established chamber ensembles with uninterrupted longevity. The world has changed beyond recognition since 1945; the Borodin Quartet, meanwhile, has retained its commitment to tonal beauty, technical excellence and penetrating musicianship. The ensemble’s cohesion and vision have survived successive changes in personnel, thanks not least to the common legacy shared by its members from their training at the Moscow Conservatory. The current members of the Quartet are Ruben Aharonian, Sergei Lomovsky, Igor Naidin and Vladimir Balshin.
In addition to performing quartets, the Borodin Quartet regularly joins forces with other distinguished musicians to further explore the chamber music repertoire. Their partners have included Sviatoslav Richter, Yuri Bashmet, Michael Collins, Mario Brunello, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Christoph Eschenbach, Boris Berezovsky, Denis Matsuev and Nikolai Lugansky. The Quartet also regularly receives invitations to give masterclasses, and to serve as jury members at major international competitions.
Highlights in 2016/17 include performances in London, Lyon, Bilbao, Pamplona, Madrid, Essen, Brugge, Miami, Puerto Rico, Bogotá, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Budapest, and Moscow, as well as a tour of China; playing quartets of Prokofiev, Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Arensky Myaskovsky, Shostakovich – and of course Borodin; and quintets with partners including Alexei Volodin, Michael Collins, Joseph Kalichstein and Elisabeth Leonskaja. Furthermore, the Borodin Quartet joins the Staatskapelle Dresden Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski for performances of the Martinu and Schulhoff concertos for orchestra and string quartet.
The Quartet’s first release on the Onyx label, featuring Borodin, Schubert, Webern and Rachmaninov, was nominated for a Grammy in 2005 in the “Best Chamber Performance” category. The Borodin Quartet has produced a rich heritage of recordings over several decades, for labels including EMI, RCA and Teldec, including the Complete Beethoven quartets for CHANDOS. The Quartet will be recording the complete Shostakovich String Quartet Cycle for Decca, with its first release in the cycle being a dedicated 70th anniversary CD (of string quartets Nos.1, 8, and 14), released in March 2015. .
“Ruben Aharonian is a mature master with brilliant virtuosity and great musical potential.”
David Oistrakh, Moscow
Ruben Aharonian joined the Borodin Quartet in 1996, having enjoyed a highly successful career as a soloist and conductor. Born in 1947 in Riga, he studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Professor Yankelevich, and after graduating continued his studies with Professor Leonid Kogan. He has won prizes at several international competitions, including the Enescu Competition in Bucharest, the Montreal Competition and the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
Mr Aharonian was Professor of Violin at the Yerevan State Conservatory for 20 years. He has toured extensively throughout Europe, North and South America. Between 1983-1996 he was the Principal Conductor and Music Director of the State Chamber Orchestra of Armenia, with whom he has also appeared as soloist.
He has a wide-ranging discography as a violinist, and directed works by Mozart on a recording with the State Chamber Orchestra of Armenia.
Born in Moscow, Sergei Lomovsky graduated from Moscow Conservatory studying with Professor Beshkina and, in post-graduate studies, with Professor Kravchenko.
As a string trio member, won Grand Prix in “Riviera del Conero” Competition in Ancona.
He actively participated in chamber music festivals in Europe, CIS countries and Russia.
He was a member of Moscow Soloists under Yuri Bashmet from 1992 up to the year he joined the Borodin Quartet in 2011.
Born in Moscow in 1969 in a doctor’s family, Igor Naidin’s musical studies included violin and viola with Professor M. Glezarova and Yuri Bashmet at the Moscow Conservatory aged seven and continued under the tutelage of Yuri Bashmet until graduation in 1994 from Moscow Conservatory. A year later he won the Second International Viola Competition in Moscow and was awarded a special prize for his ensemble playing.
Igor Naidin was a founder member of the Quartetto Russo (founded in 1985)which won prizes in a number of competitions including the London International String Quartet Competition and ‘Concertino Prague’ and the Bellini competition in Italy.
As a member of the Quartetto Russo studying at the Conservatory, Igor Naidin received coaching from members of the Borodin String Quartet over a number of years and thus is very much a part of the Russian tradition embodied by them. He joined the Borodin Quartet in 1996.
Vladimir Balshin was born in 1973 in Moscow. After graduating from the Moscow Conservatory he continued his postgraduate studies there in the class of Prof. Natalia Shakhovskaya. As a member of the Russo Quartet he received tuition from Mikhail Kopelman and Valentin Berlinsky, both long-standing members of the Borodin Quartet. He became a laureate of international competitions in Italy (Caltanissetta, 1990, 1st Prize) and the UK (London String Quartet Competition, 1991, 3rd Prize). In 1994 was awarded a special prize by Mstislav Rostropovich at the International Cello Competition in Paris. He was a finalist of the XI Tchaikovsky Competition (Moscow, 1998) and laureate of the Antonio Janigro International Cello Competition (Croatia, 2000). Between 1993 and 1998 he was a member of Moscow Soloists, the chamber orchestra led by Yuri Bashmet. Since 1998 he has been a member of the Brahms Trio and he teaches at the Moscow State Conservatory. He joined the Borodin Quartet in 2007.