The pre-eminent viola player of the modern age, Yuri Bashmet was born in Russia and studied at the Moscow Conservatory. His international career was launched in 1976 when he won the International Viola Competition in Munich. Since then he has appeared with all the world’s great orchestras, including the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra, which presented its own Yuri Bashmet Festival. Through his virtuosity, strength of personality and high intelligence, Yuri Bashmet has inspired many composers to write for him, and has enjoyed strong personal and professional relationships with Alfred Schnittke and Sofia Gubaidulina in particular but also Poul Ruders, Alexander Tchaikovsky and Alexandre Raskatov.
Bashmet is now the musical director of the Elba Isola Musicale d’Europa Festival, artistic director of the December Nights Festival in Moscow and principal conductor at the Novaya Rossiya State Symphony Orchestra, founder and principal conductor of the The Moscow Soloists Orchestra. He appears as conductor/soloist with the most prestigious orchestras all over the world, such as the Dresdner Philharmonie, the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Brussels Philharmonic.