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Mischa Maisky (Cello)

Born: January 10, 1948 - Riga, Latvia (former USSR)

The Latvian-born Israeli cellist, Mischa [Misha] Maisky, was born as the younger brother of organist and harpsichordist Valery Maisky (1942-1981). Mischa received his first music lessons there at the Children’s Music School and Conservatory. In 1962 he entered the Leningrad Conservatory. In 1965 his debut with the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra at age 17 earned him the nickname “Rostropovich of the Future”. In 1966 he won 6th Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition. in Moscow and began his studies with Mstislav Rostropovich at the Moscow Conservatory while pursuing a concert career throughout the former Soviet Union. After being imprisoned in a labour camp near Gorky for 18 months in 1970, he emigrated to Israel in 1971, where he holds citizenship. He also studied for a time with Gregor Piatigorsky in Los Angeles. He currently lives in Belgium.

In his performing and recording career, Mischa Maisky has worked in long-standing partnerships with artists such as the pianists Valery Afanassiev, Martha Argerich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Boris Berman, Pedro Burmester, Hélène Grimaud, Evgeny Kissin, Evgeni Koroliov, Konstantin Lifschitz, Radu Lupu, Boris Petrushansky, Peter Serkin and Sergio Tiempo; the violinists Janine Jansen, Gidon Kremer, Julian Rachlin, Dmitry Sitkovetsky and Maxim Vengerov; the violists Nobuko Imai and Maxim Rysanov, the oboist Alexei Ogrintchouk; and the conductors Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Howard Griffiths, Zubin Mehta, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Vladimir Ziva and many others. Maisky's friendship with Martha Argerich has led to many performances together, such as the world premiere of Rodion Shchedrin’s double concerto Romantic Offering in 2011 in Lucerne, Switzerland.

As a Deutsche Grammophon artist during the last 25 years, he has made over 50 recordings, including many with such symphony orchestras as the Wiener Philharmoniker, Berliner Philharmoniker, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Dresdner Philharmonie, Dresden Staatskapelle, Münchner Philharmoniker, Philharmoniker Hamburg, Bamberger Symphoniker, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, Residentie Orkest Den Haag, Royal Flanders Philharmonic Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra; as well as with chamber orchestras including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, Wintherthur Musikkollegium, Kammerorchester Basel, Festival Strings Lucerne, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Moscow Virtuosi, Kremerata Baltica, Polish Chamber Orchestra, Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim, Bayerische Kammerphilharmonie, Pforzheim Chamber Orchestra, Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn. Mischa Maisky has the distinction of being the only cellist in the world to have studied with both Mstislav Rostropovich and Gregor Piatigorsky. Rostropovich has lauded Mischa Maisky as "... one of the most outstanding talents of the younger generation of cellists. His playing combines poetry and exquisite delicacy with great temperament and brilliant technique."

Some of Mischa Maisky's most noted recordings, out of many, include: J.S. Bach: Six Suites for Solo Cello BWV 1007-1012 (3 complete recordings: 1984, 1986 [DVD] and 1999); Joseph Haydn: Cellokonzerte (Deutsche Grammophon); Johannes Brahms: Concertos (Deutsche Grammophon); L.v. Beethoven: Cellosonaten, Op. 5 (Deutsche Grammophon); Edward Elgar: Cello Concerto; Tchaikovsky (Deutsche Grammophon); Maisky & Argerich Live in Japan (Deutsche Grammophon); Sergei Rachmaninov: Elégie (Deutsche Grammophon).

Mïãáéù Maisky's daughter Lily Maisky, born in Paris in 1987 and raised in Brussels, is embarking on a career as a concert pianist. Maisky's son Sascha Maisky, born in Brussels in 1989, is starting on a career as a concert violinist. Lily and Sascha have performed piano trios in public with their father. Maisky also has two other sons Maxim and Manuel.

Biographical Timeline


Settles in Israel; wins the 1973 Cassadó Competition in Florence; debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under William Steinberg; after the concert an anonymous admirer gives him an 18th-century Montagnana cello on which he still performs today.


Studies with the legendary Gregor Piatigorsky, thus becoming the only cellist to have studied with both Piatigorsky and Rostropovich.


Beginning of his international career.


London concerto debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.


London recital debut with pianist Radu Lupu.


First recording for DeGrammophon: J. Brahms’s Double Concerto with Gidon Kremer and the Wiener Philharmoniker under Leonard Bernstein.


Signs his first exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon; records Robert Schumann’s Concerto with Leonard Bernstein and the Wiener Philharmoniker (released 1986); on CD: J.S. Bach’s Cello Sonatas (BWV 1027-1029) with Martha Argerich and J.S. Bach’s Six Solo Suites (BWV 1007-1012).


Releases include Dvorák’s Cello Concerto and Bloch’s Schelomo with Leonard Bernstein and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.


First appearance at the Proms in London; CD: Adagio, Romantic pieces with the Orchestre de Paris under Semyon Bychkov.


Returns to Moscow for the first time in 23 years to give a concert and to record works by Prokofiev and Miaskovsky with Mikhail Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra; CD release: Antonio Vivaldi and Boccherini concertos with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.


Releases include a Tchaikovsky disc with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Songs Without Words by J. Brahms.


Appears with Martha Argerich and Gidon Kremer in Tokyo performing piano trios by Dmitri Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky (recorded live); Releases: the anthology Cellissimo with pianist Daria Hovora and Camille Saint-Saëns with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Daria Hovora.


On CD: Après un rêve; the J. Brahms Sonatas and his second recording of the J.S. Bach’s Suites (BWV 1007-1012).


“Bach Marathon” in Zurich playing all of J.S. Bach’s works for cello in three concerts on one day; over 100 Bach concerts worldwide.


CD release: Maisky and Argerich Live in Japan.


Recitals with Martha Argerich at Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center; with pianist Sergio Tiempo at the Salzburg Festival; trio recital with Martha Argerich and Gidon Kremer at Carnegie Hall. On CD: Felix Mendelssohn’s Cello Sonatas with Tiempo.


Performed at the St. Petersburg Symphony Hall with St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra during the celebration of 300 years of music at St. Petersburg, was warmly received to much applause, and repeatedly called back for bows with the orchestra.


Appearances with Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; tour with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; on tour in Japan with the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra; recitals and chamber appearances in Europe, the USA, Korea, Japan and at various festivals. On CD: Dvorák and Strauss with Zubin Mehta and the Berliner Philharmoniker; chamber music by J. Brahms and Robert Schumann with Martha Argerich, Gidon Kremer and Bashmet


Concert appearances throughout Europe and in Japan. Benefit concert for Asian tsunami victims with Thomas Quasthoff at Vienna’s Musikverein. Release: live recording of Prokofiev, D. Shostakovich and Stravinsky with Martha Argerich.


Appearances in Europe include concerts with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Dresdner Philharmonie, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Kremerata Baltica. Solo and chamber-music recitals (including J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) and Solo Suites (BWV 1007-1012)) in Italy, China, South Africa, Israel and Japan. Performs “Russian Romances” throughout Europe, accompanied by Pavel Gililov or Lily Maisky. Release: Vocalise – Russian Romances (with Gililov).


Performances include appearances with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Thailand Philharmonic, the Shanghai, Barcelona and Prague Symphony Orchestras (all Dvorák). Chamber music with Martha Argerich and Renaud Capuçon (Progetto Martha Argerich), Gililov, Tiempo, Gidon Kremer (Salzburg Festival), Hélène Grimaud (Verbier Festival), Itamar Golan, Lily Maisky and Julian Rachlin in Europe and the Far East. CD-release of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations (BWV 988). On DVD: J.S. Bach’s Suites for Solo Cello (BWV 1007-1012); a special release of works by Haydn and Robert Schumann, with the Wiener Philharmoniker conducted by Leonard Bernstein, in celebration of Maisky’s 60th birthday; J. Brahms’s Double Concerto with the Wiener Philharmoniker and Leonard Bernstein.


World premiere of Yusupov’s Cello Concerto with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra under Yuri Temirkanov in Lucerne. Concerts with the Dresden Staatskapelle and Moscow Virtuosi; tours of Israel and Mexico with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and with the Dresdner Philharmonie to South Korea. Chamber music, mainly with Martha Argerich, Lily Maisky and Gililov, in Europe and Asia. Release of Elégie, a selection of works by S. Rachmaninov arranged by Maisky and performed with pianist Sergio Tiempo.


Concerts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Münchner Philharmoniker, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra; chamber music with pianists Lily Maisky, Gililov and Golan; festival appearances at Verbier, Salzburg, Bucharest (Enesco), Utrecht (International Chamber Music) and Beijing. Released this year: Morgen, featuring chamber music by Richard Strauss and Dvorák, with Pavel Gililov, and Tchaikovsky and S. Rachmaninov Piano Trios, with Vadim Repin and Lang Lang.


European tour with the Moscow Virtuosi; Riga concert and Japan tour with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra; concert appearances including the Kammerorchester Basel, Royal Flanders Philharmonic Orchestra and Salzburg Mozarteum orchestras, Trondheim Soloists, National Symphony orchestras of Washington and Kazakhstan; recitals with Martha Argerich, Lily Maisky, as well as programmes featuring J.S. Bach’s Solo Suites (BWV 1007-1012); festivals including the Israel Chamber Music in Eilat, Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano, Robert Schumann 200 in Lucerne, plus Verbier, Salzburg, Dubrovnik and Utrecht.


World premiere of Rodion Shchedrin’s double concerto Romantic Offering with Martha Argerich and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra under Neeme Järvi, in Lucerne and on tour; concert in The Hague and German tour with Järvi and the Residentie Orkest Den Haag; further concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Philharmoniker Hamburg plus the Israel Camerata Orchestra Jerusalem and Kremerata Baltica; chamber music including the J.S. Bach’s Solo Suites (BWV 1007-1012) and recitals featuring pianists Lily Maisky, Martha Argerich, Lang Lang, Itamar Golan and violinists Maxim Vengerov, Vadim Repin, Gidon Kremer, Julian Rachlin and Sascha Maisky; festivals including Progetto Martha Argerich, Turgutreis International Classic (Bodrum, Turkey), Musica Mundi (Genval, Belgium), and Tsar’s Village Music (St. Petersburg), as well as Verbier, Salzburg and Dubrovnik. Released this year (and on tour in Germany, Austria, Spain and the Far East): ¡España!, songs and dances from Spain with Lily Maisky.


Plans include a North American tour with the Moscow Soloists, concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Bremen Philharmonic, Belgrade Philharmonic and Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, as well as the Bamberger Symphoniker and Wintherthur Musikkollegium; chamber music with Lily and Sascha Maisky plus J.S. Bach’s Suites (BWV 1007-1012); festival appearances in Schwetzingen, Verbier, Piatigorksy Cello (Los Angeles) and Storioni (Tilburg, Netherlands).

More Photos

Source: Mischa Mausky Website (October 2011); Wikipedia Website (February 2013)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (March 2013)

Mischa Maisky: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Mischa Maisky (Official Website)
Mischa Maisky, Cello - Biography (Nordic Artists Management)
Mischa Maisky (Wikipedia)
Mischa Maisky - Biography (AMG)

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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Last update: Sunday, October 22, 2017 01:38