The name of Yuri Bashmet has been synonymous with musical depth, virtuosity and artistic courage for a long time. Every day he has more and more professional achievements gaining more and more significance with time. One of these achievements definitely needs to be highlighted: Yuri Bashmet has turned the unassuming viola into a brilliant solo instrument.
He has played the cello performing everything that was possible or seemed impossible; what’s more, his creativity has motivated composers to expand their repertoire: more than 50 works were written or dedicated to Bashmet.For the first time in the history of viola performances Yuri Bashmet performed solo viola concertos at such venues as Carnegie Hall (New York), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Barbican (London), Berlin Philharmonic, la Scala (Milan), the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and the Great Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonic.
He worked with many outstanding conductors such as Rafael Kubelik, Mstislav Rostropovich, Seiji Ozawa, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Sir Colin Davis, John Elliot Gardiner, Yehudi Menuhin and others. In 1985 he started his conductor career and again proved to be a brave and challenging conductor of the modern age.
As a soloist and conductor Yuri Bashmet has appeared with the world’s greatest orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, San Fransisco and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, Vienna Philharmonic, etc.
Yuri Bashmet is a founder and jury chairman of the first and only Russian International Viola Competition. He is President of the Lyonel Tertis International Viola Competition in England.
Yuri Bashmet’s art is always the focus of the world music community’s attention. He has been given numerous awards both in Russia and abroad. He was granted such titles of honor as People’s Artist of the USSR, Laureate of the UUSR State Prize, Laureate of the Best Instrumentalist Musician of the Year Prize (award synonymous with Oscar Award). Yuri Bashmet is an Honored Professor of the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Commendatore of the French Legion of Honor. Since 1978 Yuri Bashmet has been teaching at the Moscow Conservatory, first as an associate professor (since 1988), and now as a professor (since 1996) and Head of the Viola Department.
Yuri Bashmet’s International Charity Fund established a unique Dmitry Shostakovich International Prize.