New York Chamber Music Festival - Vassily Lobanov, piano & Elmira Darvarova, violin

Free , 8:00 pm

New York Chamber Music Festival proudly presents two internationally-acclaimed stars - violinist Elmira Darvarova and pianist Vassily Lobanov, in a splendid program of immortal works by Brahms, Franck, Clara Schumann.

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New York Chamber Music Festival presents on January 17 (8 pm) at Christ & St. Stephen's Church (122 W. 69th St., New York City) a FREE concert of immortal masterpieces by Johannes Brahms, Clara Schumann and César Franck, performed by two world-class, internationally-acclaimed musicians:  violinist ELMIRA DARVAROVA (former Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera, and Gold Medalist at the 2017 Global Music Awards)  and pianist VASSILY LOBANOV (former duo-partner of the legendary Sviatoslav Richter).


Don't miss Vassily Lobanov's only New York appearance this season!




                                               ELMIRA DARVAROVA, violin

    Grammy®-nominated recording artist, a concert violinist since the age of four, and an award-winning performer (GOLD MEDAL at the 2017 Global Music Awards),  Elmira Darvarova caused a  sensation, becoming the first ever (and so far only) woman-concertmaster in the history of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. With the MET Orchestra she toured Europe, Japan and the United States, and was heard on the MET's live weekly international radio broadcasts, television broadcasts, CDs and laser discs on the Sony, Deutsche Grammophon and EMI labels. As concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera she has performed with the greatest conductors of our time, including the legendary Carlos Kleiber.

    She studied with Yfrah Neaman at the Guildhall School in London (on a British Council scholarship), with Josef Gingold at Indiana Universtiy in Bloomington (as one of his assistants), and, privately, with Henryk Szeryng.

     An award-winning artist (Gold Medal at the 2017 Global Music Awards, the Gold Quill Award by Classic FM Radio, and the Boris Christoff Medal), Elmira Darvarova can be heard on numerous CDs, recorded for several labels (recent releases include the world premiere recording of Vernon Duke's violin concerto with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, and a CD with world-premiere recordings of chamber music by René de Castéra, named by MusicWeb International a RECORD OF THE YEAR 2015. Several of her albums have been selected as Record of the Month by MusicWeb-International. Her CDs have won critical acclaim in such esteemed publications as The Strad Magazine, Gramophone, Fanfare, American Records Guide, BBC Music Magazine.

      She has appeared in recitals and as soloist on five continents, and has performed concertos with the Moscow State Symphony, the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Grant Park Symphony, the Columbus Symphony and with numerous orchestras on three continents. She has performed on the world’s most prestigious stages, such as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fischer/ David Geffen Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Symphony Space in New York; Symphony Hall in Chicago, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto; Suntory Hall, Bunka Kaikan and NHK Hall in Tokyo; Musikverein in Vienna, Cadogan Hall in London, Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, Koncerthuset in Stockholm, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Smetana Hall in Prague, Megaron in Athens, Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona, Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Kölner Philharmonie, Mumbai's National Center for Performing Arts, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall, Saint Petersburg Philharmonia, among many others. She has given recitals and master classes at many festivals and music schools worldwide. Well-versed not only in opera, symphonic and chamber music repertoire, she performs and records in many other genres and styles, including tango, jazz, blues, folk, world music, contemporary/ electronic music, Stroh violin, and Indian Ragas.  She has partnered for chamber music performances with music giants such as James Levine, Janos Starker, Gary Karr, Pascal Rogé, Vassily Lobanov,  with tango and jazz legends such as Octavio Brunetti, Fernando Otero and David Amram,  and with world-renowned Indian classical musicians - the superstars of the Sarod -  Amjad Ali Khan and his sons Amaan & Ayaan Ali Bangash, with whom she recorded a trilogy of CD albums, based on traditional Indian Ragas (released in the United States, and separately, on the Indian sub-continent).

     She has recorded 2 CD albums of Baroque music (world-premiere recordings) with the world's most renowned double bassist Gary Karr, and she has performed with him Bottesini's Gran Duo Concertante in the United States and Canada.

      She has also recorded 3 CDs of music by Astor Piazzolla, two of them with the late great tango pianist and arranger Octavio Brunetti (named by the New York Philharmonic "the inheritor of Piazzolla's mantle"), and she has performed in a duo with Octavio Brunetti at festivals in the US and Europe.

      For the Naxos label she has recorded 3 CDs of chamber music by Franco Alfano (world-premiere recordings), and she has also released world-premiere recordings of chamber music by René de Castéra and Émile Goue for two albums recorded by the French label Azur Classical. For the Affetto label and the Urlicht AudioVisual label she has recorded numerous albums, including the critically acclaimed world-premiere recording of the violin concerto by Vernon Duke (with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra), a highly-praised recording of the iconic Brahms Horn Trio with the principal horn of the New York Philharmonic Philip Myers, the violin sonata of Amanda Maier (with renowned pianist Bryan Wagorn), a Poulenc disc with the distinguished pianist Pascal Rogé, and the recently released "Violin Declamations from the Twilight of the Workers' Paradise" - which includes world-premiere recordings of music by Elena Firsova, Nikolai Badinski and Konstantin Soukhovetski.  

      In addition to music by Vernon Duke, Franco Alfano, David Amram, Phillip Ramey, René de Castéra, Émile Goué, Amanda Maier, Jacobo Cervetto, Francois Barthélemon, Pierre de Breville, Charles-Marie Widor, Gustav Mahler, Astor Piazzolla, Francis Poulenc, Elena Firsova, Dmitri Smirnov, Sylvie Bodorova, Stephen Brown, Gernot Wolfgang, she has also premiered and/or recorded chamber music by Paul Chihara, José Serebrier, Eugene Ysaÿe, Nikolai Kapustin, David Baker, Erich Korngold, Joseph Marx, Georgy Catoire, Aram Khachaturian, Alfred Schnittke, György Ligeti, Grigory Zaborov, Wang Jie, Sean Hickey, Dobrinka Tabakova, Nikolai Badinski, Afrodita Kathmeridou, Carsten Bo Eriksen, Ejnar Kanding, Amjad Ali Khan, among numerous others (and in addition to recordings of beloved masterpieces by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Brahms, Clara Schumann and César Franck). Many composers have dedicated works to Elmira Darvarova. She has recorded live for Radio Innsbruck in Austria, as well as for Radio Suisse Romande in Switzerland. Her recital at Bela Bartok's memorial house in Budapest was broadcast live throughout Europe. A documentary film about her life and career was shown on European television. She performs in a duo with Grammy®-winner, pianist/ composer Fernando Otero, and is a founding member of The New York Piano Quartet, the Delphinium Trio, the Quinteto del Fuego and the Amram Ensemble. She is Jury President of several international chamber music competitions in Europe, and she is President & Director of the New York Chamber Music Festival.  

       Praised by Gramophone Magazine for her "ultra-impassioned performances", and in The STRAD for her “intoxicating tonal beauty and beguilingly sensuous phrasing" and "silky-smooth voluptuous tone”, she was featured in Gramophone Magazine with an interview about her world-premiere recording of Vernon Duke's violin concerto (written for Heifetz in 1940), which she recorded recently with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.



                                                     VASSILY LOBANOV, piano

Born in Moscow, Vassily Lobanov is one of the foremost pianists and composers of his generation. He studied piano with Heinrich Neuhaus and Lev Naumov and composition with Sergei Balassanyan and Alfred Schnittke. Close musical collaboration with Sviatoslav Richter followed. Lobanov’s composition instructor Alfred Schnittke, one of the most significant composers of the 20th century, said of Lobanov: “There are talented composers and there are talented pianists, but seldom do those two talents converge in such brilliant proportion as they do in Vassily Lobanov …”  Among Lobanov’s many works are two operas, "Antigone" (1989 performed at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow) and "Father Sergius" (1995 performed in Germany); several instrumental concertos (for Cello, Piano, Viola, Trumpet, and a Double Concerto for Violin and Clarinet); String Quartets; Sonatas for Piano, Cello, Flute, Viola, Clarinet. His works (available at Sikorski Edition, Hamburg) have been performed at major music festivals, such as Berliner Festwochen, Luzern, Kuhmo, Moscow Autumn, Santa Fe, Glasgow and many others. 

As pianist he began his distinguished concert career in Russia in 1966, expanding his appearances world-wide since 1978, performing in the music metropolises of Europe, the US, Japan and South America with such conductors as Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Heinrich Schiff, Yuri Bashmet, Christoph Poppen, Alexander Lazarev and many others. He participated in numerous international festivals (such as Berliner Festwochen, Schleswig-Holstein, Lockenhaus, Wiener Festwochen, Luzern, Kuhmo, Santa Fe, Mondsee, Tour, Casals Festival) and was a member of multiple chamber music ensembles. He performed in a piano duo with Sviatoslav Richter, a piano trio with Oleg Kagan and Natalia Gutman, and still today remains a member of a piano quartet alongside Victor Tretiakov, Juri Bashmet and Natalia Gutman. He concertized with many other renowned artists, such as Leonidas Kavakos, Gidon Kremer, Marc Kaplan, Kolja Blacher, Kim Kashkashian, Penderecki String Quartet. Lobanov’s major concert and chamber music appearances are documented in a series of radio broadcast recordings and numerous CDs (on the Philips, Ondine, Classics Live, Tudor, Chant du Monde, Melodia labels). Based in Germany since 1990, he has held a piano professorship at the Cologne Musikhochschule since 1997. In 2016, he became а professor at the Kalaidos Conservatory (Switzerland) and а visiting professor at the Birmingham Conservatory (England). He leads masterclasses for piano, chamber music and composition in Russia, Germany, Austria (Mozarteum Salzburg), Poland, Japan, Chile and Finland. In 1997, he founded the Osnabrücker Musiktage Chamber Music Festival, serving as its artistic director until 2001. More info at:












2017 Gold Medal, Global Music Awards
Grammy®-nominated Concert Violinist
Former Concertmaster, Metropolitan Opera, New York;
Leader, New York Piano Quartet; Delphinium Trio; Quinteto del fuego;

Otero-Darvarova Duo; Amram Ensemble;

Jury President, Salieri-Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition;

Jury President, Plovdiv International Chamber Music Competition;
President & Artistic Director, New York Chamber Music Festival

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