Yuri Zhislin, State Symphony Capella of Russia & Valery Poliansky

Biography Yuri Zhislin, State Symphony Capella of Russia & Valery Poliansky

Yuri Zhislin, State Symphony Capella of Russia & Valery Poliansky

Yuri Zhislin
has been described by The Strad as “a musician with lyrical talent and truly romantic temperament”. He studied at the Royal College of Music, obtaining his ARCM Diploma with Honours. A winner of the BBC Radio Two Young Musician of the Year 1993, Zhislin has appeared as a soloist with orchestras worldwide, including the BBC Concert Orchestra, the London Mozart Players, the Oxford Philharmonic, the Belgrade Philharmonic, the Armenian Symphony orchestra, the Queensland Symphony, the Lublin Philharmonic and the Santiago de Chile Symphony among others. Yuri has worked with conductors including Fabio Mastrangelo, Olari Elts, Alex Walker, Maciej Tworek and Maximiano Valdes.

His performances have taken him to nearly 50 countries around the world. In 2014, Zhislin made his debut at the legendary Carnegie Weill Hall in New York. Yuri has directed many string ensembles including the Camerata Nordica, the Armenian Chamber orchestra, the Baltic Neopolis Strings, the Podlaska Philharmonic Strings and the Oxford Philharmonic Strings in a number of projects. Yuri’s chamber music and recording partners have included Maxim Vengerov, Natalie Klein, Maria Joao-Pires, Sergei Nakariakov and his wife Natalia Lomeiko. He has made a number of recordings for SIMM, Naxos, Attoll, Lynn and Nimbus Alliance record labels, and has an ongoing recording collaboration with Orchid Classics, both as a soloist, chamber musician and an Artistic Director of the Camerata Tchaikovsky string orchestra.

Camerata Tchaikovsky, founded by Zhislin in 2004, has completed a series of tours across Europe and South America since 2008. In April 2016, a debut CD under their former name, the Russian Virtuosi of Europe, was chosen “BBC Music Magazine CD of the month” and in December 2021, their Christmas Without Words EP reached No.12 on the US Classical Billboard Chart.

Yuri has made several arrangements for various formations. The recording of the Glazunov’s Saxophone Concerto arranged for viola and strings by Zhislin is available on the Camerata Tchaikovsky Russian Colours album, (described by The Strad as a “revelatory arrangement”). He also arranged a few of the Christmas favourites for the Camerata Tchaikovsky Christmas EP album. An active jazz enthusiast, Zhislin regularly takes part in jazz events, and incorporates jazz elements into his arrangements.

As a conductor, Yuri has worked with orchestras in Russia, Spain and the UK. His recent appearances as a Guest conductor included a concert with the Bristol Ensemble at St George’s Bristol (described as “a concert wonderfully held together by Yuri Zhislin”) and conducting the up-and-coming Hastings Philharmonic orchestra in a concert at the White Rock Theatre in Hastings.

Zhislin is a professor of violin, viola and chamber music at the Royal College of Music and gives masterclasses across Europe. Among his former students are members and Principals of leading European orchestras, including the Royal Opera House, the London Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic orchestras, as well as members of established chamber ensembles. Yuri actively collaborates with his former and present students in various chamber music projects.

Zhislin is regularly invited as a Jury member to International Violin Competitions. In 2024, he will head an international Jury at the Kreutzer Violin Competition in Belgium.

The recent highlights include directing Camerata Tchaikovsky in the Jazzical Christmas Extravaganza concert at the iconic St John’s Smith Square in London, leading an electro-acoustic Quartet project in the Musikverein’s Metallener saal in Vienna, the release of his long-awaited Bartok album on Orchid Classics, touring Australia and New Zealand with Natalia Lomeiko and taking part in a recording for Sony Classical.

Symphony Orchestra of the State Capella of Russia
has had a rich history since 1957. During the USSR period the orchestra was led by Samuel Samosud, Yuri Aranovich, Maxim Shostakovich and Gennady Rozhdestvensky. Outstanding Russian conductors such as Yevgeny Svetlanov, Nathan Rachlin, Neeme Jarvi and Vladimir Fedoseyev performed with the orchestra throughout its career.

The orchestra has performed in the USA, Canada, Germany, Spain, Great Britain, Greece, Japan and Taiwan, appearing at concert venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Vienna’s Musikverein and Gewandhaus in Leipzig among many others. In 1991, the Symphony Orchestra has merged with the State Chamber Choir, and the following year Valery Polyansky became its Artistic director and Principal conductor. The orchestra’s vast repertoire covers works by the Russian and Western classics of the 18th and 20th centuries as well as contemporary music scores by A. Schnittke and S. Gubaidulina. Their large discography is available on the Melodyia, Сhandos records, Vista Vera and Japanese record labels.

Valery Polyansky
was born in 1949 in Moscow and graduated from the College at the Moscow Conservatory. During his studies Polansky met Gennady Rozhdestvensky, who had a great influence on the young musician.

In 1971, he founded a Moscow Conservatoire Chamber Choir and became a conductor of the Moscow Operetta Theatre.

Polyansky has worked with leading orchestras worldwide, appearing as a Guest conductor in Iceland, Finland, Germany, Holland, the USA, as well as Taiwan and Turkey. He staged Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at the Gothenburg Music Theatre in Sweden and for several years was a Principal conductor of the Opera Nights festival in Gothenburg. Since 1992 Valery Polyansky has been the Artistic Director and chief conductor of the State Academic Symphony Capella of Russia.

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