February 20-28, 2009 March 1, 2009

Crossover Concert – Where Classical Meets Jazz

February 20-28, 2009
March 1, 2009
Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Washington
Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills, CA
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, San Francisco, California
Severance Hall, Cleveland, Ohio
Strathmore Hall, Music Center at Strathmore, Washington, DC
Boston Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts
Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York
Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, Chicago, Illinois

World-renowned violist Yuri Bashmet and jazz saxophone virtuoso Igor Butman will merge their talents and orchestras in February of 2009 for the US tour of “ Crossover Concert”, a program, where classical music meets jazz. The program will feature pieces from the classical repertoire of the Moscow Soloists Chamber Orchestra and jazz arrangements of Russian classics by Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov, as well as “Jazz Suite for Viola, Saxophone, Piano and Orchestra” by composer Igor Raykhelson.
Violist Yuri Bashmet, one of the world’s greatest musicians, has appeared with the top orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and London Philharmonic. Moscow Soloists, a chamber ensemble Bashmet founded comprised of young graduates of the Moscow Conservatory, has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall and Suntory Hall in Tokyo, among others.

Igor Butman is Russia’s top jazz musician. His performance of Nostalgie at a Kremlin State dinner for Vladimir Putin and Bill Clinton prompted the US President to write in “My Life” that Butman is “my favorite living tenor saxophonist” and to include him on the CD “The Bill Clinton Collection.”

Mr. Butman has performed and recorded with the world’s top jazz musicians including Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette, Randy Brecker, Pat Metheny, Gary Burton, Louis Bellson, Grover Washington Jr., Billy Taylor, Walter Davis Jr., Monty Alexander, Lionel Hampton, Eddie Gomez and Lyle Mays.

Since 1999 Butman’s Big Band has toured all over Russia and regularly appears at Moscow’s top jazz venue Le Club where Igor is the artistic director and acts as a musical ambassador connecting Russian and US jazz musicians.


Yuri Bashmet is “without doubt, one of the world’s greatest living musicians”–The Times “He can move without a break from the most hushed, liquid legato to a huge, hall-filling fortissimo.”–New York Times
Yuri Bashmet was born in 1953 in Rostov-on-Don in Russia and spent his childhood in Lvov in the Ukraine. He began studying at the Moscow Conservatoire at the age of eighteen, first with Vadim Borisovsky, violist of the Beethoven Quartet, and later with Feodor Druzhinin. He subsequently became the youngest person ever to be appointed to a professorship at the Moscow Conservatoire. In 1976, Bashmet won first prize at the International Viola Competition in Munich, which launched his international career. He has appeared with all the world’s leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Montreal Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, and London Philharmonic Orchestras.
Yuri Bashmet has inspired many composers to write for him. He enjoyed an especially close and productive relationship with Alfred Schnittke whose Viola Concerto was premiered at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in 1986. Other works written for Bashmet include Georgian composer Giya Kancheli’s Viola Concerto (premiered at the Berlin Festival), The Myrrh Bearer by John Tavener, a concerto by Poul Ruders, and Sofia Gubaidulina’s Viola Concerto, premiered with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Kent Nagano in April 1997.
He has appeared on many occasions with Sviatoslav Richter and has performed chamber music with numerous leading artists including Natalia Gutman, the Borodin Quartet, Gidon Kremer, Mstislav Rostropovich and Maxim Vengerov.
In March of 1992 Yuri Bashmet founded the Moscow Soloists – one of the worlds’s most highly acclaimed chamber ensembles. Comprised of leading young graduates all under 30 from the Moscow Conservatory, the orchestra made its debut in May 1992 at the main hall of the Conservatory. Since that time, the Moscow Soloists have performed in many other prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall in New York, the Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican Centre in London, the Theatre des Champs Elysees in Paris, the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.
Yuri Bashmet and Moscow Soloists Chamber Orchestra won a prestigious Grammy Award in 2008 for Stravinsky / Prokofiev CD recorded by Onyx label in 2007.
Artist’s website www.yuribashmet.com/


Igor Butman is “may be the greatest living jazz saxophone player, who happens to be a Russian.”–Bill Clinton
Igor Butman, saxophone virtuoso, bandleader, club owner and television host, is Russia’s number one jazz personality. Born in 1961 in Leningrad (now St.Petersburg), Igor Butman started playing the clarinet at the age of 11. In 1976 he entered the Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music, where during his second year he dropped the classical clarinet for the jazz saxophone. After firmly establishing himself in the Russian jazz scene, Butman emigrated in America in 1987, where he studied at The Berkley College of Music. Moving to New York in 1989, Mr. Butman worked with The Lionel Hampton Orchestra. His solo album “Falling Out”, which was received well by critics, was released in 1993. After living for some time in New York he performed at almost every major jazz festival, such as JVC Jazz Festival in New York, Boston Globe Jazz Festival in Boston, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Idaho, and Festival Internationale de Jazz de Montreal in Canada and collaborated with a large number of famous US jazz musicians such as Wynton Marsalis, Eddie Gomez, Lenny White, John Abercrombie, Joe Lock and many others. In 1995 he moved back to Russia. Since then he has acted as a musical ambassador connecting Russia with the US. When Wynton Marsalis performed in Russia in 1998, he invited Butman to be a guest soloist with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Next year Marsalis was a featured guest with Igor Butman Big Band at Le Club in Russia.
Igor Butman has performed and recorded with the best world classical violist Yuri Bashmet and his Moscow Soloists Chamber Orchestra; with Dave Brubec, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Gary Burton, Louis Bellson, Grover Washington Jr.Billy Taylor, Walter Davis Jr., Monty Alexander, Lionel Hampton, Michael Moriarty, Eddie Gomez and Lyle Mays. In addition to performing, Igor Butman is also the artistic director at Le Club, Moscow’s top jazz venue, where he also appears with his big band and quartet.
In March of 1999 Igor Butman founded his The Big Band. For the last 5 years Igor Butman Big Band have been appearing on a stage of the best Moscow jazz-club Le Club and touring a lot all over Russia. In February 2002 Igor Butman Big Band participated at the Triumph of Jazz concert with the following world famous jazz stars invited as the special guests: Joe Lovano, Randy Brecker, Billy Cobham, Kevin Mahogany and Dee Dee Bridgewater. The extraordinary nature of the Igor Butman Big Band determined by the fact that every musician of the Big Band is not only a part of the band, but also a soloist. Artist’s website www.igorbutman.com/


Igor Raykhelson was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was admitted to the Leningrad-Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in 1976 where he majored in both Classical and Jazz Piano. Early in his career he formed a jazz quartet, The Emerging Stars who toured extensively throughout the former Soviet Union. Appealing to audiences all over Russia with their talent and sense of musical style, Igor was able to develop his love for music in a variety of musical art forms.
In 1979 Igor moved to New York City and began his piano studies with the famous Professor Alexander Edelman. Igor went on to tour with such jazz greats as Eddie Gomez, Joe Lock and Russia’s leading saxophone player, Igor Butman. Throughout this period Igor continued his study of classical piano and performed chamber music with orchestras and as a soloist. Igor subsequently met and performed with legendary violist, Yuri Bashmet, credited in being the world’s greatest living viola player. Igor, inspired by the brilliance of Yuri Bashmet’s artistry composed several pieces of music for him and subsequently they continue their successful musical collaborations to this day.
In 2003 Igor debuted his composition Adagio for Viola and String Orchestra performed by Yuri Bashmet and The Moscow Soloist Orchestra in Carnegie Hall to rave reviews (“the American premier of Largo: by Igor Raykhelson, turned out to be the unexpected highlight of the evening”…NY Times Review April 2003).
Mr. Raykhelson continued to combine his love of Jazz and Classical Music through his expressive composition entitled Jazz Suite (2005), performed at Lincoln Center February 2006. This performance blended the mastery of Yuri Bashmet, viola and the Moscow Soloist Orchestra alongside the famous saxophonist, Igor Butman leading his Big Band Jazz Orchestra. Igor Raykhelson fulfilled his role to perfection as both composer/conductor as well as pianist for the performance. The American debut of Jazz Suite at Lincoln Center was a huge success attended by a full audience sold out days in advance. Jazz Suite is a perfect blend of musical styles for both composition and performance between Chamber and Jazz Orchestras. Continuing his successful career in composition, Igor’s Small Symphony for Strings debuted at the Bahamas Music Festival January 2006. Island newspapers compared his strength in melodic composition to that of Tchaikovsky. Other Compositions of Note: Viola Sonata (1999), Cello Sonata (2001), Piano Trio (2003), Piano quartet (2004), Piano Sonata (2004), Violin Sonata (2005), Clarinet Concerto (2005), Viola Concerto (2005), Small Symphony for Strings (2005), Jazz Suite (2005).
Mr. Raykhelson performs regularly at major Festivals in Russia, Europe and the US, and is a guest artist/composer at The Elba Island Music Festival, Italy and the Niagara Falls Music Festival, New York to name a few. He was the Music Director of the Bahamas Music Festival 2006 (supported by the Nassau Music Society) and continues as Artistic Director of Classics on the Mountain Music Festival, New York.
Mr. Raykhelson is hailed by peers as one of the leading international composers of the contemporary Neo Romantic Movement. His music is becoming increasingly in demand and performed around the globe. His music is published by Alphonse Leduc, France, as of 2007 and Muzyka Publishing House, Moscow. He records with Toccata Classics, England and Impromptu Productions, Inc., New York City.
Artist’s website www.igorraykhelson.com/
To buy CDs of Igor Raykhelson, please visit:
The tour is sponsored and supported by RACH-C. RACH-C

Event Reviews

Sunday, February 26, 2006
NY Times: A Musical Exchange With the Best Russia Has to Offer
Review by Nate Chinen

The promise of a dialogue between jazz and classical music has been a persistent lure over the years. It’s a preoccupation that turns experts into interlopers, compelling them to speak in a borrowed tongue. Crossover Concerto, an event held on Wednesday night at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater, illuminated that challenge, along with the lofty goal that inspired it. In tone as well as substance, the concert suggested cultural exchange.

This was true in more than one sense. The evening’s classical eminence was the violist Yuri Bashmet, with the Moscow Soloists chamber orchestra; jazz was the provenance of the saxophonist Igor Butman and his big band. Both artists had crossed over, so to speak, from Russia, where they have the stature of national heroes. Their presence in New York, well publicized on Russian-language television, had met with a tidal response: the roughly 1,200-seat hall sold out days in advance, with the vast majority of tickets going to native Russian speakers.

Nevertheless, after a square-jawed proclamation from President Vladimir Putin — stoically delivered by a Russian senator, it provoked a cavalcade of boos and then laughter and applause — the program proceeded in English. Mr. Butman, the pre-eminent public figure on Russia’s jazz scene, did most of the announcing; he also came across as the evening’s most forcefully charismatic soloist.

The emphasis there is on forceful: Mr. Butman is a steamroller of a saxophonist, with a broad tone and a hard-charging rhythmic instinct. His Teflon style provided a stark contrast to Mr. Bashmet, who has a darkly resonant sound and an intimate way with technique; he was most captivating at his quietest, as on an opening Bach minuet.

Those differences extended to the ensembles, which occupied opposite sides of the stage. Mr. Butman’s band set the tone with Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Capriccio Español,” rearranged by Vitaly Dolgov as a brassy fanfare; later, it brought the same blunt attack to Tchaikovsky. The chamber orchestra showed greater range and sensitivity on a bristling Shostakovich scherzo; Rachmaninoff’s “Vocalise,” which featured an excellent solo by Mr. Butman on soprano saxophone; and “Adagio for Viola and String Orchestra,” an elegy by Igor Raykhelson.

Mr. Raykhelson, born in St. Petersburg, was the evening’s third major presence; it was the United States premiere of his “Jazz Suite for Viola, Saxophone, Piano and Orchestra” that comprised the second half. He played the piano on that piece, which began with a faint hint of Gershwin and tumbled on through a bright, ricocheting swing, a stately tango, a waltz and a chiaroscuro lament.

Mr. Raykhelson’s suite marked the only part of the concert that integrated the two ensembles fully, and the only time the big band put aside its bombast for lucid color. Roughly halfway though, the piece called for viola and tenor saxophone together, and Mr. Bashmet and Mr. Butman rose to the challenge, with a perfect, haunting unison.

Sunday, February 26, 2006
NY Sun Jazz Review
Review by Will Friedwald

Speaking of detente, Rose Theater on Wednesday night played host to visitors from even farther away than L.A. This was “Crossover Concerto,” a concert starring two ensembles from Moscow.

They were led by two dynamic players: the violist Yuri Bashmet, leading the Moscow Soloists Chamber Orchestra, and the saxophonist Igor Butman with his own Big Band of Russia. The idea was to blend classical music and jazz by showing how the two groups could work together and by having the big band play adaptations of Russian and other classical works. Leonard Bernstein, Dick Hyman, and others have put together similar programs, but never with such a pronounced Russian accent. Mr. Butman gave us an exceedingly mellow treatment of Rachmaninoff’s “Vocalese” on soprano sax…and Mr. Bashmet played a Shostakovich “Scherzo” that was really slamming – as if it had been written by Charles Mingus. The second half, however, was the highlight, featuring a new “Jazz Suite” for the two orchestras and the two star soloists, along with the composer and pianist, Igor Raykhelson. At times reminiscent of Stan Getz and Eddie Sauter’s “Focus,” this is an organic work that succeeds in drawing out the best from this unusual combination.

Venue: Benaroya Hall

Benaroya Hall
Music lovers and non-aficionados will agree that this grand home of the Seattle Symphony isn’t just for symphonic music. The architecturally stunning Benaroya Hall, houses two auditoriums, the Grand Lobby, an elegant Founders Room.

200 University Street,
Seattle, WA 98101
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