Dmitry Sitkovetsky

By the mid-'70s, Dmitry Sitkovetsky had developed a reputation as one of the most promising Soviet violinists of his generation. He emigrated to the United States, however, to continue his studies and to lay plans for a career that would begin with a meteoric ascent. Like many successful instrumentalists, he eventually turned to conducting, and since 1990 has split his career pursuits between the two roles. He has played and conducted a broad repertory that includes works by J.S. Bach, Mozart, Grieg, Ravel, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and many others. He has appeared on many recordings (either as violinist or conductor) for several labels, including EMI, Nonesuch, Hänssler Classics, and Orfeo.

Dmitry Sitkovetsky was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, on September 27, 1954. His parents were violinist Yulian Sitkovetsky, himself a highly respected virtuoso in his own right, and the equally famous pianist Bella Davidovich, who would eventually partner with her son in concert and on several recordings.

After studies at the Moscow Conservatory, Sitkovetsky, along with his mother, left the Soviet Union for the United States in 1977 (his father had died at 32, in 1958). Sitkovetsky furthered his studies at Juilliard. In 1979 he burst onto the international scene winning the Vienna-based Fritz Kreisler Competition.

Sitkovetsky quickly became an international star, touring the U.S., Europe, and Asia and appearing on many recordings. He would also become well known for his numerous transcriptions for violin and string ensembles of works by J.S. Bach, Haydn, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and many others. His version of the Goldberg Variations for strings would be famously recorded in 1995 for Nonesuch Records.

In 1987 Sitkovetsky relocated to London and three years later founded a chamber orchestra, the New European Strings, a group Sitkovetsky has regularly led on tours of Europe and the U.S., making appearances particularly at major music festivals. Over the years Sitkovetsky has managed to attract some of the leading soloists to perform with his group, including Evgeny Kissin, Yuri Bashmet, Vadim Repin, Bobby McFerrin, and, of course, his mother Bella Davidovich.

From 1996 to 2001 Sitkovetsky served as principal conductor of the Ulster Orchestra. In 2003 he accepted the appointment of music director of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, while continuing an active guest-conducting schedule. Between 2006 and 2009 Sitkovetsky recorded the Mozart sonatas for piano and violin, with Antonio Pappano and Konstantin Lifschitz for Hänssler Classics. In his 60th birthday year, he premiered a concerto by Nimrod Borenstein and work by Mark Engebretson for soprano, solo violin & strings.

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