This phenomenally gifted 22-year-old Russian violinist, introduced by Gergiev at the Moscow Easter Festival when only 15, claims a direct link to Heifetz and the Russian school of great violinists through his teacher. This is made apparent by his distinctive rich dark sound, which sets him apart from many of his contemporaries. Ugorski has already performed throughout Western Europe, Russia, Canada, the USA, South America, Australia and the Far East, working with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Hans Graf, Andrey Boreyko, Roberto Minczuk, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Kirill Karabits, Vasily Petrenko and Robin Ticciati.
Following his performance at the 2005 Moscow Easter Festival Gergiev immediately invited Ugorski to appear with the Rotterdam Philharmonic that season. Since that time, Ugorski has gone on to work with, amongst others, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Dortmund Philharmonic and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestras.
Highlights of recent seasons included debuts with the London Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Vienna Kammerphilharmonie at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Euskadi Orchestra, RTE National Symphony, Malmö Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony and Columbian National Symphony Orchestras, as well as a return to the Rotterdam Philharmonic where Ugorski performed the Stravinsky Concerto stepping in at short notice for an indisposed Leonidas Kavakos with Robin Ticciati.
In the 2011/12 season and beyond, orchestral engagements include debuts with Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Galicia Symphony, Brussels Philharmonic, SWD Konstanz and Moscow State Symphony Orchestras as well as a return to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestras. With the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Ugorski will be bringing into his repertoire the little-known violin concerto by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, and he will also perform the John Adams violin concerto for the first time with the Basel Sinfonietta in Basel and at De Doelen in Rotterdam in May 2012.
As a recitalist Ugorski regularly collaborates with pianist Konstantin Lifschitz. They made their debut together at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival in Germany to great acclaim in August 2008, and have since appeared at the Enescu Festival in Romania, Seoul Arts Centre and Perth International Arts Festival in Australia. In January 2010, the duo released a recital DVD for VAI of works by Bach, Brahms, Strauss, Szymanowski, Ravel and Tchaikovsky. Engagements together in 2011/12 include debuts at the Tivoli Festival in Copenhagen, Wigmore Hall in London, Lucerne Festival, the Beethovenfest in Bonn and De Doelen in Rotterdam.
Born in 1989 in St Petersburg, Russia, Eugene Ugorski moved with his family to San Diego at the age of five. He began studying the violin at the age of six with Professor Vesna Gruppman and made his orchestral debut with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra at the age of eight. He continues to study with Vesna as well as with Igor Gruppman, one of the world’s most respected concertmasters.
Eugene Ugorski is represented by Intermusica.
October 2011 / 465 words. Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material.
Orquesta Sinfonica del SODRE with Stefan Lano / Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
“Ugorski, just 23 years of age, revealed a unique personality which grants him the privilege of being incomparable to any other great violinist today. A virtuoso in the broadest sense, with extraordinary musicality and phrasing, he has complete mastery of technique without ever showing signs of stress. His left hand is a wonder of tuning, and his four fingers are well balanced. His bowing is flawless… Thanks to the audience’s great enthusiasm, this young violinist offered one of the most beautiful of Bach’s Partitas for violin solo as an encore, showing his versatility and skill.”
El País, May 2012
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with Michal Dworzynski / Glazunov Violin Concerto
“In the Glazunov Violin Concerto Russian born Eugene Ugorski revealed himself as an outstanding musician with exceptional technical command. Belying his tender years there was a special responsiveness and freshness about Ugorski’s performance of this unashamedly romantic score. Conveyed so gloriously the dreamy slow movement highlighted the sweet singing tone of Ugorski’s violin. …
Anything but routine, the concert was a highly satisfying evening’s entertainment. Soloist Eugene Ugorski is certainly a name to look out for.”
Seenandheard-international.com, November 2011
Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia with Jun Märkl / Sibelius Violin Concerto
“... [Ugorski] truly distinguished himself by the refinement of his sound, elegance of phrasing, serenity of presentation; all of which was confirmed again in the ‘Sarabande’ of Partita No.2 in D minor, BWV 1004, Bach, which he played as an encore. The public hailed the young performer (22 years old), who will go far.”
La Opinion de A Coruña, October 2011
Beethovenfest Bonn, Duo with Konstantin Lifschitz / Beethoven Sonata No. 5, Bartok Two Rhapsodies, Chauson Poème, Brahms Sonata No. 1
“The vitality and melancholy of Béla Bartók’s two Rhapsodies were in the best of hands with Ugorsky, who was in his element in this severe, brusque music. (...) The duo played Chausson’s Poème with the passion of a second Tristan music, and Brahms’ Sonata in G major with delicate nuances and deep empathy. After an enchantingly light and sweet performance of Tchaikovsky’s Melodie as an encore, the duo were whisked away from the stage in Burg Wissen’s glass elevator.”
Bonner General-Anzeiger, 5th October 2011
Duo with Konstantin Lifschitz / Franck Sonata, Brahms Sonata no. 3 & Chausson Poème
“Has there ever before in Perth been a more passionate and fiery account of this masterpiece? For sheer impassioned intensity, this was a performance that swept all before it. This duo is musical dynamite.
In Lifschitz's hands, the venue's magnificent Fazioli piano responded to his demands as if alive and Ugorski's faultless bowing technique brought this listener to the edge of his seat. The two were sublime in Brahms' Sonata in D minor. Whether conveying the subtlest nuances of tone, tempo or style, the duo scaled Olympus effortlessly. Much the same could be said of their deeply probing, exquisitely stated account of Chausson's Poeme, to which I listened in wonder.”
The West Australian, March 2011
Euskadi Orchestra with Andrey Boreyko / Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1
“Ugorski demonstrated his technical skill right from the opening ‘Nocturne’, a cantabile which uses encompasses the full register of the violin: the double-stopping was crystal clear. The ‘Scherzo’ and the intricate ‘Passacaglia’ were equally worthy of appreciation. The interaction between soloist and the various sections of the orchestra was well-balanced, and the dark character of the ‘Burlesque’, which is almost more of a suite than a concerto, was very well-adjusted.”
Diario de Navarra, November 2010
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra with Robin Ticciati / Stravinsky Violin Concerto
"The soloist in Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto, Eugene Ugorski, who had jumped in for an injured Leonidas Kavakos, was even younger than the conductor but not unknown to the orchestra. ..his interpretation of the Stravinsky was superb, with great drive and precision..."
De Volkskrant, June 2010
RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin with Roberto Minczuk / Barber Violin Concerto
“A beautifully controlled performance by Eugene Ugorski […]
Ugorski gave a finely-balanced account of this romantically-inclined work, keeping the music sweet but not sentimental, and the general restraint of his manner, happily, was matched by Minczuk.[…] he showed spunk aplenty in the right way in the wild, skittering dance of the finale.”
Irish Times, January 2010
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra with Kirill Karabits / Paganini Violin Concerto No.1
“Paganini’s fiendishly difficult Violin Concerto No.1 was performed with disarming artistry by the 20 year old, the hugely talented Eugene Ugorski.
The demand for flying staccato, double stopping and all manner of ‘impossible’ tricks were brilliantly accomplished. And it’s not just showmanship, for Ugorski had time for the tunes, which in the finale had a certain cheeky impudence to go with the double harmonics.”
Daily Echo, January 2010
Dortmund Phihharmonic Orchestra with Jac van Steen / Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
“The 19 year old violinist Eugene Ugorski is one of those talented young musicians who want to become one of the best in the world – and who may well do so. He performed Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto in D major Op.35 with great dedication. Ugorski shaped this standard of the violin repertoire with precision, lightness of touch, a delicate tone and great feeling for the melody. Right from the beginning of the first movement’s beautiful theme, he won his way into the hearts of the audience with his lyrical mellifluousness. He made his instrument sing in the poetic canzonetta, and showed his secure virtuosity in the hurrying, tempestuous finale, where van Steen allowed him free reign, but also blended beautifully into the ensemble in the orchestral sections.
And at the end of the concert, instead of the usual encore, Ugorsky had prepared a special treat for us: the soloist joined the brass soloists in Stravinsky’s Pastorale – a splendid idea, which was enthusiastically applauded by the audience.”
Westdeutsche Rundfunk, January 2009
“Eugene Ugorski is one of the up and coming young talents who truly astonishes his audiences … He amazed the audience at this fourth Philharmonic concert in the Dortmund Konzerthaus with his fabulous technique, and the assurance with which he played Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto.
This shy young Russian from Rotterdam isn’t a self-important show-off. He played the showpiece for which he has become known with gentleness and sensitivity. He slowly cherished every note in the first movement; his slender tone floated up to the clouds in the Canzonetta; and the finale rang out with tamed wildness. When the young violinist, who is already being compared to the young David Oistrach, gains greater strength and the courage to portray more emotions, then Eugene Ugorsky will be one of the big boys.”
Ruhr Nachrichten, January 2009
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with Vassily Petrenko / Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
"Petrenko skillfully lead this flexible ensemble in Tchaikovsky's Violin concerto. He was careful not to trample the nineteen year old soloist Eugene Ugorski underfoot with his chamber music allure. This remarkable talent performed wonderfully with some sublime moments. His tone has not a very big volume, but offered very fine nuances. Unaminously the two young talents and the historic orchestra steamed up to the final of the concerto."
Los-Angeles Philharmonic with Hannu Lintu / Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
“Throughout the Concerto, Ugorski commanded a freshness of tone and unforced yet masterly virtuosity. This is no mere prodigy, but already a consummate artist of the very first order.”
Truman C. Wang, Classical Voice, September 2008
Noord Nederlands Orkest with Jacques Mercier / Beethoven Violin Concerto
"The young violinist Eugene Ugorski is already being compared with the legendary violinist Oistrach.
In a perfect collaboration, the Noord Nederlands Orkest and Ugorski performed Beethoven’s violin concerto in D major. Eugene Ugorski combines an amazing virtuosity with a lyrical, almost tender way of playing. Maybe, in a few years time when he is world star, we will be able to say proudly that we have already heard him here first …”
Meppeler Courant, April 2007
Vancouver Symphony with Eri Klass / Sibelius Violin Concerto
“Delivering a breathlessly exciting cadenza in the opening Allegro moderato movement, Ugorski displayed confidently intense musicianship and assured technique, effortlessly going from height to height.”
J H Stape, Review Vancouver, January 2007
Boston Symphony Orchestra with Keith Lockhart / Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
“…people were saying that it was as if he were channeling the great Russian violinist, David Oistrakh, but the point was how original and fresh Ugorski's approach is… he also already has a mind and a heart.”
Richard Dyer, Boston Globe, 2004
San Diego Symphony with Matthew Garbutt / Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
"The Russian-born phenomenon was able to do what the greatest performers are known for-connecting his heart with the listener's. Eugene Ugorski did not merely play notes, but used the violin to communicate feelings of sadness, joy, drama and curiosity. With each stroke of his bow, he enabled his listeners to connect with his emotions. Soon, it was evident that the concert ceased to be about just listening to music, but feeling and experiencing the music."
San Diego Union Tribune, August 2002
“This evening Ugorski conquered the Moscow audience not only with incredible technical mastery but with profound understanding of Tchaikovsky’s music.”