Graf Mourja is one of most talented and distinctive Hungarian- Russian violinist of his generation. He began studying music with his father at the age of three. Then for two years his teacher was Wolf Usminsky, a professor at the Ural State Conservatory (Sverdlovsk). In 1982, Graf Mourja entered the Tchaikovsky Central Music School in Moscow, to study with Irina Bochkova. At the age of 16, he became the laureate and winner of two famous international competitions: Niccolo Paganini in Genoa (1990); and Vianna da Motta in Lisbon (1991), where he received a Special Prize for his performance of the Bartók’s Chaconne for solo violin. He graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory in 1997 and finished his postgraduate studies with Irina Bochkova in 1999. He was awarded the President Yeltsin Scholarship for his outstanding progress in his studies. At the same time, he finished his postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London under Mateja Marincovich, where he won the Hattory Prize for outstanding achievement..
Still a student, Graf Mourja became the laureate and winner of numerous international competitions, among them: the Demidov International Violin Competition in Yekaterinburg (1993), the Xth.Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow (1994), the Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris (1996, France), the Pablo de Sarasate competition in Pamplona (1997, Spain), the UNISA (2002, South Africa) and the “Juventus” Council of Europe Award (1994, France). In 2000 he won the Rodolfo Lipizer International Competition (2000, Gorizia, Italy), where he received four special awards: for the best performance of concerts by Stravinsky and Sibelius, of a piece by R. Lipizer, and a special audience award.
Since 1990 Mr. Mourja has given chamber music concerts, recitals and concerts with symphony orchestras in Russia and Europe in major concert halls: the Large and Small Hall of Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory, the Large and Small Halls of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Gaveau, Teatre de la Ville, the Arsenal (France), the Concertgebouw (Holland), the Palais des Beaux Arts (Belgium), the La Chaux-De-Fonds (Switzerland), the Ferenc Liszt Budapest Academy (Hungary), and many others. Mr. Mourja has collaborated with conductors such as E. Svetlanov, M. Yanovsky, E. Maksymyuk, L.Foster, M. Ermler, A. Vakulsky, A. Dmitriev, N. Alexeev, Y. Sado, A. Mikhailov, J. Novak, V. Polyansky, D.Liss and Y.Simonov. His repertoire includes more than 30 concert programs with orchestra, among them rarely performed works of E. Dohnanyi, H. Badings, G. Dmitriev, M. Nosyrev, B. Bartók, and E.Lalo.
Graf Mourja has recorded 3 CDs for the Harmonia Mundi label, and has collaborated on recordings with Alpha, Integral, Hanssler-Verlag, Naxos, Chant du Monde, Classical Records, and Melodia. His recordings of works by Stravinsky, Szymanowskyi, Schnittke, Prokofiev, Ravel and the recording of virtuoso miniatures "Violin Vagabond" were highly prized by the Strad and Gramophone magazines, and received the prestigious awards "Diapason d'Or "and "Choc". In 2013 in cooperation with ensemble “Kheops” he recorded the Dohnanyi and Penderecki sextets for the firm Fuga Libera (Belgium).
The list of Mr. Mourja’s chamber music partners includes pianists Barry Douglas, Bruno Canino, Eliso Virsaladze, Christian Zacharias, Piotr Anderszewski, Alexander Taro, and Denis Matsuev; violists Nobuko Imai, Paul Neubauer, Lawrence Power, and Lise Berthaud; cellists Francoise Groben, Marie Hallynck, Andres Diaz, Mark Koppe, and Alexander Kniazev; clarinetists Michele Lethiec and Ronald van Spandonck; and French horn players Herve Joulain, Richard Watkins, and Francis Orval.
In 2004, Mr. Mourja was awarded the title "Honored Artist of Russia". He now teaches at his alma mater, the Moscow State Conservatory. He has offered master classes in the UK, France, Russia, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Since 2005, Professor Mourja has been regularly invited as a member of the jury of Russian and international competitions. In June 2010, Professor Mourja won The Gold Medal - Grand Prix at the prestigious Violin Competition «Violin Masters» in Monte Carlo. During last two years, Professor Mourja has played the 24 Capriccios by Paganini in concert over 30 times.
He plays a 1707 Milanese violin by Santino Lavazza.
Born in Kharkiv, USSR in 1976 Alexey Lukirskiy began playing the violin since he was 6. At the age of 9 he became the soloist of the Symphony Orchestra of the Kharkiv Philarmonic. In 1995 he entered the college under the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. After graduating the college, he entered M. Ippolitova - Ivanova Moscow State Music and Pedagogy Institute (class of Professor I. Golovin).
In 1999-2009 Lukirskiy worked at the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia. In 2003 he became the winner of the 1st degree at the International Johannes Brahms Competition in Austria. Since 2005-2009 he worked as a Violin Principal Soloist at the Bolshoi Theatre. At the same time he was a postgraduate and an intern at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory (class of Professor S. Kravchenko).
At the year of 2009 Lukirskiy worked as a Violin Principal Soloist at the Mariinsky Theatre under Valery Gergiev. In 2012-2013 he worked at Lorin Maazel`s Orchestra in Spain. After the death of the greatest conductor, he was back to the Mariinsky Theatre and worked there until 2018.
Alexey Lukirskiy collaborates with many greatest musicians of our time. He actively performs as a soloist at the Bolshoi Theatre, the Mariinsky Theatre, the Belorussian State Philarmonic Orchestra, "A tempo" orchestra and others. He takes part in the international festivals as well as giving masterclasses and workshops in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities.
Hailed by music critics as “a superb musician” with the “classical virtuosity of Heifetz or Perlman,” the "suave café style of Florian Zabach” and the “jazzy insouciance of Stephane Grappelli,” Alejandro Drago has “crisscrossed the line between concerto virtuoso and jazz soloist.” His versatile musicianship has allowed him to be successful with many diverse styles and genres. His discography in France, USA and Argentina includes string quartets, concertos, avant-garde tangos for the EMI International label and a two-volume CD of works for solo violin distributed internationally by Naxos Music Library Japan and CD Tradition.
Alejandro Drago's life in music began in his native Argentina where, as a small child, he accompanied his mother, a professional tango dancer, to the venues where she performed. His mother introduced him to Antonio Agri, who spent over a decade as the lead violinist of Astor Piazzolla’s various ensembles. Thanks to Agri’s recommendation, young Alejandro was able to start his music training. He received a scholarship from the Russian government to study at the Moscow State Conservatory under Marina Yashvili and obtained his Master of Fine Arts in Violin Performance and Pedagogy. In 2008 he received a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance and a D.M.A. in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Southern Mississippi.
As a soloist, Alejandro has performed in world-class concert halls such as the Great Hall at the Moscow Conservatory, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, the Saint Petersburg State Academic Capella, Teatro Colón de Buenos Aires, The Kennedy Center and the Kolarac Zal of Belgrade, with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra, the Belgrade Philharmonic, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the Belarus State Academic Symphony, among many others. He has toured extensively in Russia, the United States, China, Austria, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Switzerland, Lithuania, Taiwan, Belarus, Italy, France, Spain, Brazil, ex-Yugoslavia (Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina), Romania, Republic of Moldova, Republic of Georgia, Portugal, Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Paraguay, Ecuador and Haiti.
As a conductor, Alejandro began his training with the CCBA Chamber Orchestra in Buenos Aires. Alejandro’s recognized expertise in the field of string studies has led him to coach regularly a number of youth and professional ensembles, including the Guayaquil Symphony Orchestra in Ecuador and the MERCOSUR Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has been a guest conductor with the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, Tandil Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of the Argentine Library of Congress and the MERCOSUR Academic Camerata, and conducted the Festival Orchestra of the Xth Tiberius Week Festival in Targu Mures, Romania. From 2005 to 2008 he was the Assistant Conductor of the Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and Chief Conductor of the Southern Mississippi Chamber Orchestra. Since 2008, he has appeared on a number of occasions as a guest conductor with the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, and recently has renewed his contract as the Artistic Director of this organization until May 2024.
Alejandro's scholarly works have become important references in English language scholarly studies of Tango music. He maintains strong connections with the music of his homeland through his career as a performer, researcher, lecturer, composer and arranger. His symphonic and chamber arrangements of Argentine music have been performed extensively in Europe and Latin America, as well as in the United States by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The critics wrote about Alejandro’s arrangements:
“His transcription [of Astor Piazzolla’s Four Seasons] retains the score’s inspired stream of melodies without neglecting the astringent harmonies and austere instrumentation of Piazzolla’s original chamber versions. Drago is a splendid musician. His languorous rendition of Invierno Porteño astutely combined sentimentality with Mozartean beauty. Drago’s bravura violin technique beguiled the listeners. His easy synthesis of aristocratic café suaveness and fiery zest were terrific.” (Entertainment News & Views).
“Drago's retooling for violin and string orchestra so deftly captures the rhythmic ingenuity, offbeat effects and astringent harmonic edge of the original quintet version that the bandoneon and electric guitar are hardly missed. Drago proved himself a wonderfully idiomatic exponent of his compatriot's tango music. His lean, focused tone drew out Piazzolla's atmospheric melancholy as well as the touch of sleazy languor while deftly skirting the schmaltz.” (The Miami Herald)
Alejandro Drago has been intensely devoted to composing since the very beginning of his musical career. His catalog includes concertos, chamber music and solo works, very often inspired by the music of Argentina and, in particular, Buenos Aires. A special place in his collection of works belongs to the cycle "Six Buenos Aires (Porteñas) Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin", a cycle conceived to fill an existing gap in advanced literature for solo violin inspired by tango motifs. His works are published by the Swiss house Eurindia Edizioni.
He conducts masterclasses, seminars, lectures and lecture-recitals extensively in Asia, Europe and the United States, invited by institutions of higher learning such as the Belarus National Academy of Music (Minsk), Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Bogotá), the East China Normal University (Shanghai), the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), Emory University (Atlanta, GA), the University of Georgia (Athens, GA), Arizona State University (Phoenix, AZ), University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (Edinburg, TX), California State University (Los Angeles, CA) and the Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN), among others. He teaches and performs regularly in festivals in Latin America, the US and Europe. Also in demand as an adjudicator, he has been a member of the jury of the 2014 Alice & Eleonore Schoenfeld International String Competition (junior category) in Harbin, China; Chairman of the Jury at the 2015 “Harmony” International Competition of Slavic Music (string division) in Belgorod, Russia; member of the jury of the 2016 and 2017 editions of the Leopold Auer International Competition, in St. Petersburg, Russia; member of the jury at the 4th and 5th Hong Kong International Music Festival, President of the jury of the 2017 First International Viola Competition of Mississippi, in Jackson, Mississippi and member of the jury of the First Marine Iashvili International Competition, Tbilisi 2019.
In July 2008, Alejandro joined the faculty at the University of North Dakota (UND) Department of Music as the Professor of Violin and Viola and Director of the UND Chamber Orchestra. Under his leadership, the UND Chamber Orchestra conducted two regional tours, and its first ever international trip in 2013, to Brazil, invited by the Festival Música nas Montanhas (Poços de Caldas, MG). He is also the creator of the UND Student String Quartet scholarship program, which put the strings division of UND Music firmly in the national map, with three international tours (Brazil, China, the Czech Republic) and the issuing in 2013 of the first CD by a student chamber ensemble at UND, featuring classical and modern works for string quartet. His students occupy positions in professional orchestras and chamber ensembles, teach privately, in the public system and in colleges, and have obtained prizes in regional, national, festival and international competitions.
Alejandro's many awards include a special prize in the Rodolfo Lipizer International Competition (Italy, 1992), third prize in the Petar Konjovich International Young Musicians Competition (Yugoslavia, 1993) and the first prize in the "New Talents in Classical Music" Competition (Buenos Aires, 1997). Highlights of past seasons include performances of Alban Berg's Violin Concerto with the University City Symphony Orchestra, Missouri, the performance of the complete solo violin cycles of L'Ecole Moderne op. 10 by Wieniawski and the Six Polyphonic Etudes by Ernst in one concert dedicated to Ruggiero Ricci's legacy, and the multiple performances of his own Violin Concerto in the US, Brazil, Belarus and the Republic of Moldova.
"Drago is a violinist of formidable gifts. Combining virtuoso dazzle with a tone that is dark and full, he can spin a melody in mesmerizing hues or play double or triple stops with seemingly effortless bravura." (Fort Lauderdale Connex, October 2013)
Born in Ukraine, Roman Fedchuk made his solo debut at the age of 11 with the Lviv Philharmonic performingMendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. He is the winner of several international competitions – Jan Kocian International Competition (Czechoslovakia, 1985), “Vianna da Motta” (Lisbon, 1991), Prague Spring (1992), V. Hummel (1993), and the Gernbach International Music Competition (1996).
He has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as the Moscow Soloists with Yuri Bashmet (concertmaster & soloist), Sicilian Philharmonic, Munich Chamber Philharmonic, Kislovodsk Philharmonic, Briansk Philharmonic, Zagreb Philharmonic, West Bohemian Symphonic Orchestra, Virtuosi Pragensis, Kursk Chamber Philharnic, Lviv Philharmonic and others orchestras. He has played in the most prominent concert halls in the world, including Prince Albert Hall, Kioi Hall, and Gewandhaus, and served as guest concertmaster with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Churaschsische Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, and the Quintetto da Camera Berlin.
He is a frequent guest of European music festivals including Iserlohn (Germany), Tour (France), ChursachsischeSommer (Germany), the 9th International Festival of Music and Dance in Ubeda (Spain), the 2nd Music Festival in Moscow (Russia), the Bohemia Festival (Czech Republic), International Festival of Vaclav Jirovec (Czech Republic), and Furth (Germany).
Additionally, he has recorded a CD of the violin concertos by J. S. Bach, and has toured Japan twice. He studied conducting at the National University of Music in Bucharest under Professor D. Goya and performs internationally as a conductor in countries such as the Czech Republic, Romania and Germany.
Roman Fedchuk studied at the Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory under Professor Z. Shihmurzaieva, as well as with D. Tzyganov and Isaac Stern.
He has lived in Prague since 1994 and founded the international ensemble of soloists “Concertino,” which performed successfully in the Czech Republic, France, Spain and Germany. He is a founding member of the Ludwig Piano Quartet, which recorded a CD of the Brahms and Dvorak Piano Quartets (2003). He is also a professor at the State Conservatory in Pilsen (Czech Republic) a jury member in various Czech and International Violin Competitions, such as the Czech
Conservatory Competition, and the Arthur Grumiaux International Competition / Bravo / Belgie.”
Robert Bokor, acclaimed conductor and violinist, has been the chief conductor of the Arpeggione Kammerorchester Hohenems, Austria since 2011, and chief conductor of the Orchester
Musikfreunde St. Gallen, Switzerland since 2019. In 2019 he also became the an Artist-in-Residence at the Harbin Concert Hall and a guest conductor of the oldest symphony in China, the Harbin Symphony Orchestra”.
He has toured extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and North and South America with the resident orchestra of the Palace of Hohenems in Austria, the Arpeggione Orchestra.
From 2013 to 2019 Robert Bokor has been Guest Conductor of the Tianjin Symphony Orchestra in China, from 2011 to 2015 Artist-in-Residence at the Endless Mountain Music Festival in Pennsylvania and from 2008 to 2012 Artistic Director of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra. He has collaborated with some of the world's greatest artists and has also appeared at major music festivals in Europe, Asia and the USA, most recently at the 55th International Piano Festival of Brescia and Bergamo in Italy.
Sought after as a performer of great stylistic diversity, Robert Bokor has been a strong advocate of contemporary music with his concert appearances including many world premieres, most recently Christoph Schnell's "Requiem X" in St. Gallen, Switzerland. His concerts have been broadcasted and recorded by several national European, Asian, North and South American radio and television stations. He has released several recordings, his latest release being for the Champs Hill Records featuring Ittai Shapira's Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra "Magyar". As a passionate and active educator fluent in several languages, Robert Bokor holds masterclasses and workshops worldwide as well as coaching and mentoring a few Symphony Orchestras and serves as a judge for national and international music competitions.
Robert Bokor was born in 1968 in Skopje, Yugoslavia, today Macedonia, into a family of musicians of Central and Eastern European heritage. He grew up in Belgrade where he also began his musical training on the violin at the Mokranjac Music School, the oldest music school in Serbia. At the age of 11 he made his orchestral solo debut with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra. Within a short time, he went on to win numerous awards and competitions as well as frequently appearing on radio and television broadcasts. After completing his studies at the University of Arts in Belgrade, he moved in 1991 to Switzerland where he enjoyed a prolific concertmaster and solo career, performing regularly over forty major concertos as well as many rarely performed works for violin and orchestra.
In 2009 Robert Bokor made his conducting debut with the Arpeggione Kammerorchester Hohenems, replacing at very short notice Vladimir Ashkenazy for the concert in Milan's Sala Verdi. Soon, many conducting invitations from the orchestras in Europe, Israel and Asia followed. Subsequently he was appointed the Arpeggione Orchestra's next Chief Conductor, to succeed Alexander Rudin in the season 2010/11, leading him to shift his focus from the violin to conducting. His wide-ranging experience as former concertmaster and soloists highly influenced his approach to conducting and gives his work with orchestras a unique stamp.
A renowed pianist, composer, and orchestra conductor, he is regularly invited as a soloist conductor by prestigious orchestras such Orchestre Symphonique de Sion (Switzerland), I Musici Estensi (Italy), Mission Symphony Orchestra (Italy), Mission Chamber Orchestra (Italy), Orchestre Symphonique National du Liban (Lebanon), St Laurent kammerOrchester (Germany), Delianuova Contemporanea Ensemble (Italy), Sarajevo National Orchestra (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Mt-Blanc Chamber Orchestra (France), Symphony of the Americas (Florida), Orquestra Kaposoka (Angola), Mumbles Symphony Orchestra (England), Orchestra Sinfonica di Sanremo (Italy), Orchestra of RTV Albania (Albania), Filarmonica di Torino (Italy) and more.
Since 1998 he has been musical director of the Mont Blanc Choir and Symphony Orchestra (France) and since 2008 the artistic director by Musicfor international. Among others, he has participated in the “Summerfest 2016” (Florida-Panama), “Costantine Capital de la culture Arabe” (2015 - Algeria), “Summerfest 2014” (Italy-Florida-Panama), “6° Festival International de Versoix” (2014 - Switzerland), “Summerfest 2013” (Italy-Florida-Panama), “Alba Music Festival” (2013 - Italy), “Summerfest 2012” (Italy-Florida-Panama), “3° Festival International de Versoix” (2011 - Switzerland), “Summerfest 2010” (Italy- Florida-Panama-Brazil), “13° Festival du Baroque” (2010 – Cordon, France), “12° Festival du Baroque” (2009 – Cordon, France), “2° Festival International de Musique Classique” (1996 – Nice, France), “8° Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte” (1983 – Montepulciano, Italy), “7° Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte” (1982 - Montepulciano Italy).
He has recorded as a pianist, composer and conductor for Generason (France), SMB (France), Rendre Présent (France), SOTA (USA) and Brilliant Classics (Netherlands). His compositions are regularly performed in Europe and America with great interest by public and critics. He has won prizes in several music competitions (Pineto National Competition (1994 - Italy), Tortona International Competition (1994 - Italy), Detroit International Competition (1993 - USA), Rome AIDI Competition (1992 - Italy), Gargano National Competition (1991 - Italy), Matera National Competition (1991 - Italy), Ciampino National Competition (1988 – Italy)) and embarks on a busy career worldwide as concert pianist, composer and conductor achieving great success at every performance. His concerts have been broadcast by Radio-Miami, Radio Pays du Mont-Blanc, Europe Radio Espace 2, Radio Sermoz, Télé-Lumière, Tele8 Mt-Blanc, Rai 3 and France 3.
He plays a large repertoire from the Baroque to 900. He performed for the Vatican’s concert series inaugurating the Holy Year of 2000. He has performed in the Chamber of Deputies (Rome), held numerous conferences including the one at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA-2012). “Composer in residence” of the American festival "SOTA - SummerFest" in 2010-2012- 2013-2014-2016 and 2017, twice in 2010 and 2012, the Congress of the United States of America recognized to him artistic merits.
In the musical training years he graduated in piano, composition and orchestra conductor at the Conservatorio di Musica di Torino (Italy). He studies piano in Rome (Italy) with Debora Varesco and then he furthered his studies in Russia at the Rachmaninov Musical Institute with Viktor K. Merzhanov. Two scholarships enabled him to go deeper into pianistic technique at the « CIEM-MOZART » - Lausanne (Switzerland) with Fausto Zadra. He has received valuable coaching from Gyorgy Sandor, Franco Scala and Paolo Bordoni. In 2000, with Dominique Weber as tutor, he won first prize in "Piano Virtuosity" with distinction at the Conservatoire de Musique de Sion (Switzerland). He begins studying composition with David Graham and Hans Werner Henze will encourage him to continue the musical studies. Eager to have a global vision of the music, he studied conducting, counterpoint, instrumentation and analysis at the Haute école de musique de Genève (Switzerland). At the same time he took conducting classes given by Roberto Benzi and Ernst Shelle.
Through Musicfor, he devotes much of his musical activity to the development and support in the most disadvantaged areas in the world (Mozambique, Haiti, Angola, and South Africa) planning music schools. Through this program, thousands of children have the opportunity the opportunity to approach music and broaden their perception and their perspective on life. He is passionately dedicated to teaching music, and his pupils have won several international competitions.