"Maxim Alexandrovich Vengerov (born 1974) is a Russian violinist, violist, and conductor.

In 1990, Vengerov proved his extraordinary talent with victory at the International Carl Flesch Competition in London. At the time, he had already studied with Z. Bron in London and Lübeck. His public appearances – both solo and with orchestras – at major European music venues sparked interest of major record labels (to date, he has recorded close to 100 compositions or cycles) and music magazines. Numerous recording prizes and “Artist of the Year” titles (including one from Gramophone) followed, as did the celebrated Grammy Award, Edison Award (for the recording of Shostakovich Second Concerto), and the highly prestigious “Echo Klassik” annual distinction awarded to him by the German Television in 2003.

In 1997, he became UNICEF’s Envoy for Music and has met and performed for children in such places, as Uganda, Thailand or Kosovo. “Playing by Heart”, a Channel 4 production about the virtuoso’s meetings with young musicians during his master classes, which was shown at the Cannes Festival in 1999, enjoyed tremendous popularity throughout the world. Contacts with Mstislav Rostropovich, Daniel Barenboim or Vag Papian, as well as performances with the world’s most famous orchestras, like the Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic or the Chicago Symphony, exerted profound influence upon Maxim Vengerov’s artistic progress and development of his musical skills. The artist took a two-year course in the Baroque violin and repertoire of the epoch. However, he does not restrict himself to the violin alone; the viola, jazz improvisation, dance, and conducting have caught his attention. Since the earliest stages of his career, he has been playing various Stradivari instruments; at present, it is the 1727 “Ex-Kreutzer”."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxim_Vengerov