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Yuri Kasparov (1955-); RUS

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Yuri Kasparov

Yuri Kasparov was born in 1955 in Moscow, and completed his post-graduate study at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in 1994, where he worked with composer Edison Denisov. From 1985-89, Mr. Kasparov worked as musical editor-in-chief for the Russian State Central Studio of Documentary Films. In 1990, he founded the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble (MCME), whose recordings are likewise featured at the Classical Archives.

Among the awards received for Mr. Kasparov's compositions include First Prize at the All-Union Composers' Competition (for his First Symphony, "Guernica", 1985); First Prize at the "Guido d'Arezzo" International Composers' Competition (for his Ave Maria, 1989); and the Grand Prix at the "Henri Dutilleux" International Composers' Competition (for his Effet de Nuit, 1996). His works have been performed at numerous contemporary music festivals, including the Frankfurt Fest, Radio France Présences, the Tokyo Summer Festival, the Ensems Festival (Spain), and "Warsaw Autumn." Mr. Kasparov is on the board of the Russian Association for Contemporary Music, and is Deputy Chairman of the International Association of Composers' Organizations (the former USSR Composers' Union).

Mr. Kasparov's works have been recorded by such outstanding ensembles as the BBC-Wales Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Romanian Radio, Ensemble "Contrechamps" (Switzerland), and featured on CDs released on the Olympia (England) and Harmonia Mundi (France). He has received commissions from several distinguished ensembles, including the Ensemble Modern (Germany), the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra (Norway), the Orchestra Symphonique de Tours, the CORE Ensemble (USA), and for such festivals as the Tage für Neue Musik Zurich. His works have been published by Le Chant du Monde, Gérard Billaudot, and Alphonse Leduc.


"Kasparov's main preoccupation seems to be with timbre, be it wailing woodwinds and slide whistles (Linkos, Oboe Concerto), an organ with motor switched on and off (Ave Maria, Oboe Concerto, Credo), prepared piano (Oboe concerto), or woodwind multi-phonics (Variations). In a sense the ear has to "taste" or "Smell" this music and react to the moment, rather than connecting up with deeper levels of appreciation. And there is an unmistakable sense of self-belief (as apposed to mere opportunism) behind the music's long sensuous lines. The most valuable thing on offer here is a glimpse into the laboratory of the latest Russian music."

GramoFile (Gramophone Publications)

"In recent years Kasparov has become more isolated from his contemporaries in Moscow. This has at least in part to do with his strongly expressed views about the state of Russian music today. He has frequently argued, in public and private, that the whole tradition of Russian music is too dependent on extra-musical symbolism and association (whether religious, political or nationalistic) and that Russian music of time would benefit from becoming "purer", more concerned with itself for its own sake, as in Kasparov's opinion, Western music is. This, Kasparov argues, would lead to Soviet musicians being less isolated.

Kasparov's position is of course itself part of the old tradition of Russian Westernizing and depended on a mass of very local assumptions. But something of the energy of his argument certainly carries over into this music, giving it a certain directness and strength. And this is certainly an attractive feature of a composer who comes from a culture where many young composers do indeed rely lazily on religious and nationalist formulae to give their music a something spurious meaningfulness. Kasparov knows his mind and his music is the fresher for it."

Baker's Biographic Dictionary of Musicians

Yuri Kasparov

Yuri Yuri Kasparov was born in 1955 in Moscow, and completed his post-graduate study at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in 1994,... More
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