A recipient of two prestigious Diapason d’Or awards for his recording of Weinberg’s Violin Sonatas Yuri Kalnits was described by reviewers as ‘an interpreter of the highest order’.
He has participated in festivals throughout the world such as Festival Musicales Internationales Guil-Durance (France), Young Artist Peninsula Music Festival (USA), Festival Cziffra (France), Waterford International Music Festival (Ireland), Irina Kandinskaya and Friends (Russia), Pharos Trust Festival (Cyprus), Festival “Musica da camera” (Germany), Festival International Ciudad de Ubeda (Spain), Beyond the music Festival (Spain), Loch Shiel Spring Festival (Scotland), Ljubljana International Festival and has played at many important venues including The Purcell Room, Kings Place, St. John’s Smith Square, Barbican, St. Martin-in the-Fields, Small Hall of Moscow Conservatoire, Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center and Suntory Hall. Tours have taken him to Russia, Ireland, Germany, Israel, France, Switzerland, Spain, Greece, USA, Hong Kong and Cyprus.
“Kalnits’s sensitive handling of each haunting change of mood is particularly striking here, his gently cushioned staccato capturing the music’s underlying cantabile espressivo with captivating aplomb. Most memorable of all is the op.95 Solo Violin Sonata of 1967, which Kalnits brings stunningly to life via a dazzling range of expressive nuances and articulation, captured in first-rate sound.”
A dedicated chamber musician, Yuri has worked among others with such artists as Ivry Gitlis, Eduard Brunner , Emanuel Abbühl, Roger Chase and Alexander Chaushian
He joined the Erato Piano Trio in 2010 and has since performed with the group at many prestigious venues across the UK and abroad, most recently in their much acclaimed Purcell Room debut and released a CD recording on Toccata Classics.
As a concerto soloist he has appeared with the London Festival Orchestra, Mozart Festival Orchestra, Arpeggione Chamber Orchestra, London Soloist Chamber Orchestra, Novosibirsk Symphony Orchestra, Kazan Chamber Orchestra “La Primavera”, London Musical Arts Ensemble, Minsk Symphony Orchestra and the New Philharmonia Koln to name a few and his playing has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as well as New Zealand national radio.
Yuri is one of the organizers and a jury member for the Moscow String Project, a series of masterclasses and competition aiming to provide an opportunity for young players to obtain scholarships to leading European conservatoires.
Yuri Kalnits and Michael Csanyi-Wills prove uber-sensitive to Weinberg’s harmonic push-pull, and Kalnits’s performance of the Sonata No 1 for Violin Solo (1964) rolls with the technical punches like a true heavyweight: especially intriguing is the central Allegretto movement, where disembodied pizzicato, scampering melodic cells and march rhythms chase each other’s tales, and I like the way Kalnits resists any temptation to smooth off these structural disjoints, accepting that this material is irreconcilable. The Fourth Violin Sonata opens with unaccompanied piano, the distinction between foreground and background freakishly distorted, the harmony dropped into alien terrain midway. The Sonatina was one for The Party but is stuffed with peekaboo ambiguities
Plans for the current season include tours to China, Germany, Russia, and Montenegro as well as a return to the recording studio for the final volume of the complete works for violin by Weinberg and a CD of music by Prokofiev sponsored by the Prokofiev Trust.
Together with cellist Julia Morneweg Yuri also co-directs the London concert series ChamberMusicBox which brings together leading British and European artists.
Born in Moscow into a musical family, he received his first violin lessons from his father and went on to become a pupil at Moscow’s Central Music School and later at the Gnessin Music School for Gifted Children. At the age of 16, he began studying at the Royal College of Music (London) with Professor Itzhak Rashkovsky, winning several major College prizes, including the Foundation Scholarship, W.H. Reed, Isolde Menges prizes and Leonard Hirsch Prize for the outstanding string player of the year. He went on to win major prizes, notably the Bromsgrove and Watford Music Festivals in England, the Yehudi Menuhin Award from the Sudborough Foundation, KPMG/Martin Musical Scholarship (UK), Cziffra Foundation competition (France), Web Concert Hall Competition (USA), Barthel Prize from the Concordia Foundation.
Upon graduation from the RCM Yuri was awarded the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Scholarship for postgraduate studies there. He completed his training with Yfrah Neaman at the Guildhall School of Music and Vasko Vassiliev at Trinity College of Music whilst receiving further artistic guidance from eminent musicians such as Shlomo Mintz, Abram Shtern, Igor Oistrakh, Edward Grach, Sergei Fatkulline, Sylvia Rosenberg and Valentin Berlinsky.
“Yuri Kalnits takes the music’s not inconsiderable difficulties in his stride, sustaining his characteristically velvety sound at all dynamic levels, and gently cushioning Weinberg’s more explosive outbursts with a cantabile richness that avoids any hint of modernistic brashness. This pays special dividends in the Solo Sonata’s finale, whose double-stopped flutterings and headlong, moto perpetuo invincibility Kalnits throws off with virtuoso panache.“
“Violinist Yuri Kalnits and pianist Michael Csanyi-Wills immediately establish their deep understanding and perception of this music’s substance and character, and deliver an interpretation that pulls us deeply into the music’s emotional landscape.“
Classical Music Sentinel
“A fascinating and first-class combination of composition and performance.“
Musicians Union Magazine
“Virtuosity that knew no age…a sophisticated mastery of his instrument.“
Palos Verdes Peninsula News
“Yuri Kalnits is a young Russian violinist who […] played with unrivaled skill, musicianship, panache, and bravura.“
“I consider Yuri an enormous talent, endowed with great facility, a warm temperament and personality, imagination and a sense of colour and performance. He is a born virtuoso.“
Professor Yfrah Neaman
“It was a delight to hear Bax played so well”
“Tzigane” by Ravel was handled flamboyantly”
Frome Festival Review
“Musique et interpretes de premier ordre“
“Superb exponent of Weinberg’s violin writing“
International Record Review
“Musicians who carry music in their blood“
“Violinist Yuri Kalnits solo interludes were superlative[…]A distinguished performance“
Malvern Gazette Jill Hopkins