Беньямин Юсупов

дирижёр, композитор

The music of Yusupov is not limited by genre classifications or cultural and ethnic idioms, but rather embraces and employs all styles and influences to create his own unique musical language both as a composer and a conductor.  In his compositions, he makes use of both Western and Eastern musical traditions, including the use of musical sources from various ethnic communities.  The breadth of his interest has not yet found any boundaries, as he combines specific cultural identities of various ethnic groups with the tools of modern Western music - one of his latest works is heavily influences by the Tango, while calling upon the soloist at one point to perform on the electric violin.  With a strong devotion to timbre and color as important structural elements, Yusupov’s writing includes both the use of exotic instruments and the creation of illusory ethnic sounds by employing instruments of the symphony orchestra. Beyond a composer and a conductor, Yusupov is a philosopher, whose compositional language gives rise to his own, unique musical world. 

Benjamin Yusupov was born in Tajikistan in 1962 and studied piano, composition, music theory, and conducting at the Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in Moscow. His extensive catalogue, which is published exclusively by Sikorski Musikverlag in Hamburg, Germany, has been performed extensively by a wide range of renowned artists and orchestra across the globe the likes of the Israel Philharmonic, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Dresden Symphoniker, Bogotá Philharmonic, New World Symphony, NDR Radio-Philharmonie, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Lisbon Symphony, Brandenburg Symphoniker, Belgrade Philharmonic, Aachen Symphoniker, Bochum Symphoniker, to name a few.  His compositions have also been performed at festivals world-wide such as the Focus Festival in New York, the Juventus and Menton Festivals in France, Zagreb Biennale in Croatia, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspielle, Almeida Festival in London, International Rostrum of Composers in Paris, and numerous festivals in Russia and Israel.  To date, he has released five recordings. 

Yusupov is regarded as a prized contributor to the world’s classical music stage.  Making his home in Israel, he is considered a vital part of the country’s musical life, collaborating both as a composer and a conductor with all the major Israeli orchestras - Israel Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony, The Israeli Symphony Orchestra Rishon-LeZion, Haifa Symphony, Israel Chamber Orchestra – and has been presented twice with the esteemed Israeli Prime Minister Prize (1999, 2008) and the prestigious Clone Prize of the Israeli Composers’ League. His Violin Concerto, which was premiered by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra at the Israel Music Days 2001 Festival under the composer’s baton, was awarded the ACUM Prize for best Israeli composition. In addition Yusupov is a recipient of the Sherover Award, the Landau Award for the Performing Arts and Engel Prize.

In 2005, Yusupov’s Viola Concerto - written for the internationally-renowned violinist Maxim Vengerov – enjoyed a triumphant world-premiere by the NDR Radio-Philharmonie and the intended soloist under the direction of Eije Oue in Hannover, Germany.  The Concerto, that carries the full title of Viola Tango Rock Concerto, incorporates an innovative concept that requires the soloist to not just play the viola, but improvise on the electric violin and dance the Tango.  The work has been welcomed with great enthusiasm by audiences and critics around the globe. In addition, the work recently has been featured in a documentary film about the life of Maxim Vengerov titled "Living the Dream" produced by EMI Classics and distributed worldwide. Vengerov called the piece “the greatest concerto ever written for the viola” proclaiming Yusupov “a remarkable and great composer.” 

Yusupov has also written a concerto for the famed Mischa Maisky, commemorating the cellist’s 60th birthday.  The work has been given its world premiere by Maisky and Lucerne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Yusupov in January of 2008 to great acclaim from the audience, as well as the soloist himself: “I sincerely believe that music should touch people's heart.” – states Maisky – “Benjamin Yusupov's music certainly does it to me. That's why I am really looking forward to playing his Cello Concerto as often as possible!"  The piece was commissioned by the Lucerne Symphony, the Israel Philharmonic and the London Philharmonic, and was awarded Israeli Prime Minister Prize.

On the podium, Yusupov is far from being limited to conducting only his own works, having been appointed the post of Chief Conductor of the Dushanbe Philharmonic orchestra in his native Tajikistan while still in his twenties.  While with the Dushanbe Philharmonic, he conducted a vast repertoire of classical music in addition to a large variety of contemporary music. Yusupov has toured extensively throughout the former Soviet Union conducting such distinguished orchestras as the Moscow Radio Orchestra and the Gorky Philharmonic.  Following his move from the Soviet Union to the West, Yusupov has been accepted as a valuable contribution to the conducting field, having lead, among others, the Israel Philharmonic, The Israeli Symphony Orchestra Rishon-Lezion, Jerusalem Symphony, Haifa Symphony, Israel Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Amsterdam Sinfonietta at the prestigious Concertgebouw Hall, the Iceland Symphony, the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Bilkent Symphony, Bulgarian National Radio Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Kazakhstan State Symphony, Bogota Philharmonic and the Hradec Kralove Philharmonic. Currently he holds the position of Music Director of Raanana Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Yusupov is also a skilled pianist, having performing with Maxim Vengerov at Festivals in Bratislava, Brussels, Limerick, Wiesbaden (Germany) and Saint Emillion (France), as well as Festivals Belgrade Bemus and Paganiniana in Genova.