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Fiddler on fire at Bridgewater Hall

Talented young violinist Valeriy Sokolov plays Beethoven at the Bridgewater Hall

Published on February 18th 2010.

Fiddler on fire at Bridgewater Hall

When three venues book the same musician in as many months, it's a sign that someone special has stepped on to the scene. 24-year-old violinist Valeriy Sokolov is being hailed by classical music critics as a prodigious new talent. He recently impressed audiences at the Royal Northern College of Music, and he's now preparing to do the same at the Bridgewater Hall with Manchester Camerata, before going on to play with the Halle at the same venue in April.

Valeriy was born in 1986 in Kharkov, Ukraine and began playing the violin when he was five. He was just 11-years-old when he appeared as a soloist with an orchestra for the first time, performing Vieuxtemps’ 5th Concerto. Nowadays he studies at the Royal College of Music in London.

Valeriy's record company Virgin Classics released a DVD about him in 2006 called A Natural Born Fiddler. Its director Bruno Monsaingeon describes the first time he heard the young musician play:

"It was in Britain, in the spring of 2003, at the Yehudi Menuhin School, that I first had the opportunity to hear Valery Sokolov play. I had only just learned of his existence when he offered to play me the Ysaÿe Sonata. As he did so, not the slightest tension marred the impression he gave of total ease with his instrument, absolute control of technique, a musical maturity which made the fact that he was only 16 completely irrelevant, and above all, an utter abandonment to the flow of the music.”

At the concert with Manchester Camerata on Saturday 13 March, Valeriy will play Beethoven's lyrical Violin Concerto – the finale to an evening which also includes Haydn's Symphony No. 2 and Stravinsky's Pulicinella. With the Halle on Thursday 15 April he will play Sibelius's technically demanding Violin Concerto which has been described as 'the last romantic violin concerto in classical music'. This concert will also feature Strauss's Don Juan and Schumann's Symphony No.4.

Tickets can be purchased from The Bridgewater Hall box office on 0161 907 9000, www.halle.co.uk. Tickets for the Manchester Camerata concert are priced at £9-£32. Tickets for the Hallé’s performance are priced at £9.50-£37 (concessions and group discounts are available).

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