Yevgeny Kutik Makes Solo Debut with Minnesota Sinfonia - Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in D minor

Thursday, July 15, 2021 at 7pm – Como Park in St. Paul

Friday, July 16, at 7:30pm – Lake Harriet in Minneapolis

Free admission. More information: www.mnsinfonia.org/sinfoniaupdates

On Thursday, July 15 (St. Paul) and Friday, July 16 (Minneapolis), Russian-American violinist Yevgeny Kutik, known for his “dark-hued tone and razor-sharp technique” (The New York Times), makes his debut as soloist with the Minnesota Sinfonia led by Artistic Director Jay Fishman, performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in D minor. The St. Paul performance on July 15 at 7pm will be held at Como Lakeside Pavilion at Dock and Paddle (1360 Lexington Parkway N.) and the Minneapolis performance on July 16 at 7:30pm will be held at the Lake Harriet Bandshell (4135 W Lake Harriet Pkwy). Both concerts are free and open to the public and more information is available at www.mnsinfonia.org/sinfoniaupdates.

Of the Mendelssohn D minor concerto, Kutik says, “When listeners think of the Mendelssohn Concerto, most often it is about the well-known warhorse, the E minor. However, to this day, few people know that Mendelssohn wrote a "first" violin concerto, the D minor at the age of 13. It is a delightful, charming and meaningful work which has been eclipsed by 'the' Mendelssohn Concerto. However, it is a tremendous work and audiences will love hearing it. I am happy to be bringing it to Minnesota.”

The program also includes Mascagni’s Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana; Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 in D Major, K. 504 (“Prague”); and the world premiere of Ballade for Chamber Orchestra by Jake Berran (b. 2002), recipient of the Minnesota Sinfonia New Works Award, with support from the McKnight Foundation.

About Yevgeny Kutik: Yevgeny Kutik has captivated audiences worldwide with an old-world sound that communicates a modern intellect. Praised for his technical precision and virtuosity, he is also lauded for his poetic and imaginative interpretations of standard works as well as rarely heard and newly composed repertoire.

A native of Minsk, Belarus, Yevgeny Kutik immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of five. As a follow-up to his 2014 album, Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures (Marquis Classics), in 2019 Kutik launched a new commissioning and recording project titled Meditations on Family via Marquis Classics. He commissioned eight composers to translate a personal family photo into a short musical miniature for violin and various ensemble, envisioning the project as a living archive of new works inspired by memories, home, and belonging. Each track was released digitally weekly, and the full EP CD, produced by four-time Grammy winner Jesse Lewis, was released on March 22, 2019. Strings Magazine featured Kutik and Meditations on Family as its cover story for the March/April issue. Kutik’s other recordings include his debut album, Sounds of Defiance (Marquis 2012), and Words Fail (Marquis 2016), both released to critical acclaim.

In February 2021, Kutik launched Finding Home: Music from the Suitcase in Concert, a five-episode docu-recital series filmed at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, MA, based on Kutik’s 2014 album Music from the Suitcase (Marquis Classics). Each 30-40-minute episode features music performances, including works from the album, interwoven with Kutik’s personal narrative storytelling, as Kutik explores anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union, his family’s months as “stateless” refugees, the amazement and challenges of starting a new home in the United States, his teachers and mentors, and lessons for the future. Episodes are available to stream at www.musicfromthesuitcase.com/watch-episodes.


In 2019, Yevgeny Kutik made his debuts at the Kennedy Center, presented by Washington Performing Arts, and at the Ravinia Festival. Recent performances include appearances with the Dayton Philharmonic, La Crosse Symphony, El Paso Symphony, Huntsville Symphony, New Bedford Symphony, the Cape Town Philharmonic in South Africa, Morris Museum, Honest Brook Music Festival, and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Upcoming performances in 2021-2022 include appearances with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, Huntsville Symphony, Traverse Symphony Orchestra, and Minnesota Sinfonia.

Passionate about his heritage and its influence on his artistry, Kutik is an advocate for the Jewish Federations of North America, the organization that assisted his family in coming to the United States, and regularly speaks and performs across the United States to both raise awareness and promote the assistance of refugees from around the world.

Yevgeny Kutik made his major orchestral debut in 2003 with Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops as the First Prize recipient of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. In 2006, he was awarded the Salon de Virtuosi Grant as well as the Tanglewood Music Center Jules Reiner Violin Prize.

Yevgeny Kutik began violin studies with his mother, Alla Zernitskaya, and went on to study with Zinaida Gilels, Shirley Givens, Roman Totenberg, and Donald Weilerstein. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory and currently resides in Boston. Kutik’s violin was crafted in Italy in 1915 by Stefano Scarampella. For more information, please visit www.yevgenykutik.com.

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