Yevgeny Kutik, violinist
“Kutik presented an elegantly phrased, sensitive interpretation that balanced passion with nuance. His performance of the Schnittke Sonata No. 1 was as compelling as his spoken introduction to it, both of which demonstrated a deep knowledge and understanding of the work...” – The Strad
“Kutik delivers the performances with a blend of polished dexterity and genteel, old-world charm.” – WQXR, New York Public Radio
“On the recording [Music from the Suitcase], Mr. Kutik retells these stories with his dark-hued tone and razor-sharp technique, bringing out the zesty playfulness of Eshpai, the melodic genius of Prokofiev, or the cadenza-like virtuosity of an arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s ‘Russian Dance’ from Swan Lake.” – The New York Times
"In [George Tsontakis’s Violin Concerto No. 2]'s solo passages the violin often projects an old-fashioned rhapsodic style, which was magnified by Yevgeny Kutik’s rich, sweet tone.”
– The New York Times
“This is the first time I have heard Kutik, and I hope it will not be the last. He is always thinking, always playing the music, not just the notes.” – American Record Guide
With a “dark-hued tone and razor-sharp technique” (The New York Times), violinist 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. His 2014 album, Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures (Marquis Classics), features music he found in his family’s suitcase after immigrating to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1990, and debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Classical chart. The album garnered critical acclaim and was featured on NPR's All Things Considered and in The New York Times. In 2021, Kutik launched Finding Home: Music from the Suitcase in Concert, a five-episode docu-recital series based on the album featuring music performances interwoven with Kutik’s personal narrative storytelling
Kutik’s recent releases on Marquis include The Death of Juliet and Other Tales (2021), which highlights Russia’s rich history of folklore and folktales portrayed in the music of Prokofiev and Meditations on Family (2019), for which 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. Kutik and Meditations were featured by Strings Magazine as its cover story for the 2019 March/April issue. Kutik’s other recordings include his debut album, Sounds of Defiance (2012), and Words Fail (2016), both released to critical acclaim.
In August 2022, Kutik gave the world premiere of Cântico, a work for solo violin by Andreia Pinto Correia, at the Tanglewood Music Festival. The work was co-commissioned for Kutik by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Yevgeny Kutik was a featured soloist in Joseph Schwantner’s The Poet’s Hour – Soliloquy for Violin on episode six of Gerard Schwarz’s All-Star Orchestra, a made-for-television classical music concert series released on DVD by Naxos and broadcast nationally on PBS. In 2021, Kutik made his debut with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra led by Leonard Slatkin, performing the world premiere of Schwantner’s Violin Concerto, an expansion of The Poet’s Hour written specifically for Kutik. In 2019, he made his debuts at the Kennedy Center, presented by Washington Performing Arts, and at the Ravinia Festival. 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.
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 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.
Photo by Corey Hayes