Maxim Vengerov update!
Maxim Vengerov is one of the best violinists in the world and commands upwards of $40,000.00 a performance - but few are as rewarding as the one he gave for nothing at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in southwest London for those with severe neurological conditions and traumatic brain injuries recently
As Richard Morrison described it: "If any encounter can be both heart-rending and heart-warming, this is it. On one side of the hall stands a virtuoso musician in the prime of life. Some say he is the world's finest violinist. Certainly you would have to go a long way to find a human being who so obviously demonstrates such a perfect rapport between mind and body, eyes and brain, brain and fingers, physique and inner emotion... This is the package - the handsome, 39-year-old Russian, the mesmerizing virtuosity, the priceless piece of old wood - that is said to command fees of $40,000 or more for a night's work in the world's top concert halls."
Since Maxim had taken a long break from concertizing from 2005-2011, people were asking why he had taken the break and why was he playing free of charge for the folks with neurological injuries?
Turns out, he injured his shoulder in 2005, doing weight training, to the point of it affecting his playing. It took him a couple of years to be diagnosed while the shoulder did not improve much. After 3 years of searching, Maxim found the doctor who could help him. This surgeon told him that it was a mechanical problem which could be fixed, Vengerov had surgery and is happily playing again. "I said I would return in 2011," says Vengerov, "And I kept my promise!"
That being said, his long break was due to more than the arm. He had been concertizing since the age of 4 and at the age of 30, his hectic life of traveling to concertize began to take its toll on him, emotionally and physically. During his break, he learned conducting, he said, among other things.
Since then, he has changed his demeanor - for example he stands still now (where he used to sway a lot). He was described in 2007 as "As Maxim Vengerov plays, so his whole torso sinuously sways and arcs in an ardent physical expression of the music that flows from his Stradivarius."
In one recent article, the reporter chatted with him about his change in stance (the UK Times Dec 5, 2012):
Maxim's violin, a Stradivarius, is one believed to be previously owned by French violinist, Rudolfe Kreutzer
Maxim is back to a busy schedule of concertizing and traveling the world!