Igor Raykhelson

b. 1961



The pianist and composer Igor Raykhelson was born in Leningrad (now St Petersburg in Russia), and began music lessons at the age of five. In 1976 he was admitted to the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in Leningrad to study both classical and jazz piano, soon forming his own jazz quartet there, The Emerging Stars, which toured throughout the former Soviet Union to great acclaim. In 1979, however, Raykhelson moved to New York, and took piano lessons with the celebrated teacher Alexander Edelman. Concentrating on both classical and jazz piano enabled him to take part in jazz tours with such musicians as Igor Butman, Eddie Gomez and Joe Lock, while at the same time giving frequent performances as a classical pianist in solo and chamber music. He met the viola player Yuri Bashmet, and their close collaboration marked a turning point in his career. Raykhelson’s varied musical background and his work with Bashmet led to his Jazz Suite for viola, saxophone, piano and orchestra, a crossover piece combining elements of both classical and jazz styles. The work continues to be regularly performed in major cities and festivals throughout the world and was recently issued on CD. Other noteworthy works include a Viola Sonata (1999), a Cello Sonata (2001), a Piano Trio (2003), and a Piano Quintet (2004). In April 2003 Igor Raykhelson made his Carnegie Hall debut with his Adagio for viola and string orchestra, for which he received rave reviews. His latest publication in collaboration with the publisher Alphonse Leduc is his piano quartet Hommage à Robert Schumann.