In 2007, at the age of thirty-three, he decided to take a rest and not give concerts for a year. But the return did not go as planned. A shoulder injury forced him to cancel his appearance at the 2008 Budapest Spring Festival, and soon the trouble turned out to be even more serious.
Maxim Vengerov announced his retirement. This genius of the violin invested all his energies in conducting and education. “It was like losing my mother tongue,” he said later. Luckily, the news came recently that Vengerov was again accepting concert appearances as violinist, and he would naturally come to Budapest in 2012. He will also demonstrate the achievements of recent years, partnering up with of one of his students, the Turkish Özcan Ulucan, as well as taking the conductor’s podium during one of the compositions (Palace of Arts, 17 March).
The Spring Festival is proud to present another Russian soloist, pianist Nikolai Lugansky (Palace of Arts, 22 March). At the dawn of his career the “silver boy” came in second at such highly regarded international competitions as the Leipzig Bach Competition (1988), the Rachmaninoff Piano Competition and Festival of Moscow (1990) or the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition (1994), and his earliest albums were already picking up the most prestigious European record awards. The artist, who turns forty a few weeks after his Budapest concert, will perform the solo part of an early piano concerto by Rachmaninoff.
Once again, we can enjoy the performance of two globetrotting orchestras. The British Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will be directed by the great “architect of orchestras,” Charles Dutoit (Palace of Arts, 26 March), while the Italian I Musici di Roma will serve up a substantial programme of Vivaldi (March 24). It adds to the interest of the latter concert that the solo part of Vivaldi’s popular violin concertos (The Four Seasons) will be played by Magali Mosnier, one of the most celebrated French flutists of the past decade.