Maxim Rubtsov

Internationally acclaimed flutist Maxim Rubtsov has been called “miraculous,” “superb,” “absolutely impeccable” and “one of the best flutists of the Modern Age.” He is also one of Russia’s best musical ambassadors.

Appointed Principal Flute of the Russian National Orchestra in 2003, Rubtsov has been given unprecedented solo opportunities with the RNO by its founding conductor Mikhail Pletnev and by others in the RNO collegium of conductors. These opportunities have included the Russian premiere of John Corigliano’s Pied Piper Fantasy in 2004 under the baton of Alexander Vedernikov. Of the performance the composer said, “Maxim Rubtsov is the perfect Pied Piper. He has both the charm and excitement that a great performer must have. With his movie star looks and charisma, and his magnificent playing and acting of the part, the legendary piper becomes alive for all to see.”

With Vladimir Jurowski and the RNO in 2007 Rubtsov performed Mozart’s Flute Concerto in G Major, after which Jurowski wrote, “Mr. Rubtsov is the sort of person who can stand on the concert stages of the world and inspire harmonious relations through his music and his personality.”

In addition to his solo work, Rubtsov has performed hundreds of faultless and surpassingly beautiful solo passages in symphonic music which are preserved in recordings of the RNO on the PentaTone Classics label. In 2011, Blue Griffin Recordings of Lansing, Michigan will release his solo CD “Maxim Rubtsov, Russian Romance,” with pianist Sergei Kvitko.

Born in 1977 in Bryansk, Russia, Maxim Rubtsov began to study piano at age five. At age seven he danced with the famous Moiseyev Dance Company and only later did he begin flute lessons. At age 13 he transferred to Moscow’s Gnesin Academy of Music and subsequently graduated with an advanced degree in music from the Moscow State Conservatory. Rubtsov joined the flute section of the RNO in 1999 and was appointed Associate Principal the following year, at the time the youngest ever to hold this position in the history of the orchestra.

At the invitation of Michael Tilson Thomas, Rubtsov was in residence with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra for its July 2002 Russian Festival and performed each of the festival’s four musical programs. This residency opened a series of professional exchanges between the RNO and major U.S. orchestras under the Cultural Allies initiative of the Russian Arts Foundation.

bottomIn addition to his extensive orchestral work, Rubtsov regularly performs in chamber ensembles and is the leader and a founding member of the Russian National Orchestra Wind Quintet, which took top honors in the Fifth Annual Osaka International Chamber Music Competition. Together with the RNOWQ he has explored jazz and other genre-bending compositions, including the works of Chris Brubeck for wind quintet and jazz quartet, as well as adaptations of Peter and the Wolf and Wolf Tracks for children. Rubtsov has shared the stages of Europe in chamber performances with pianists Mikhail Pletnev and Francesco Schlimé.

December 2007 marked Rubtsov’s U.S. recital debut, with pianist Valentina Lisitsa, presented by Friends of Chamber Music of Miami. The Miami Herald called his playing “virtually faultless” and stated “he possesses a stellar technique.”

In October 2008 Maxim Rubtsov created a series of solo flute performances for children presented by the Bryansk Philharmonic. His recent collaborations with contemporary dance masters have included performances in Russia with Denis Boroditsky and Germaul Barnes.

In September and October 2009 Rubtsov toured the United States presenting concerts and master classes in five states, including the U.S. premiere of Andrey Rubtsov’s Divertimento in E Major arranged for flute and piano. His tour recital programs included compositions for solo flute, alto flute, flute and organ, as well as flute and piano. He also appeared as a flutist-dancer in performances choreographed by Germaul Barnes, Sarah M. Barry, and Rita Snyder. Excerpts of Rubtsov’s 2009 recital of Russian music with pianist Pamela Penick presented by the University of Alabama Celebrity Series were re-broadcast on 245 public radio stations across the United States.