RASTRELLI CELLO QUARTET
April 3, 2020 at 7:30PM
Art Exhibit by Keith Doles
Rastrelli Cello Quartet
A singularly unique ensemble, the Rastrelli Cello Quartet has been thrilling audiences with its renderings of non-traditional programming since 2002 with a mission to perform music “between the genres,” and its widely varied programs mix comfortably with works by Bach, Saint-Saens and Tchaikovsky, and with that of George Gershwin, Dave Brubeck and Leroy Anderson.
The quartet has performed in many of Europe’s great concert halls, including the Gasteig in Munich, Konzerthaus Vienna, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, St. Petersburg’s Philharmonic Hall, Bulgaria Hall Sofia, the Liederhalle Stuttgart, Leiszhall Hamburg and Mariinsky Theater St. Petersburg. In addition, it has performed concert tours in the USA, Europe, and Russia.
The Rastrelli Quartet currently has seven recordings on the Solo Musica, TonArt, Manchester and Genuin labels
Kira Kraftzoff, leader and founder of Rastrelli Cello Quartet, Russian Quattro and Rastrelli Chamber Orchestra was born in 1971 in Leningrad, USSR (now St. Petersburg, Russia).
Aged six, he started his studies at “The Special Music School for Highly Talented Children” of St. Petersburg State Conservatory, under tutorship of Prof. Mark Reisenstock. He had his public debut at the age of 14 with the Orchestra of St. Petersburg Radio performing The Cello Concerto by A. Khatchaturian in The Grand Concert Hall of St. Petersburg Philharmonic.
In 1987, he took part in the “All-Russia Cello Competition”, and granted a diploma there. In 1988, he was the youngest finalist ever in the “All-USSR Cello Competition”, winning a diploma and a special award for a “most brilliant perspective”.
He continued his studies with the class tutored by Prof. Anatoly Nikitin at St. Petersburg State Conservatory named after Rimsky-Korsakov, which he graduated with honors in 1994. On graduating, he was the assistant teacher of Prof. Nikitin’s class for four years, as well as being a student of the legendary performer Daniel Schafran.
In 1993, he received the high distinction of representing St. Petersburg Conservatory in Mstislav Rostropovichґs first master-class in Russia after his long exile. As a partaker of a student exchange, he came to Stuttgart, completing his studies with Prof. Peter Buck (Cellist of the “Melos-Quartet”) and graduating as a student laureate.
Kira Kraftzoff won prizes in the following international competitions:
1990 Murcia (Spain): First Prize
1992 Pretoria (South Africa) Third prize in “UNISA String Competition”
1994 Trapani (Italy): Second prize in “Chamber music Competition”(1. Prize was not awarded)
1995 Munich (Germany) Third prize in “Konzertgesellschaft Wettbewerb”
1997 Vienna (Austria ): First prize in “Vienna International Competition”
He performed as a soloist in many of the great concert halls.
Among these are : The Grand Hall of Moscow Conservatory, The Grand Hall of St. Petersburg Philharmonic, The Philharmonie Berlin, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Herkulessaal und Gasteig Munich, Tonhalle Zurich, Concertgebow Amsterdam, Laiszhalle Hamburg, Stefaniesaal Graz, Mozarteum Salzburg, Grand Park Chicago, Taegue Philharmonic South Korea and many others.
Kira was invited to perform in numerous festivals all over the world, such as “Davos Music Festival”, ”Schwetzingen Festspiele”, “Beethoven Festival in Bonn”, “Freiburger Zeltwunder Festival”, “Colorado Music Festival”, “Savonlinna Festival Finland”, “Musical Olympus St. Petersburg”, working with artists like Gidon Kremer, Krzysztof Penderecki, Gilles Apap, Giora Feidman and Justus Frantz.
Rastrelli Cello Quartet
Mikhail(Mischa) Degtjareff was born in 1978 in St-Petersburg.
Entered specialized secondary music school of St. Petersburg Conservatoire in 1985, the cello class of E. Dernova.
Studied at St. Petersburg Conservatoire from 1996 to 2001 under professor Anatoly Nikitin and his assistant Kira Kraftzoff.
Took part in the concerts of the music school and the conservatoire, concerts of St. Petersburg Cello Ensemble under the direction of Professor A. Nikitin during his studies; played in the concert halls of St. Petersburg such as the Small Philharmonic Hall named after D. D. Shostakovich, Cappella concert hall, A. K. Glazunov Hall, etc.
Became a winner of the festival «Young Russian Talents» (in Orel) in 1996, a winner of the contest, organized by the Gartov fund «Friends of music in St. Petersburg» (St. Petersburg Conservatoire) in 1998.
Participated in the orchestra academy of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in 1998.Attended cello master courses under professors Bernard Greenhouse, François Guille, Ulf Tishberiсk, Mainz (the trio «Fontane»), Kirill Rodin.
Studied the play of the original musical instruments under Maria Leonhardt in 1999.Graduated from Music Higher School in Stuttgart under Professor Peter Buck in 2005.
Composes classical, pop and contemporary music.
Kirill Timofeev was born in 1978 in St. Petersburg. In 2001 he graduated from the St. Petersburg State Conservatoire, where from 1996 to 2001 he studied music and cello with Prof. Anatoly Nikitin.
During the same period, he studied chamber music with N. Arzumanova as well as basso continuo and ancient music with E. Seredinskaja.
Furthermore, from 2003 to 2005 he studied at the Music College in Stuttgart in the soloists class of Prof. Peter Buck.
In 1997 he was the third laureate of the Pan-Russian Cello Contest in Voronesz, in 1999 he took the first place at the Caltanissetta Chamber Music Contest (Italy) as the cellist of a piano trio.
In 1998 he played in the St. Petersburg Philarmonic Orchestra under Yuri Temirkanov, and in 1999 and 2000 he worked with the “St. Petersburg Soloists chamber” orchestra under the direction of M. Gantvarg.
Kirill Timofeev gained valuable experience in the field of contemporary music by taking part in the various programs of the St. Petersburg institute of modern art “Pro Arte”. He has successfully appeared in chamber ensembles and as a soloist at concerts and festivals in Europe, Russia and USA.
Cellist Sergey (aka Sergio) Drabkin is in charge of the musical arrangements. Sergey Drabkin, born 1953 in Polotsk, Belarus, studied music at the Minsk State Conservatoire.
From 1977 to 1995 he enjoyed a high-profile musical career in Belarus: he was lead cellist of the Minsk State Symphonic Orchestra; he was a member of the Belarus State Quartet; he was solo cellist of the Baroque ensemble “Cantabile”; and he was solo cellist of the Minsk Chamber Orchestra, with which he made several recordings.
In 1995 Sergey Drabkin moved to Germany with his family. He now is a full-time member of the renowned Wurtemberg Chamber Orchestra, for which he has written several arrangements. He is also a co-founder of the acclaimed Rastrelli Cello Quartet, which plays exclusively his arrangements, thus contributing to Drabkin’s growing fame as a master of the musical arrangement. (Discography and audio samples: www.rastrelli.de). A long experience of musical arrangements enables Sergey Drabkin to swiftly design and produce high-quality arrangements for all sorts of orchestration.
Sergio Drabkin has written arrangements for a number of famous musician such as King’s Singers, James Galway, Irena Grafenauer, Michaela Petri ,Giora Feidman and Casal Quartet.