Igor Raykhelson was born in Russia, in the city of Saint Petersburg. It was there that he studied musical theory and received a wonderful classical training in prestigious musical educational institutions. The musician’s career took off successfully when he was still young. The jazz quartet that he founded was a great success throughout the tours around the Soviet Union of the time.
In 1979, the musician’s family moved to the USA, and, at the age of seventeen, Igor continued his education in New York University, in Professor Alexander Edelman’s class. His natural talent and perseverance turned the young musician into a real master, a versatile professional who excelled in every genre. His repertoire included both the most complicated compositions for the piano and sophisticated jazz music.
He gave concerts all over the world, joining forces with such famous jazz musicians as EDDIE GOMEZ, JOHN LOCK and IGOR BUTMAN. His acquaintance with Yuri Bashmet, the legendary musician recognized as one of the top viola-players in the world, marked the beginning of a significant period of joint creative work. In 2003, “Adagio for the viola and string orchestra” was composed for Yuri Bashmet. For the first time this musical composition was performed in Carnegie Hall, and it was met with enthusiasm by the audience and the press.
Since the musician was equally devoted both to classical music and jazz, the idea was born to fuse these two great art forms and create the so-called cross-over. In 2005, he composed “JAZZ SUITE”, performed by Yu. Bashmet and I. Butman and accompanied by the “Soloists of Moscow” chamber orchestra and the Big Band Jazz Orchestra. In February 2006, Lincoln Center saw the debut of this composition.
The musicians toured the world performing this piece, and it was always met with great enthusiasm by the audience and the press. Building on his successful composer’s career, I. Raykhelson composes his “Small String Symphony”, performed at the Bahamas Music Festival and in America, at the Classics on the Mountain Chamber Music Festival, New York. Starting from 2008 up to now, the composer has been going through a truly intense creative period.
International premieres of his new compositions took place in Odessa and Moscow. They were: the Concerto for the viola and orchestra, performed by Y. Bashmet, the Concerto for the piano and orchestra, performed by B. Berezovsky, and the Concerto for the violin and orchestra, performed by S. Krylov. These musical compositions are written in the spirit of neo-romanticism so typical of the composer’s creative work. They are filled with extraordinary melody, striking harmony, sensuality and deep thought.
Between 2005 and 2010, Igor Raykhelson created new compositions standing out significantly in his creative approach. Among them: the Cello Concerto dedicated to A. Kniazev, an outstanding musician, for the first time performed in Moscow in April, 2011; the Concerto for the Clarinet and symphony orchestra; the Piano Trio in B Minor. In the summer of 2010, at the concert dedicated to the anniversary of the New Russia symphony orchestra, the musician presented his new composition called “Confession” for the soloist and viola – a moving and truly sincere piece.
I.Raykhelson actively continues performing on tours, being a permanent guest of such festivals as: the Elba Music Festival, Italy; the Bahamas Music Festival; the Niagara Falls Music Festival, New York; Festivals in Sochi, Yaroslavl, Minsk and Moscow. Besides, Igor regularly participates in the Montpelier Music Festival, France; the Jazz Festivals organized by I. Butman and the Classics on the Mountain Chamber Music Festival.
In June 2011, a new annual festival, “Music Nights in Benelux”, organized and initiated by Igor Raykhelson, was opened with its first concert. This festival is presented by the “Kaplya” music studio, founded by Igor. This studio is meant to become a kind of cultural center aimed to educate children and their parents and nurture their taste in music and other forms of arts.
The composer’s works are published by the leading international publishing houses Alphonse Leduc. The works composed by I. Raykhelson are recorded and distributed by the Toccata Classics studio, England and Impromptu Productions Inc, New York. In the near future the Toccata Classic is planning to release a CD with the Violin and Viola Concertos by I. Raykhelson. The composer is also cooperating with Sarfati, a major music agency located in Paris.
At present Igor is moving forward with his successful career of a composer. The maestro’s success is guaranteed by his fine artistic flair, lyrical and melodious music, as well as solicitous treatment of the musical traditions of the world classical music.