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Alexander Shustin (Violin soloist)

Concertmaster Alexander Efimovich Shustin was born into a musical family on 16. January 1954 in the city of Leninabad (currently Hodjent), in Tadjikistan (former USSR). Alexander Efimovich started to play violin when he was 5. When he turned 8 he began to study with Galina S. Turchaninova, who was his teacher until he joined the Novosibirsk Conservatory with professor Matvei Borisovich Lieberman, from whose class Alexander Efimovich graduated in 1977. He continued his studies by taking the postgraduate course at the Gnessin Music Academy in Moscow, where he graduated in 1981, under the supervision of professors Nelli E. Shkolnikova and Grigory Zhislin. In that year he was also named Laureate of the ?Vazlav Huml? International Violin Competition in Zagreb.

From 1977 Alexander joined the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Symphony orchestra, under the direction of Arnold Katz, who was also that orchestra's founder. From 1977 until 1992 when he left the orchestra, Alexander Efimovich was the Second Concertmaster and often responsible for the solo performances. During the same period he served as a professor at the Novosibirsk Conservatory, in the departments of solo violin and chamber ensemble.

In 1992 Alexander Shustin was invited by Maestro Dmitriev to join the SPBSO as the Concertmaster of the Orchestra and Concertmaster of the First Violins, the first principal violin. Upon his arrival Alexander Shustin was also invited to teach solo violin and he currently is a professor of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. His student Georgi Vassilenko won the First Prize at the International Szymanowski Competition in 1998. Alexander Efimovich also became the first violin of the Stravinsky Quartet (www.stravinquartet.com), the famed music ensemble that he enjoys until this day.

Since 1998 Alexander Efimovich has played the Montagnana violin, an 18th century instrument from Venice - his favorite instrument of all he has ever used before. For his contribution to the nation's artistic and cultural heritage, Alexander Efimovich Shustin was was named "Honored Artist of Russia" in 1999.

Alexander Shustin has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in Russia and other countries, including the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, the Novosibirsk Symphony, Zagreb Radio Orchestra, Istanbul Symphony and, of course, the SPBSO. Alexander Efimovich has given solo recital performances in Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Minsk, Kiev, Novosibirsk, Tallinn and Riga, as well as several cities in Croatia, Germany, France, Norway, Spain and Turkey. As the first violinist of the Stravinsky Quartet, he tours regularly in Germany, Sweden, Japan, the USA, Korea, Holland, Switzerland, Turkey and all over Russia - including several especially successful joint concerts with Bela Davidovitch, Dmitry Sitkovetsky and Mstislav Rostropovich.

Alexander Efimovich is happily married to Galina Shustina, a pianist and teacher of piano. They have two children, Gleb and Olga, both of whom graduated from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in the department of flute. But so far they have chosen to pursue business careers. His granddaughter Evgenia, who will turn 5 in 2008, a most charming child and a family favorite, has already started her music theory lessons with her grandmother.

In his free time Alexander Efimovich likes to paint, create sculptures and write poetry. A recent hobby is the collection of miniature sculptures of the violinists - found all over the world during his travels and sent as tokens of their esteem by members of his audience.




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