Steven Mackey | Commission Recording

July 12, 2024

July 12, 2024 7:30 PM


Manhattan School of Music

Event Type:

Streaming Event


Performance Details

Stream the digital world premiere of "RATCATCHER" by Steven Mackey. This work was commissioned for Valentin Kovalev as part of his prize for winning the 2022 Naumburg International Saxophone competition.

Artist Bio

Valentin Kovalev, winner of the 2022 Naumburg Saxophone Competition, is also an educator and content creator. He is an ebullient and highly eclectic performer whose unique style was developed after studying in Russia, France and the United States. Hailing from Siberia, he strives to demonstrate how passion and perseverance can transcend geographical boundaries, using his music to inspire and empower others in the pursuit of their dreams. His work is driven by his passion for fostering connections, offering support to Ukrainian saxophonists, and amplifying marginalized voices in the classical music world.

Mr. Kovalev is one of the leaders of his generation in developing the musical and technical possibilities of the saxophone. He is the first Russian saxophonist who entered the prestigious Paris Conservatory as an undergraduate and the first Russian saxophonist to be admitted to the graduate program at the University of Michigan, which possesses the oldest and most celebrated saxophone program in the U.S.

In response to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, Mr. Kovalev organized a Benefit Concert in Ann Arbor, MI which raised more than $17,000. This financial help went to purchase life-saving medical backpacks shipped to Ukraine through RAZOM and to resettle Ukrainian refugees arriving in Michigan through the Jewish Family Service of Washtenaw County.

Valentin Kovalev has performed at Carnegie Hall, soloed with many prestigious orchestras in his native Russia and the U.S., toured ten cities in China, and performed in several countries in Europe through the Rostropovich Foundation. As a soloist, he has performed with major orchestras throughout the world, such as the "New Russia" Orchestra (chief conductor Yuri Bashmet), the Orchestra of Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Center, the Tchaikovsky Big Symphony Orchestra (chief conductor Vladimir Fedoseev), the Belarusian Orchestra of Folk Instruments, and Orchestre de Strasbourg. In 2019, Mr. Kovalev performed in the live-broadcast concert "Generation France Musique, Le live," on radio "France Musique."

He received awards from several foundations in France and Russia, including the Mstislav Rostropovich Foundation, the Fondation Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet pour la vocation, Fonds de Tarrazi, Legs Edward Jabes, la Fondation L'Or du Rhin. Mr. Kovalev earned two awards from The President of the Russian Federation and won a grant from the Mayor of Moscow City.

Valentin Kovalev began his education n Barnaul, Russia with Viktoria Fedyaj and Alexi Gotsulyak. He proceeded with his studies at the College of Gnessins in Moscow with Leonid Drutin, the college of Frederic Chopin in Moscow with Nikita Zimin, and finished his Bachelor's degree at the Paris Conservatory with Claude Delangle, and his Master's degree studying with Timothy McAllister at the University of Michigan.

Mr. Kovalev is an artist of Atral Artists (Philadelphia) and French saxophone manufacturer "Henri Selmer Paris".

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