Oleg Pokhanovski is an accomplished virtuosic violinist, pianist, and music educator currently holding the position of Professor of Violin at the University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music. He has performed over 2000 concerts as a soloist nationally and internationally on both violin and piano in symphonic, recital and chamber music performances. Oleg Pokhanovski is a top prizewinner of eight prestigious international violin competitions including the Paganini in Genova, Sarasate in Pamplona and CIEM in Geneva among others. The First Prize Winner of the 1990 Scheveningen International Violin Competition in Netherlands, he twice received the prestigious Canada Council National Career Development Grant, and multiple Conceil des Arts du Quebec and Manitoba Arts Council Grants.
Dr. Pokhanovski is in much demand as a pedagogue and previously held a professorial position at the Lake State Superior University in Michigan. He is frequently invited and has adjudicated both strings and piano at music festivals all across Canada. Dr. Pokhanovski is also renowned for creating over 100 virtuosic transcriptions for violin and piano, as well as other instruments, and has produced professional CD recordings of many of these. He has recently formed the Desautels Piano Trio with colleagues Judy Kehler-Siebert (piano) and Minna Rose Chung (cello). The Trio has to date already performed in Canada and abroad.
Dr. Pokhanovski began his career as a violinist at the age of 6, giving his first performance with the Kuybyshev Symphony in Russia. At 10, he was accepted into the renowned Special Music School for Gifted Children in Moscow and later studied at the Moscow State Conservatory with professor Valery Klimov, the grand prizewinner of the Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition. Dr. Pokhanovski cites his most influential teachers to be his uncle violinist Lev Zaides, and piano instructor Svetlana Vorobyova. Invited to move to the United States, he received full scholarships at The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music studying with Dorothy DeLay, Pinchas Zukerman and Ani Kavafian, and took part in the “Solisti dal Mondo” program at the St. Louis Conservatory under violin professor Taras Gabora. He received a doctorate degree at the Université de Montreal in violin performance, with a focus on Paganini.
Dr. Pokhanovski has performed as a violinist in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Israel and Russia. He has been presented in Carnegie Recital Hall, the Grand Hall in Moscow, the Concertgebouw, Knight Hall in Prague, Place des Arts in Montréal and others. His solo appearances with orchestra included the Moscow Philharmonic, Moscow Virtuosi, The Hague Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Montréal Symphony and Winnipeg Symphony orchestras. His concerts brought rave reviews calling him a “Russian Paganini” and describing his playing as “brilliant”, “phenomenal”, “outstanding”, and “extraordinary”. He has been invited to perform on national television and radio in Russia, Serbia, Poland, Canada and The Netherlands. Dr. Pokhanovski is active as a chamber musician and has appeared in the International Virtuosi Series in Germany, International Music Academy in Kiev, Ukraine, Domaine Forget in Quebec, Centara New Music, Agassiz Summer Chamber Music, Orford and Pender Harbour Music festivals in Canada. He is a Founder and Artistic Director of the “Oleg and Friends” concert series in Winnipeg.
Dr. Pokhanovski has recorded several CDs including The Mirror Image and La Valse, and in live performances on Youtube. Other CDs he has recorded include solo violin works, and the complete works for violin and piano by Sophia C. Eckhardt-Gramatté in collaboration with pianist Megumi Masaki. The Mirror Image and La Valse are comprised of his transcriptions for violin and piano, of which he continues to give concerts regularly including performances as part of his concert series “Oleg and Friends” and at recitals with international prize-winning pianist Scott Meek.
Dr. Pokhanovski’s deep admiration for the great musicians of the past, including Heifetz, Hofmann, Rubinstein, Milstein, Kreisler and others is evident in his sensitive, passionate style of playing. “Pokhanovski’s high energy performances are characterized by an unmistakably genuine passion for the music. Urgent, serious and heartfelt –all words that aptly describe Oleg Pokhanovski’s playing” (Gwenda Nemerofsky, Winnipeg Free Press.)