Newly appointed the Kapellmeister at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein and Principal Guest Conductor at La Verdi Orchestra in Milan, the remarkable young conductor Aziz Shokhakimov continues his rise on the international symphonic and opera scene. Aziz won the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award at the 2016 Salzburg Festival, chosen from a field of 65 applicants overall. Each of the three finalists conducted the Salzburg Camerata during the Award Concert Weekend, and a jury led by Chairman Dennis Russell Davies and Honorary President Plácido Domingo selected Aziz Shokhakimov as the winner. In addition to the cash prize, Shokhakimov will conduct the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra in a Salzburg Festival concert at the Felsenreitschule concert hall next August.
During the 2015-2016 season, Shokhakimov conducted the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, made his debuts with the Munich Philharmonic, Slovak National Orchestra, Israel Symphony, Dresden Philharmonie, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and with North German Radio Symphony Orchestra (NDR) Hamburg, along with returns to Monte Carlo Philharmonie, Dusseldorf Symphoniker, Teatro Communale di Bologna, La Verdi Orchestra Milan and Strasbourg Philharmonie.
Aziz Shokhakimov initially burst on the scene at the 2010 Mahler International Conducting Competition where he received second prize. The next year included concerts in Dresden, Milan, Moscow, Darmstadt, Bologna and more. This tremendous young artist made his U.S. debut with the Oregon Symphony in the fall of 2012, returned to the U.S. to conduct the Pacific Symphony and the Houston Symphony in 2013, followed by his Canadian debut with the Winnipeg Symphony in 2014.
At just 25-years of age, Shokhakimov conducted debut performances of the Strasbourg Philharmonie, Frankfurt Radio Symphony and London Philharmonic orchestras and enjoyed engagements with La Verdi Milan, Filarmonica del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, Sinfonia Varsovia, Teatro La Venice and the Winnipeg Symphony.
The inspiring conductor from Uzbekistan made his triumphant debut with the Dresden Staatskapelle, performing works of Beethoven and Auerbach. “The Finale was striking in the unleashing of undreamed-of energy. Many only scratch the surface with excessive tempo, but here there was real depth.” Sächsische Zeitung [full review]
Immediately following his Dresden success, Shokhakimov made his debut with Sinfonia Varsovia in an all-Brahms program featuring the Violin Concerto, the Piano Concerto No.2 and the Symphony no.3. “Dynamite from Uzbekistan!” Wirtualna Polska Kultura
Aziz Shokhakimov has enjoyed a fruitful collaborations on numerous occasions with the Folles Journey Festival in Warsaw, as well as engagements leading the Dusseldorf Symphoniker in Tokyo.
In early 2011, the remarkable young maestro made his debut with the Filarmonica del Teatro Comunale di Bologna and was immediately invited to return in 2012. He had since made numerous returns to Bologna including performances of the Rite of Spring and Eugene Onegin.
“The set repertoire, with Mahler’s earnest Fourth Symphony at its core, had already given an edge to participants who combined intense focus with a strong ability to structure rehearsals. Shokhakimov commanded the orchestra in an old-world manner.”
Shokhakimov studied conducting at the Uzbek State Conservatory in Tashkent under the tutelage of Professor V. Neymer. In 2005 he was awarded the State ‘Nikhol’ Prize for talented young musicians. After conducting the National Symphony Orchestra of Uzbekistan for the first time, he was named Assistant Conductor in 2001 and has since led the orchestra in numerous concerts. In 2002 he made his operatic debut at Uzbekistan’s main State Academic Theatre in performances of Bizet’s Carmen. Since 2003 Aziz Shokhakimov has worked regularly with the Russian Youth Symphony Orchestra, based in Togliatti, and has led the orchestra on tours throughout Russia, as well as in France and the Ukraine.
From 2005 to 2009 Aziz Shokhakimov was a participant in the trainee program of the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, under the patronage of Maestro Vladimir Spivakov. In November 2010 he conducted the orchestra in his first full subscription concert, featuring works of Haydn, Brahms and Mendelssohn.
“…hard-to-resist… Shokhakimov showed his mettle in the concert-ending Saint-Saëns… it requires a deft hand to pull it off… [he] uncovered many subtleties and beauties.”
Orange County Register
“The second half was composed entirely of Brahms’ mighty Symphony No. 4… Shokhakimov showed his deft skill at balancing the sections of the orchestra while building overall momentum – with only fleeting respite during the Allegro giocoso that finally culminated with the fiery Allegro energico e passionate. Once again, the crowd awarded their new conducting hero and re-energized orchestra with a rousing standing ovation.”
Winnipeg Free Press
“On the podium of the Filarmonica del Comunale, the Uzbekian Aziz Shokhakimov, was the protagonist of a breathtaking performance of Brahms’ First Symphony, exciting for its energy, rhythmic impulse, dynamic and agogic choices.”
“An incredible conductor, just 22 years old, that we hope will be secured as Principal Guest Conductor of the Comunale Orchestra before another theatre discovers his great talent. At the end, the large audience went literally mad…”
Il Resto del Carlino
“The Finale was striking in the unleashing of undreamed-of energy. Many only scratch the surface with excessive tempo, but here there was real depth.”
“Shokhakimov, born in Uzbekistan, who already carries on his shoulders a career of ten years, was able to draw out from the orchestra all the colors asked of the dense Rachmaninoff score. With a sometimes overexcited gesture, he then spilled the same interpretative strength on Brahms, obtaining from the Philharmonic a powerful, energetic First Symphony… the final languors carried away by a sincere and generous applause.
Il Giornale della Musica