Mikhail Istomin
Cello
More information about Mikhail Istomin can be found on his web site at www.pittpianotrio.com.

Born and educated in Russia, Mikhail Istomin holds a Master of Music degree from the St. Petersburg conservatory. In 1986, while still in school he became Principal Cellist of the Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Saulus Sondetskis and later joined the orchestra of the Kirov Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre.

In 1987 he became the cellist of the Leningrad Conservatory String Quartet. In the spring of 1989 the group won the Grand Prize in the National Soviet Union Competition of String Quartets. In September of 1989 the Quartet was invited to perform in the United States. At the end of the tour, Mr. Istomin defected and was granted political asylum in the United States.

Mr. Istomin's American career began in Virginia with the Richmond Symphony. He was also invited to serve on the faculties of Virginia State University and the Governor's School for the Performing Arts at the University of Richmond.

In 1991 Mr. Istomin became Principal Cellist of the Pittsburgh Opera and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater orchestras. In 1992 he joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Lorin Maazel.

In 1993 Mr. Istomin was a winner of both the Passamaneck Award of the Y Music Society Recital Series and the Pittsburgh Concert Society Major Auditions. He has appeared as soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in their Outreach Concert series, the McKeesport Symphony Orchestra, the Edgewood Symphony and the Williamsburg Symphonia in Virginia. In July of 1998 Mr. Istomin returned to St. Petersburg to perform in the Second World Cello Congress under the direction of Mstislav Rostropovich.

In March of 2002 the Three Graces CD was released on a Minstrel label, featuring chamber music of British composer Armstrong Gibbs.

In addition to his full-time orchestra schedule, Mr. Istomin maintains an active solo and chamber music career. He is a founding member of the Pittsburgh Piano Trio. In July of 2003 the PPT presented ninth annual Shadyside Academy Chamber Music Festival. Most recently the group completed a new recording of chamber music of Frank Bridge, to be released in 2004.

Mr. Istomin is active in music education as a faculty member of Duquesne University and the City Music Center.