The legendary Borodin Quartet has announced the appointment of a new first violinist.

Nikolai Sachenko will step into the shoes of Ruben Aharonian, the Borodins' previous first violinist, who retired recently.

Founded in 1945, the Borodin Quartet is perhaps best known for its long and close association with Shostakovich, who consulted the quartet members on the composition of many of his string quartets. The Borodin Quartet has recorded the complete Shostakovich quartets no fewer than three times.

The Borodins were also closely associated, for many years, with the great Russian pianist Sviatoslav Richter, with whom they made many noted recordings - including a legendary version of Shostakovich's Piano Quintet.

The Quartet has had a traditional affinity with Russian music, performing and recording the string quartets of Tchaikovsky, Glinka, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and, of course, Borodin. They also performed at Prokofiev's funeral in 1953.

The Borodins have a series of European dates during the autumn and winter of 2022/23. Highlights include performances at the BOZAR in Brussels, Berlin Konzerthaus, Liszt Academy in Budapest, Liverpool Philharmonic, Wigmore Hall in London, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and the Philharmonie de Paris.

Winner of the violin gold medal of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998, Nikolai Sachenko has performed with many acclaimed conductors. He is currently concertmaster of the State Symphony Orchestra ’Novaya Rossiya’ under Yuri Bashmet, and has performed in ensembles alongside performers including Bashmet, Gidon Kremer, Lynn Harrell and others.

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'The uncompromising pursuit of excellence in musical interpretations has been an unchanging tradition of the Borodin Quartet throughout its glorious long history,' Sachenko comments. 'I am happy to join my friends and colleagues of the Quartet and, together in our shared passion for the quartet world, I hope to continue this remarkable tradition of musical eminence.'

Picture: Nikita Sharpan


Steve Wright
Steve WrightMulti-Platform Content Producer, BBC Music Magazine

Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.