Russian-born Ian Maksin to Play “Cello for Peace” in Chicago


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Katerina Katramadou

The opportunity to hear Russian-born cellist Ian Maksin live in Chicago April 2 provides a good reason for leaving Lake County and sampling the unique music of an artist who has performed with musicians ranging from Snoop Dog to Sting.

Born in St. Petersburg, Maksin is also a composer and producer and began playing cello at 6 at the Special School for Gifted Children of The Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. At 17, he won a scholarship to attend the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. After many years, he became the principal cellist of the New World Symphony America, a one-of-a-kind training orchestra under the direction of maestro Michael Tilson Thomas.

He has performed and collaborated with such artists as Andrea Bocelli, Gloria Estefan, Sting, Barry Gibb of the former Bee Gees, Puff Diddy and Snoop Dogg. In 2011, he collaborated with Bulgarian pianist Ani Gogova. Their debut CD came out on Blue Griffin Recordings in October of 2012 and featured music of Piazzola, Ginastera, Ravel, De Falla. 

He has been touring regularly throughout the USA and Europe. His live performances have been frequently broadcast on National Public Radio, NBC and PBS television as well as Polish and Russian TV. He also has appeared on such shows as Chicago Tonight and Take Five. His latest album, “Solo Flight,” is currently featured on Pandora Radio as well as iTunes internet radio.

He sings in 30 languages, including Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, English, Mongolian, Farsi, Armenian, French, Italian, Arabic, Hebrew, Bambara and many other dialects. Many of his original songs and instrumental compositions are also infused with flavors of ethnic music from countries and regions where he drew inspiration from: Mongolia, West Africa, Middle East Balkans, Andalusia Flamenco.

Can music save the world? Maksin believes that music is the one of the most powerful and unifying forces in the world, capable of healing, inspiring, bringing people together and bringing peace among them. He also believes that his cello will save the world. He started his “Cello for Peace Tour” in September 2022. This musical journey around the U.S. and Europe has the purpose of collecting money to support humanitarian relief in Ukraine and to help earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria.

When Maksin appears at Artifact Events, 4325 N. Ravenswood Ave., in Chicago, part of the proceeds from ticket, merchandise and art sales will benefit two organizations: 1. For Wellbeing, a humanitarian relief fund hat helps create mobile medical units in areas of Ukraine where war has destroyed hospitals and clinics and 2. Doctors Without Borders Turkey Earthquake Relief Fund.