Solzhenitsyn, Ignat, Russian-born American pianist and conductor; b. Moscow, Sept. 23, 1972. He is the son of the great Russian novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and was reared in Cavendish, Vt. After learning to read music with the help of a neighbor, he began formal piano lessons at age 9 with Chonghyo Shin, and then studied with Luis Batlle. At age 10, he began making appearances as a soloist with orchs. and as a recitalist. When he was 14, he went to London to pursue piano studies with Maria Curcio. In 1989 he made his London debut as a pianist. After some piano instruction from Arrau in N.Y., he studied with Graffman (B.Mus. in piano, 1995) and Mueller (diploma in conducting, 1995) at the Curtis Inst. of Music in Philadelphia. He won critical acclaim as soloist with Rostropovich and the National Sym. Orch. of Washington, D.C., in Moscow in 1993. In 1994 he was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. As a soloist, he has appeared with many orchs. in the U.S. and abroad, including those of Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Seattle, Baltimore, Montreal, Paris, St. Petersburg, and Israel. During the 1999–2000 season, he toured the U.S. as soloist with Daniele Gatti and the Royal Phil, of London. His recital engagements have taken him to most of the principal music centers of the world. In 1993 he began to conduct the Concerto Soloists Chamber Orch. in Philadelphia. After serving as its asst. and assoc. conductor, he became its principal conductor in 1999. He has also appeared as a guest conductor with several U.S. orchs.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire