Cellist Vasily Popov maintains an active concert schedule as a soloist and chamber musician. A versatile musician, he has a wide classical repertoire as well as a great interest in jazz and contemporary genres. He has performed throughout Europe, Russia, Japan, and the United States, and his performances have been broadcast by classical radio stations in Germany, Russia, and the United States, including WETA 90.9 FM and Orpheus Radio.
Among Vasily's most recent recital projects were an all-Prokofiev program with flutist Nikolai Popov and pianist Ralitza Patcheva, and collaborations with violinist Leo Sushansky and the National Chamber Ensemble. In fall 2016 he is participating in the Accents Project of the Souvenirs Ensemble, founded by composer Keyla Orozco, and is presenting several thematic recitals with the Marcolivia Duo.
Vasily takes part in a range of contemporary music projects in various genres with some of D.C. area’s finest musicians. In 2003 he initiated a performance project featuring solo cello works by contemporary American composers: Lauren Bernovsky, Jon Jeffrey Grier, James Guthrie, James Romig, and David Rubinstein.
On the first Thursday of every month, Vasily Popov can be heard performing with pianist Ralitza Patcheva at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C., in the Brown Bag Concert Series, which he founded in 2002. The cello-piano duo performs frequently in chamber concerts across the United States, most recently in Maine, Massachusetts, and Virginia.
Vasily Popov serves on the cello and chamber music faculties of Levine Music in Washington, D.C., where he is also associate chair of the Chamber Music Program and Artistic Director and conductor of the Levine Chamber Orchestras. He served for a number of years on the faculties of the St. Petersburg State Conservatory, Russia, and Georgetown University.
Vasily dedicates a great deal of his time to teaching and coaching, as well as to organizing and leading innovative chamber and orchestral workshops. He often shares the stage with his students in performance. Many of his students are accepted into youth and professional orchestras and have gone on to become performing soloists and chamber musicians themselves.
Vasily holds advanced degrees in cello performance from the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater in Munich and the St. Petersburg State Conservatory, Russia. It has been his honor to study with Valentin Elin, Natalia Gutman, Konstantin Kucherov, Anatoly Nikitin, Walter Nothas, Daniil Shafran, and Larisa Tishchenko. His early artistic development was deeply influenced by his experience playing under the batons of many great conductors, including Pavel Bubelnikov, Michail Gantvarg, Maris Jansons, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Mstislav Rostropovich, Soulus Sondezkis, George Solti, Yuri Temirkanov, as a member of the legendary St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Soloists of St. Petersburg, with whom he toured throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas. As a chamber musician, his collaboration and study with pianists Tamara Fidler and Elisso Virsaladze, flutist Andras Adorjan, and violinist Michael Gantwarg has been influential and formative.
In his chamber recitals, Vasily’s many partners have included pianists Kathryn Brake, Jeffrey Chappell, Hyeweon Gessner, Andrew Harley, Laurie Hudicek, Ieva Jocubaviciute, Ralitza Patcheva, Igor Uryash, Sergey Uryvaev; harpsichordist Lois Narvey, violinists Lev Klychkov, Sergei Levitin, Jorge Orozco, Daniel Roehn, Hansheinz Schneeberger, Peter Sirotin, Leo Sushansky, Akemi Takayama; violists Jim Batts, Andrey Dogadin, Reiner Moog, Benjamin Revinius, Michael Stepniak; and cellists Wolfgang Boettcher, Leonid Gorokhov, Alexey Massarsky, Anatoly Nikitin, Walter Nothas, Martin Ostertag, Jeff van Osten, Alexei Vasilyev, Igor Zubkovsky. In contemporary music projects, his partners have included guitarists Gary Prince, Eric Ulreich, Josh Walker, violinist Eddie Drennon; bassists Chris Brown, Pepe Gonzalez; pianist Bob Sykes; and percussionists Manny Archiega, Andrew Hare, Leon Koja-Eynatyan.
Vasily performs on a French cello made in 1870. This very special instrument is a gift from Stephen and Susan Low. For contemporary music performances, he also uses a Zeta E-Cello. His recordings are available under the Arte Nova Records, BMR, Excelsior, Intercount Music, Madacy Records, and Melodia labels.
In his spare time, Vasily enjoys composing and arranging music, repairing string instruments, reading, working in his garden, and biking with his wife, pianist Ralitza Patcheva, and sons, violinist Yuri and cellist Vlad.