Mikhail Utkin was born in 1952 in Vilnius (Lithuania). His
father, a violinist, worked actively as a teacher for many years, in the sixties
he was a professor at the H.Eissler High Music School in Berlin. At the age of
five Mikhail began taking his music lessons, and in 1959 he became a pupil of
the Central Musical School at the Moscow State Conservatory. He was admitted to
the cello class of professor S.Kalianov, assistant of the famous musician
The great potentialities of a young musician were already revealed during the
early school years. His first concert took place when he was only 12; in 1967 he
participated in International Competition of the Prague Radio "Concertino-Praha"
and won the First Prize.
In 1970 he was admitted to the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory to the
class of professor Mstislav Rostropovich, whose influence was decisive in his
musical development. Years of studying at the Conservatory were devoted to
penetrating into the secrets of cello-playing skill, acquiring broad knowledge
of music, gaining repertoire. Mikhail Utkin showed a great interest in chamber
music, which soon found its way to practical and very successful results. As a
member of String quartet of the Moscow Conservatory he won the Second Prize at
the International String Quartet Competition in Liege (1972).
Since 1974 M.Utkin has been a member of a well-known both in Russia and abroad
ensemble "The Moscow Piano Trio". Playing in this ensemble, he won the First
Prize in Interforum contest (Budapest, 1975) and Maurice Ravel Gold Medal at the
international festival "Musical May" in Bordeaux (France, 1976).
At the same time he continued to give solo performances and in 1975 made a tour
in Belgium. In 1975, he graduated from Moscow Conservatory (Degree - Diploma
Mr. Utkin's concert activity is extensive and diverse. He appears as a soloist
and with orchestras; his interpretation of the 2nd Concerto by Shostakovich with
Gewandhaus-Orchestra under Kurt Masur (1979) was highly appraised by the press.
He plays with "Moscow Trio" and other musicians. Numerous concerts, radio
recordings, performances at major European festivals brought to Mikhail Utkin a
standing reputation of a top-class performer.
Mr.Utkin plays compositions of different genres. Great interest is usually
evoked by his performances in ensemble with his brother, oboist Alexei Utkin,
Alexander Maikapar (harpsichord), Valeri Gorokholinsky (clarinet), Vladimir
Ivanov (violin), and many others.
Mr. Utkin was always attracted by contemporary music, he was the first performer
of many modern compositions. Later, his creative partnership with famous
composers Alexander Tchaikovsky and Karen Khatchaturian proved to be very
In 1978, he was invited by the Moscow State Conservatory to lead a cello class.
He worked at the Conservatory for ten years. Even after he had left the post due
to his extensive concert tours, he continues to give master classes in Germany (Leonberg,
Schwaebisch Hall, Waiblingen, Kirchheim), Switzerland (St.Gallen), Finland (Kuopio),
USA (Hammond, San Marcos, Baton Rouge).
Mr. Utkin's activities were highly appraised. Among other important awards, he
received an honorary title of "People's artist of Russia", the most prestigious
title for artists in Russia.