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Press Release

September 13, 2006

Apogee Foundation Scholars are Honored with Seven of the World's Most Prestigious Awards for Young Performing Artists


"I wish that all young artists could have the opportunities to fulfill their dreams in the way that being a part of the Apogee family has allowed me to fulfill mine."


The Apogee Foundation today announced that Apogee World Scholars Vadim Muntagirov and Dmitrij Smirnov had won seven major international prizes for the world's most gifted performing artists during the last seven months.

Click image to enlarge
Vadim Muntagirov in his winning performance at the Perm International Ballet Competition

Vadim Muntagirov in performance at one of the four major international competitions he has won in the course of five months during 2006.

Apogee is capable of identifying and developing the full potential of the world's most gifted performing artists from the earliest years of their training.

New York, September 13, 2006 (RNWire, eMediaWire, PRWeb, PressBox) – The Apogee Foundation today announced that two of its Apogee World Scholars, dancer Vadim Muntagirov and violinist Dmitrij Smirnov, had won seven of the world's most prestigious performing arts competitions in the last seven months. Muntagirov's victories were at four major events in the course of five months, and Smirnov's at three major events in the course of four months. Muntagirov's awards included the grand prize at the St. Petersburg International Ballet Competition where, at 16, he was the youngest participant; second prize at the Perm International Ballet Competition (where first prize was awarded to a Mariinsky soloist nearly ten years his senior); first prize at the Kazan International Ballet Competition; and the President's Prize at the Prix de Lausanne where, at 15, he was the minimum age for participation. At the St. Petersburg competition, Muntagirov also received the title "Hope of Russia" from the competition jury chaired by Natalya Makarova, one of the greatest dancers in history. Smirnov's awards included the grand prize of the Il Piccolo Violino Magico competition in Venice, which he won last week at this invitation-only event for the world's 15 most gifted young violinists; as well as first prize at the David Oistrakh international violin competition in Moscow; and Apogee's Rising Star Award for the top performer at the Crescendo Festival in St. Petersburg where, at 12, Smirnov became the youngest person ever to receive this level of professional recognition. Based on his performances at the Venice competition Smirnov was invited to perform in concert with Maxim Vengerov, one of the world's greatest violinists, and also was awarded the special jury prize including the use of a Giuseppe Gagliano (1782) violin throughout the ensuing year of his training.

Dmitrij Smirnov is shown in live footage of his prize winning performance at the 2006 Crescendo Music Festival, which was co-managed by The Apogee Foundation

Although previously unknown, within four months of first being recognized by Apogee as a person of extraordinary ability Smirnov had won three major international awards and been named the top young violinist in the world.

The success of these Apogee World Scholars serves to demonstrate the Foundation's ability to identify elite talents in each sphere of the performing arts from the earliest years of their training and to fulfill their potential throughout the course of their career cycles. Apogee World Scholarships are the Foundation's most prestigious level of student award, provided to those who have attained indisputably world class stature capable of propelling them to historically significant levels of achievement in their fields. World Scholars are provided with a full spectrum of career support by Apogee Management designed to insure that they achieve their fullest potential on the world stage. These benefits also enable World Scholars to train wherever in the world is deemed most suitable for their ongoing development and, as part of his scholarship, Muntagirov this week began a year of training at the Royal Ballet School in London under the Foundation's supervision.

For more information on the Apogee World Scholar program, please refer to the Foundation's website: http://www.apogeefoundation.org/awards/excellence/world.php

Click image to enlarge
Vadim Muntagirov when he was named an Apogee World Scholar

Apogee recognized Muntagirov's extraordinary ability in his first year of training and awarded him Apogee Merit Scholarships every year since. In 2005 the Foundation named him an Apogee World Scholar.

Within a few months of becoming an Apogee World Scholar, Vadim won four major international competitions and was given the title "Hope of Russia" by Natalya Makarova.

Muntagirov has been a student at the Perm State Ballet School for the last six years, where he was trained by two Apogee Achievement Award laureates: Sergey Chernayev and Yuri Sidorov. Apogee was able to identify Vadim as a person of extraordinary ability during his very first year of training there, at the age of nine, and has provided him with Apogee Merit Scholarships every year since to support his ongoing development. In 2005, Vadim was named the first Apogee World Scholar from central Russia. His election to study at the Royal Ballet School also furthers the Foundation's mission of bringing together the best of East and West: in this case honoring and uniting in and through this exceptionally talented individual two historic ballet traditions, the Perm and London Schools.

For more information on Vadim Muntagirov, please see the website maintained by the Foundation on his behalf: http://www.muntagirov.com

Click image to enlarge
Kenneth Schneider presenting Dmitry Smirnov with Apogee's Rising Star Award at the Crescendo Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia

Apogee President Kenneth Schneider is shown awarding the Foundation's Rising Star Award to Apogee World Scholar Dmitrij Smirnov on the stage of St. Petersburg's Philharmonic Hall at the conclusion of the 2006 Crescendo Festival.

Seven days later, Smirnov won first prize at the David Oistrakh competition in Moscow, and last week he also won first prize at the "Il Piccolo Violino Magico" competition in Venice, an event for the world's top 15 young violinists.

Violin prodigy Dmitrij Smirnov studies at the Rimsky-Korsakov State Music School in St. Petersburg, which is the leading institution in the region for the training of gifted young musicians. He was identified by Apogee as an artist of extraordinary ability during his performances at the 2006 Crescendo Festival, where he was selected by Apogee's award jury as the outstanding performer of the event. This selection entitled him to receive both an Apogee Merit Scholarship to support his continuing studies as well as a special edition of Apogee's Rising Star Award. When Smirnov was further named an Apogee World Scholar at the beginning of this academic year, he became the youngest person ever to receive this highest level of student recognition.

Apogee World Scholar Vadim Muntagirov said: "I am very grateful to The Apogee Foundation for its support from the very beginning of my training. I wish that all young artists could have the opportunities to fulfill their dreams in the way that being a part of the Apogee family has allowed me to fulfill mine."

Apogee President Kenneth Schneider said: "We are thrilled to have been able to play a part in the careers of these incredibly talented artists, and eagerly look forward to the magnificent accomplishments which still lie ahead for them and for everyone around the world who will have the opportunity to be inspired by their special gifts."

For the full version of this news release, please see: www.apogeefoundation.org/awareness/2006-2007/apogee_world_scholars.php

About The Apogee Foundation ®
Now concluding its tenth year of operations, Apogee is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the development of human excellence in the performing arts. The Foundation provides administrative, promotional, and financial support to help talented individuals achieve their full potential, and to showcase this potential on the world stage.

The Apogee Foundation: Achieving the Potential

Kenneth Schneider, Apogee President
1001 Avenue of the Americas, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10018-5460 (USA)
+1.646.233.4350 or +1.888.APOGEE.8
Fax: +1.646.292.5101

Direct newswire links
RNWire: http://www.russianewswire.com/releases_headlines_details.php?id=4464
eMediaWire: http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2006/9/emw437006.htm
PRWeb: http://www.prweb.com/releases/apogee_foundation/performing_arts/prweb437006.htm
PressBox (UK): http://www.pressbox.co.uk/detailed/Arts/Apogee_World_Scholars_Win_Seven_


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