Russian-born Chicago-based cellist and composer Ian Maksin is quickly gaining international recognition for his beautiful tone and distinct style as well as his uniquely charismatic way with the audience. Born in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, Maksin began playing the cello at age six at the Special School for Gifted Children of the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. At age seventeen he came to the United States to attend the Manhattan School of Music in New York City and later became the principal cellist of the New World Symphony, America’s one-of-a-kind training orchestra under direction of maestro Michael Tilson Thomas. During that time he had an opportunity to receive personal mentorship from such artists as Lynn Harrell, Mstislav Rostropovich, Bernard Greenhouse, and many others. In the recent years, Ian Maksin has become increasingly active as a soloist and composer and has been touring regularly throughout the United States and Europe. His live performances have been frequently broadcast on National Public Radio and its affiliate stations throughout the USA, on NBC and PBS national television as well as in national television and radio in many European countries. Maksin has premiered and recorded numerous works by contemporary composers, including a critically acclaimed CD “Sculpting Clouds” which came out on Albany Records in 2007 and featured works by Juilliard-based award-winning American composer Eric Ewazen. In 2006, he recorded on the album “Clocks” music by Miguel de Aguila, a collaboration with the Cuarteto Latinoamericano. Ian’s debut solo CD titled “Solo Flight” was released in January 2010 and is an eclectic compilation of works for cello solo ranging from Bach Cello Suites to a new piece by a Chicago-based composer Ilya Levinson, as well as a suite for solo cello by Spanish cellist and composer Gaspar Cassado. In 2011, Maksin has founded iAN&ANi DUO – a collaboration with Bulgarian pianist Ani Gogova. Their debut CD "Tango Plus" came out in October 2012 and featured music of Piazzolla, Ginastera, Ravel, De Falla as well as a world premiere of a work commissioned by iAN&ANi from Chicago-based composer Ilya Levinson. They have co-produced an award-winning music video “Strings Detached” based on music of Rodion Shchedrin, filmed by the Russian director Sergei Kvitko and featuring one of leading young American ballerinas Abigail Simon and iAN&ANi Duo. In the spring of 2012, Maksin and Gogova have co-produced a collaborative music, film and dance project “Tango Obsession” which was sold out for many consecutive nights at the Chopin Theatre in Chicago. Apart from being recognized as one of the leading classical musicians, Maksin has taken the cello well outside its conventional scope and plays jazz, world, blues, flamenco, rock, R&B, pop, and has collaborated with such artists as Andrea Bocelli, P. Diddy, Snoop Dogga and Gloria Estefan. Ian describes his main goal as an artist is “to close the gap between generations and societies through art, and make the beauty of cello music accessible to everyone”.