Ildar Abdrazakov has firmly established himself as one of opera’s most sought-after basses and one of his generation’s most celebrated and recognized artists. Since making his debut at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan in 2001 at 25, the Russian native has become a mainstay at leading houses worldwide, including New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Paris National Opera, the Vienna State Opera and Munich’s Bavarian State Opera.
Abdrazakov was born in Ufa, the today’s capital of the republic of Bashkiria in Russia. Both of his parents were artists: his mother was a painter and his late father a director. At age four Abdrazakov began acting in his father’s stage and film productions, and these early experiences inspired him to pursue a career in the arts. Upon graduating from the Ufa State Institute of Arts, he joined the Bashkirian Opera and Ballet Theatre. In the late 1990s he won a string of prestigious vocal competitions: the Moscow Grand Prix named after Irina Arkhipova, the Glinka International Vocal Competition, the Rimsky-Korsakov International Competition, and the International Obraztsova competition. His 2000 win at the Maria Callas International Television Competition in Parma thrust him into the international spotlight and led to his debut at La Scala the following year.
Ildar Abdrazakov has appeared with virtually every major opera company in the United States and Europe such as Madrid’s Teatro Real, the Gran Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona, the Vienna State Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Washington National Opera and the Los Angeles Opera. Since his house debut in Don Giovanni (2004) Ildar Abdrazakov has become a mainstay at the Metropolitan Opera. He is also a frequent guest at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, and his many triumphant performances on one of the most prestigious opera stages has resulted in the award of the Franco Abbiati in the category “Best Singer”.
On the concert stage, he has given recitals in Russia, Italy, Japan and the United States, and has performed with orchestras including the Orchestre Metropolitain, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Deutsches Symphony Orchester, the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala and Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. Among the noted conductors with whom he has collaborated are Riccardo Muti, Valery Gergiev, Sir Antonio Pappano, James Levine, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Gianandrea Noseda, Bertrand de Billy, Riccardo Frizza and Riccardo Chailly.
Apart from the many spectacular performances captured on CD and DVD, Ildar Abdrazakov is also an extensive recording artist. His debut solo album Power Players, a celebration of the great Russian bass roles, was released in early 2014 on Delos, to great critical acclaim. In 2018/19, he also made his debut as a stage director in a production of Attila for Bashkir State Opera in which he also performed the title role.
Ildar Abdrazakov has his own foundation, created to support and promote young talented musicians. Since 2018 he is annually organizing festivals in Russia, inviting renowned singers to give concerts and masterclasses there. Since 2014, Ildar Abdrazakov is also Artistic Director of the Elena Obraztsova International Academy of Music.