He won first prize at the USSR All Union Competition at the age of 14. At the time, he was below the age limit but the competition committee approved his entry. He was given the Antonio Amati cello made in 1630 as a prize. He used this instrument ever since for all of his career as a concert cellist.
Although Shafran was allowed to tour the West during the 1950's and 1960's, he did not manage to acquire a reputation equal to that of his compatriots (Rostropovich and Oistrakh). Shafran made a number of concert tours and recordings together with his first wife, pianist Nina Musinyan. The second cello concerto of Kabalevsky was dedicated to him. He recorded the cello sonata of Shostakovich with the composer himself. Shafran had a uniquely poetic and sincere way of performing music. His vibrato, phrasing and virtuosity all added to his distinctively passionate performances.
Characteristic of his style was his inimitable rich tone, which, given the fact that he played a baroque instrument was even more of a wonder, his unlimited musical freedom, and his technical proficiency. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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