Leonid Shukaev is a cellist who belongs to a great Russian cello tradition. As a student at St. Petersburg Conservatory (1979-1984 Bachelor Degree; 1986-1989 PhD), he was fortunate enough to study with Emanuel Fishmann, the teacher of Misha Maisky, Boris Pergamenshikov and many other great cellists who are now playing in leading Russian and European orchestras.
Mr. Shukaev had a rich and successful teaching experience at St. Petersburg Conservatory and the Rimsky-Korsakov Music College ( 1988-1999), where he held the position of professor of cello and string quartet. He was also on the faculty at Oberlin Conservatory for five years ( 1997-2003). Several of his students have been winners of international competitions, and many of them now play in European and Russian orchestras and teach in conservatories in Russia. They include Dmitri Sokolov, who is now a professor at Moscow Conservatory.
Mr. Shukaev founded the St. Petersburg Quartet in 1986. The quartet's honors include :
• A Grammy nomination, "Best Record" honors in both Stereo Review and Gramophone magazines
• First Prize and the "Grand Prix Musica Viva" at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition (1991)
• Silver Medal and a Special Prize at the Tokyo International Chamber Music Competition (1989)
• First Prize and both Special Prizes at the Vittorio Gui International Competition for Chamber Ensembles in Florence, Italy (1989)
• First Prize at the All-Soviet Union String Quartet Competition (1987)
• Third Prize at the First Dmitri Shostakovich International String Quartet Competition (1987).
He was also a founding member of the Brahms Trio and the St. Petersburg Trio.
As a member of the St. Petersburg Quartet, Mr. Shukaev regularly performed in North America, Europe and Asia on the most prestigious music series and festivals. The quartet's numerous engagements included: an opening night performance at the Mostly Mozart festival at Lincoln Center, New York; seven concerts over five years at London's Wigmore Hall; numerous British festivals, including Aldeburgh; Canadian débuts in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver; Lincoln Center's "Great performances" series; NYC's Frick Collection and 92nd Street Y series; and the Caramoor, Piccolo Spoleto, and Music Mountain Festivals. The Quartet has toured Germany (including the prestigious Frankfurt Alte Oper and Herkules Hall in Munich), the Netherlands (including the Concertgebouw), Ireland, Iceland, Poland, Japan, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, South Korea, Taiwan, Russia, Belgium and major festivals in Mexico.
With the St. Petersburg Quartet Mr. Shukaev has recorded the complete cycle of the Shostakovich string quartets on the Hyperion label, as well as the Prokofiev and Glazunov quartets on the Delos label, and the Borodin and Prokofiev quartets on the Dorian label. The quartet’s disc of Shostakovich Quartets Nos. 3, 5 & 7 on the Sony label was nominated for a Grammy, and the disc of Quartets Nos. 5, 7 & 9 won the Chamber Music America/WQXR Radio Prize for Best Chamber CD (2001). Some other recordings include the Debussy, Ravel, Dvorak and Mendelssohn quartets on the Marquise label (2008). One of the more recent recordings would be Tchaikovsky chamber music works with the quartet's own label (2009).