“Chamber music, the most intimate form of classical music, has long been associated with permanent groups such as string quartets or piano trios. But the Razumovsky Ensemble has blazed onto the scene with a new concept.

Taking its name from Beethoven’s Ukrainian-born patron, Count Razumovsky, it is more than a “flexible” group. Its founder and artistic director, the Ukrainian-born cellist Oleg Kogan, chooses different colleagues for each concert from a pool of freelance soloists and section leaders from world-class orchestras – musicians who share his passion for chamber music but don’t always have opportunities to play it. The extraordinary thing is that no matter who is playing, no matter the repertoire – anything from duos to octets – Kogan and his friends earn astonishing reviews and have established a devoted following.

“When I invite new musicians,” Kogan explains, “I never demand that they follow my ideas, but try to work according to their strengths. Therefore the chemistry is fresh every time. New communications are always established during the concert, because we aren’t stuck with one another! But what we have in common is that everyone has a great deal to give – and we give everything.”

It’s a heady cocktail of commitment, responsiveness, respect and Kogan’s intuitive ability to choose top performers who share a wavelength.

Jessica Duchen. The Independent