Yuri Fomin was born in the Ukrainian city of Konotop in 1962, to the family army serviceman.
In one of his interviews, he was asked "From whom did you learn to play so well?" Yuri answered that he would like to consider himself a self-taught, but that would not be entirely accurate...
He started his studies at the Kiev Music College named after Gliere (class of N.P. Mikhailenko) and then went to the Gnesin Music Academy in Moscow at the (class of L.Ya. Menro). In parallel, Yuri studied guitar with Professor Alexander Frauchi and composition with Professor Preobrazhensky. However, the bulk of his knowledge came from studying with the father of Alexander Frauchi -- Camille Arturovich Frauchi -- whom Yuri recalls with deepest gratitude, warmth and affection. He also took master classes from maestro Manuel Barrueco, Alvaro Pieri, David Russell, Carlo Marchionne and others.
From 1991 to 1995, Yuri worked as a soloist at MosConcert in the creative laboratory ASSONANCE and in a duet with the famous guitarist D. Mamontov.
Yuri toured North America, Europe, Israel and the CIS countries (the former Soviet Union republics). He has recorded three CD’s: the first one in Austria, the second one in Moscow (Melodia) and the third one in Kiev (ATLANTIC).
In response to the question "What is music" in addition to the chrestomathy answers, Yuri provides his own definition: "Music is like life; it is a transition from the multi-variable future, into the single-variable past." THEREFORE, EVERY MUSICIAN SHOULD BE CAPABLE OF SELECTING THE BEST OPTION FROM MANY VALID OPTIONS, IN ANY SITUATION (time of year, time of day, mood, etc.). One of the keys of Yuri’s teaching method is recognizing and fully understanding the valid multiple options of execution for each phrase, motive and sound. Why do the interpretations of many guitarists (and other musicians) often sound so boring? The answer is “because they always play one memorized option.” Either they were never taught options, or were taught, but did not understand or even forgot that there should have been several options...
There is a point of view that it is never too late to start learning. Yuri would like to add that there is always more to learn for any musician (and person), even for world-class performers.
Yuri never hesitates to ask for advice. For instance, if he has any questions or doubts about the interpretation of Baroque music, he always turns to his friend, mentor, and a great expert in this style of music, Orest Koval (the organizer of BachFest and the ORGANUM festival, and the editor of the book about a great maestro N. Harnoncourt).
One more advice from Yuri: Choose your future teacher based on their command of the instrument and playing ability. It's simple - a teacher that does not play at a very high level cannot teach a student to a very high level. This is especially true for guitar, where there are so many impostors due to the popularity of the instrument. So if your teacher plays at a high level and you really like what you hear, you have about 50 percent chance that you will be taught well; the remaining 50 percent depends on the teacher’s ability to teach.
In Europe, the system of selecting teachers for the best musical colleges
consists of the following tasks:
- In the first round you have to play at least a half of a solo concert.
- In the second round you conduct a master class with the best students who will ask you difficult questions and set challenging tasks before you.
Like his main teacher Camille Arturovich Frauchi, Yuri is not officially associated with any musical education institution, because he believes that the load of 5-6 students per day is not compatible with the highest quality of teaching. "To achieve the best result I try not to take on more than one student a day."
Yuri Fomin has prepared more than 29 winners at the most prestigious international Guitar competitions. Some of their testimonials are posted on this website.