Russian-born Chicago-based cellist and composer Ian Maksin has gained international recognition for his beautiful tone, his own unique innovative style of playing the instrument and for taking the cello well outside its conventional role. As a soloist, Maksin gives more than two hundred public performances annually in North and South America, Europe and Asia. He has performed in many prestigious concert halls throughout the world and has appeared at festivals such as Ravinia and Lollapalooza, Spoleto and Ravenna in Italy and the White Nights Festival in Russia. His recently released album of original music for solo cello, Soul Companion, has received great acclaim from critics and audiences around the globe alike. Apart from being highly regarded as a classical artist, Maksin collaborates with artists of other genres playing jazz, blues, flamenco, rock, R&B and world music, blending many styles together using cello as the common denominator. He can often be heard and seen in collaborative projects with many other leading Chicago artists such as Goran Ivanovic, Grazyna Auguscik, Paulino Garcia, Howard Levy and Corky Siegel as well as members of Steppenwolf Theater Company, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera and Joffrey Ballet. As a guest artist, he has performed and recorded with such artists as Andrea Bocelli, P. Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Gloria Estefan and Barry Gibb. He has also opened performances for Sting and his guitarist Dominic Miller.