Vengerov first recorded for EMI in 1999 and signed an exclusive contract with the label the following year. His CDs with the company have included a 2003 recording of the Britten Violin Concerto and William Walton Viola Concerto, which won a Grammy Award. His most recent recording collects virtuoso works by Paganini, Kreisler, Ysaêe, and others.
"I have admired Maxim Vengerov since I first saw him some 10 years ago," said EMI Classics president Richard Lyttelton in a statement. "He is without question the finest violinist of his generation and this major signing is a clear indication of EMI's confidence in the long-term future of the classical music industry."
The violinist is currently taking a sabbatical from performing in order to ride his motorcycle across the United States and study jazz improvisation and tango dancing‹the latter is included in a Benjamin Yusupov concerto that Vengerov will premiere in May 2005.