Artyom Yakushenko (electric violin) and Yury Matveev (electric and acoustic guitar) met while studying at the Irkutsk Art Academy. Their experiments with various musical idioms and styles resulted in their concert debut as a duet in 1986 at jazz festival in Novosibirsk, Siberia, where they were awarded as the “Best Original Artists” kindling the interest of critics and the audience. The same year they became members of 'Pilgrims' Theatre' rock band, quite famous at that time. In 1992, Artyom and Yury decided to play together again as a duet – that was the beginning of Two Siberians (or the “White Fort” as they called themselves at that time).
Since their first concerts, critics have been unable of adequately defining the music of the White Fort, which represents a complicated combination of rock'n'roll drive, folk melodies, jazzy improvisations and serious academic school. It seems that 'world contemporary instrumental music' is the most appropriate term for it.
In 1996, after attaining significant success in their homeland the White Fort caught the interest of an American producer Darryll Pitt (well-known for his work with Simon & Garfunkel, Andreas Vollenweider and 11-times Grammy-winner, a saxophone player Michael Brecker). This acquaintance brought them to the U.S., where the duet has changed its name to the “Two Siberians” and released its first American album (“Out of the Woods”, 2000). The Two Siberians performed at the well-known music festivals in Rochester, NY and Albany, NJ; had recitals in the legendary CBGB club and Lincoln Center in New York City. In 2005, Heads Up Records produced the Two Siberians' CD 'Out Of Nowhere' (with participation of Michael Brecker, renowned percussionist Mino Cinelu, as famous as Sting and Miles Davis, and well-known Cameroon bassist Richard Bona).
The Two Siberians were extensively involved in several theater and movie projects. They have composed and performed soundtracks for the 'Mermaid's Tale' and the 'Winter's Tale' puppet shows, 'My Green Love' ballet, 'Next 2' and 'Next 3' TV series and the 'Count Montenegro' movie.
Intense work at studio and non-stop touring exhausted musicians greatly – that was the reason for their sabbatical, which started in 2007. Nearly five years Artyom and Yury had a rest, they worked as solo artists, experimented extensively, but in 2012, their vacation was over. The time for new achievements has come.
In April 2012, the duet that decided to use the name of Two Siberians both in Russia and globally wan the International Song-writing Competition (Instrumental category). In the same year, their CDs 'Two Kings' and '6/8' were released again in the U.S. They went into the West Coast tour in the fall of 2012, and started 2013 with series of concerts in Russia.
"With an original sound, great tunes, complete command over their instruments - and seemingly propelled by rocket fuel - the TWO SIBERIANS are simply amazing."
--- Eight-times GRAMMY winner Michael Brecker
"I ran across the TWO SIBERIANS performing on the street and I was awestruck. Everyone was awestruck."
--- "Producer of the Year" GRAMMY winner Russ Titelman
"Original and fresh and with an improbable broad appeal, I have not seen or heard anything quite like this. TWO SIBERIANS rock.... flavorfully. It’s amazing how much energy comes from these two guys. I booked them in a heartbeat, and they were the hit of the JVC Saratoga festival."
--- Dan Melnick / Festival Productions (New Orleans Jazz & Heritage, Newport Jazz Festival)
--First Prize, 2011 International Song-writing Competition (Instrumental category).
--Musician of the Year 2012, RAW Portland Artists Showcase.
--Grand Prize, Tom Jackson Song Makeover contest on Broadjam, March 2012.
--Fusion Song of the Month on HYPERLINK "http://Broadjam.com/"Broadjam.com, Nov. 2011.
--Crowd Favorite Award, Rochester International Jazz Festival, 2003.
--Golden Mask Award (Russian national music and theater award) for their score for the “Winter’s Tale” show, Children's Theater, 2003.
--Golden Mask Nomination for their ballet "My Green Love" 2000.
1995: Peculiar Reality (CD, Russia.)
1996: Ancient Cave (CD, Russia. This and all following albums were released in Russia under the band name of "Belyi Ostrog," (“White Fort” in Russian).
1997: Forgotten Name (CD, Russia)
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2000: Out of the Woods (Demo CD, USA. This album was released under the band name of "Two Siberians")
2001: My Green Love (Ballet score, Russia)
2002: Two from Siberia (CD, Russia)
2002: Next 2 (TV series soundtrack, Russia)
2003: Next 3 (TV series soundtrack, Russia)
2004: Two Kings (CD, Russia)
2005: Out of Nowhere (CD, USA. Released under the "Two Siberians")
2005: 6/8 (CD, Russia)
2006: Duke of Montenegro (Film soundtrack, Russia)
2011: Two Kings (CD, USA)
2012: 6/8 (CD, USA)