Denis Matsuev

Denis in social networks:


Denis Matsuev Presented Tutorials and Printed Music to Novosibirsk Region's Music Schools

November became a memorable month for cultural life of Novosibirsk. Publishing House "Music"- "P.Jurgenson" with International Charity Foundation of P.I. Tchaikovsky and with participation of Bank Group ZENITH accomplished the joint project. All music schools of Novosibirsk got a considerable amount of tutorials, textbooks and sheet music from Publishing House "Music".

Read more... Tags:

The LSO and Gergiev in Brahms and Szymanowski 4

The first half of the 20th century must surely be one of the most richly creative periods in history. This was a time of great social and political change, spearheaded by two most devastating wars that saw death and destruction on a new level of cold efficiency. Rising from the ashes of this massive upheaval, the arts produced a glorious outpouring of works and ideas not seen since the renaissance and never on this scale. In the world of music, the flowering of talented composers born in the last quarter of the 19th century, produced an embarrassment of riches, to such an extent that it was possible to consign a composer as talented as Szymanowski to the second rank.

Following in the footsteps of Simon Rattle and Charles Dutoit, it is all credit to Valery Gergiev that he is also championing this miraculous, if still peripheral, composer. To hear this music so luxuriously played by the London Symphony Orchestra seemed like the perfect way to experience it. This music has a surface richness and virtuosity that cries out for a first-rate orchestra and a conductor in tune with the toughness at its core – certainly delivered in spades, in this most memorable concert.

Two works by Szymanowski occupied the substantial first half of the evening. Both late works, they show the composer at his most rounded and contained, while not losing that essential wildness and rapturous quality which are unique to him. The oddly categorised Symphony no. 4, “Symphonie Concertante” of 1932 is a piano concerto in all but name and as such easily stands up to comparison with the great works by Bartók and Prokofiev of the same period. As performed by Gergiev and his powerful pianist Denis Matsuev, this was a performance that struck one as energetic and bold, but also giving time for the work to breathe and expand as needed. In the first movement, the balance between the ruminative opening subject and the more dynamic second group of ideas was nicely maintained and the overall effect was passionate but organic. Matusev found just the right level of forcefulness and melting delicacy.

This latter quality was much in evidence in the second movement with its piano part gently accompanying solos from the strings and woodwind, while always being somehow in control of the musical flow. In the great central climax the sense of elation overflows into a great string melody, which once again melts into the piano roulades, all beautifully judged by Gergiev and Matsuev. In the final movement all these positive musical qualities once again surfaced to produce and an exciting and satisfying conclusion to an excellent performance of an inspired work. The frenetic Polish highland dance that ends the work took the breath away with its controlled power.

The secret to performing Szymanowski’s music, so clearly understood by Gergiev in these performances, is to hold onto that fine line between classical restraint and total abandon and then to make it all sound completely spontaneous. This he and his soloist Leonidas Kavakos achieved even more successfully in their performance of the Violin Concerto no. 2 that followed. Perhaps a greater work that the symphony and possibly its composer’s best work, this concerto has all the ingredients that make Szymanowski so exceptional. Gergiev and Kavakos certainly got to its core.

Once again, it’s all about balance, and Kavakos took as his starting point a reasonable mid-point of restraint. The opening passage was warm but not effusive, and this mesmerising stillness once created, he was able to return to it as the music required. At other times he opened out with a lusher sound, or in tougher folk dance passages, he would dazzle with rock-solid rhythmic impetus and thrilling double-stopping. The ebb and flow of this piece was so wonderfully captured, that I’m sure many of the audience left this performance wondering why the they hadn’t heard it before and or why it wasn’t in the repertoire of most concert violinists.

And then we ended with the Brahms. Odd bedfellows, you might think, but somehow it worked. Brahms is another composer that needs a fine balancing act between restraint and passion, and the Symphony no. 4 is the most perfect example of this duality in his orchestral music. If performed as it was by the Gergiev and the LSO, it sounded strangely reminiscent of Wagner or Bruckner, but with many fewer of the former’s longueurs or the obsessive “logic” of the latter. It certainly put paid to Britten’s insistence that Brahms’ music was “dull”, “stolid”, “pretentious”. There was not, as you might be forgiven for expecting, a touch of Tchaikovsky or even a Russian accent.

The first movement tempo seemed initially to be a little leisurely, but then it became obvious that Gergiev’s overall conception was to emphasise the grand sweep, leading the inevitably to the climatic coda.

Submitted by Chris Garlick on 17th December 2012


Classical Review: IPO No Mere Substitute

Except for regretting Kurt Masur’s unfortunate accident that prevented him from conducting the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert last week, there was no reason for disappointment with Doron Salomon as substitute.

Russian pianist Denis Matsuev’s performance of Brahns’ Piano Concerto No. 1 was electrifying. He is a veritable bombshell of temperament, radiating passion, intensity of expression, and excitement. Powerfully convincing though his outbursts are, there is nothing exaggerated or showy about them. Not even the slightest fleeting detail is neglected, tempi are subtly flexible with no trace of rigidity, climactic highlights are significantly accentuated, nuances of dynamics are abundant, and technically demanding runs are meticulously polished.

Read more... Tags:


What was planned, despite negative economic conditions, is going to take place this spring.

My wish for organizing a competition for pianists in Moscow has been met. I’d like to thank Olga Golodets, Vladimir Medinsky, Arkady Dvorkovich for their support.

Piano is the most popular instrument in the world. The largest number of competitions and famous performers in classical music is of this specialty. We all remember Tchaikovsky Competition, where (from the time of Van Cliburn) piano specialty is in the spotlight. 

Working as the President of “New Names” Charity Foundation, I spend a lot of time looking for new young talented musicians all over Russia and former USSR republics. Ivetta Nikolaevna Voronova, who headed this Foundation before and who found me many years ago in Irkutsk, always underlined, that new younger generations were the future of “New Names”, of “Crescendo” and the most important part of our team. Thanks to our master-classes, contests, concerts, I know a lot of talented pianists under 16.

I also have piano competitions in Astana and Kiev, owing to which we’ve found new young classical music stars. So I fully understand that the level of our Moscow Competition will be very high. Dates of this new competition are from 30th of April to 5th of May.

Astana Piano Passion became famous and prestigious worldwide. And I am really grateful to Imangali Tasmagambetov for this wonderful idea and original format – Festival-Competition. There is no psychological stress from selection and failure - every participant becomes a member of our team. This approach inspired me so much that I decided to organize such festival-competition in Russia. This new Competition in Moscow will differ from all other piano competitions.

A qualifying round (video program viewing) will help us to select 15 contestants. Round II (recital) will be held in Rachmaninoff Concert Hall, and final Round III (performance with orchestra) – in Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory with brilliant State Academic Symphony Orchestra. No one will be eliminated from the Competition after Round II. All 15 participants will have a chance to perform with the orchestra in the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory. There will be no First, Second, Third of Forth prize. Every participant becomes a member of our team. We’ll have 5 laureates and 10 diplomants. And Grand Prix – a grand piano from Yamaha. 

So all 15 participants are winners already, because they’ll have a chance to show their art to the public all over the world. Medici.TV agreed to become a partner of our Competition and will broadcast all rounds online. So if you won’t be able to come to Moscow in May, you can see the Competition on Medici.TV web-site. 

Jury of the Competition will be announced soon, but I can assure you, that Jury’s level will be as professional and reputable as Tchaikovsky Competition Jury was in summer 2015.

We also start the Competition web-site soon, present Competition’s General Rules and announce preliminary round. 

Thank you all for your support!

Wait for the updates!

Read more... Tags:

Les délices et délires de l’excès

Denis Matsuev est un pianiste sans équivalent sur la planète et, même, avec peu d’équivalents dans l’histoire du piano. Il combine une facilité technique qui défie l’entendement, un vrai sens du son et, cerise sur le gâteau, une âme — cette âme russe que l’on ne peut définir sans la caricaturer, mais qui combine générosité, démonstrativité et débordements.

Matsuev, c’est l’artiste sans limites et quand cela fait « splash », on s’en moque parce qu’il est comme ça ; il ne joue pas un rôle. J’ai déjà écrit que je n’avais connu qu’un seul artiste comparable : Evgueni Svetlanov. Svetlanov était le chef de l’inouï, Matsuev est le pianiste de l’invraisemblable.

Read more... Tags:

Life (and what life) and Transfigurations

Splitting the atom and turning water into wine is doable by any mortal. Perhaps only a Denis Matsuev, though can transform Tchaikovsky’s twelve salon pieces into a thundering passionate 40-minute symphonic sonata. 

It took 120 years Carnegie Hall to present the full Seasons, back in 1991, and that was logical . The dozen pieces were written month by month by Tchaikovsky, and no “real’ pianist gives them more than a second look, save for an excerpt as an encore.

Denis Matsuev, though, is not a “real” pianist. His virtuosity and energy are superhuman, his passion is as ardent as his digital proficiency. That is evident from the very first notes, and not worth discussing at this point. After all, he could tackle any of the pieces from the Tchaikovsky work with little worry. Though for the records, despite their parlor/salon expanse, Tchaikovsky didn’t stint on challenges. He had just finished his First Piano Concerto. And while he liked the money offered him for The Seasons, he didn’t want them to be played by amateurs.

Read more... Tags:

Denis Matsuev to give his 10th solo recital at Carnegie Hall

Russian virtuoso pianist Denis Matsuev will give on Wednesday his jubilee tenth solo recital at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He disclosed the details of the upcoming concert in an interview with TASS. "For me the American tours have been one of my favorite performances over the past 15 years, especially on such a significant stage as Carnegie Hall," Matsuev said. "Today’s performance is special. This is my tenth solo recital on this stage. In all, I’ve performed at Carnegie Hall more than 20 times, including my concerts with orchestras." According to Matsuev, every performance in this musical theater is a special honor for him. "It was opened in 1891 with a concert of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of [Pyotr] Tchaikovsky. [Sergey] Rachmaninoff and [Igor] Stravinsky also performed there," he said. "Carnegie Hall has its own special aura, special atmosphere.

Every time the musician draws up a new program for Carnegie Hall audiences never repeating himself. At this concert he will perform Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons, Robert Schumann’s Kreisleriana and three fragments from Stravinsky’s Petrushka ballet. A Carnegie Hall spokesman told TASS that it was a great honor for the American audiences to welcome Matsuev to New York city, so the leadership of this well-known musical theater often asks the pianist to perform there. Carnegie Hall wrote on its website, "Since his triumph in 1998 at the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition, Denis Matsuev has become a virtuoso in the grandest Russian tradition of pianism and has quickly established himself as one of the most prominent pianists of his generation."



Sonorous Monuments: A Recital by Denis Matsuev

A substantial portion of the Russian musical community attended the spectacular piano recital by Denis Matsuev at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, Sunday, January 24, given under the auspices of The Cherry Orchard Foundation. Mr. Matsuev (b. 1975), winner of the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, 1998, offered three works on his original program, of alternately salon and virtuosic character: Tchaikovsky’s 1876 suite “The Months” (also known as “The Seasons”); Schumann’s suite after E.T.A. Hoffmann, Kreisleriana, Op. 16; and Stravinsky’s arrangement (for Artur Rubinstein) of Three Scenes from the 1911 ballet Petrouchka. 

Read more... Tags:

UCLA’s Royce Hall Welcomes Back Acclaimed Piano Virtuoso, Denis Matsuev

Enjoy a Night of Live Classical Piano Music Featuring Denis Matsuev

Experience a musical performance like no other when The Cherry Orchard Festival presents acclaimed piano virtuoso Denis Matsuev performing at two special West Coast engagements at UCLA’s Royce Hall on Friday, Jan. 22 and San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre on Sunday, Jan. 24. 

Matsuev’s piano recital will feature famous works including Tchaikovsky’s Seasons, Schumann’s Kreisleriana, and Stravinsky’s Petrouchka.

Matsuev has prospered as one of the most sought-after pianists of his generation, earning widespread praise from fans and critics alike after winning gold at the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1998.

Matsuev has prospered as one of the most sought-after pianists of his generation, earning widespread praise from fans and critics alike after winning gold at the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1998. This performance will be Matsuev’s second appearance at Royce Hall, the first was in front of a sold-out crowd in 2012.

Matsuev’s enthusiastic and passionate approach has garnered special acknowledgement from numerous respected critics: The New York Times named him, “the successor to Russian keyboard lions like Evgeny Kissin, Arcadi Volodos, and Vladimir Horowitz.” The Washington Post calls him, “an absolute powerhouse of a pianist capable of vanquishing the most technically demanding music in the repertory.” His brilliant and unique talent is evident throughout his performance.

Matsuev tours internationally, appearing before the likes of the Queen of England, the Pope and former President Bill Clinton, and has played with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony. Matsuev also had the honor of performing at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The Cherry Orchard Festival, a production of the Cherry Orchard Festival Foundation, is an organization that promotes artistic activity and the exchange of views and ideas while aiming to enlighten, reveal and engage audiences through educational programs and events. The Cherry Orchard Festival’s vision is to create an ongoing connection between American audiences and international artists, thus promoting greater cultural understanding and encouraging family participation in the arts. Since the foundation held their first International Arts Festival in New York City in 2013, the festival has expanded to Boston and Washington, D.C.

The event will be held on Friday, Jan. 22, at Royce Hall at 8 p.m. You can purchase tickets at or through the UCLA Central Ticket Office: 310.825.2101.

These not-to-miss recitals will be held on Friday, Jan. 22, at Royce Hall at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. at Herbst Theatre.

Event: Denis Matsuev Piano Recital at Royce Hall (Los Angeles)

Date: Friday, Jan. 22

Time: 8 p.m. 

Cost: $55-$95 Orchestra Seating and $55-$85 Balcony Seating


 Event: Denis Matsuev Piano Recital at Herbst Theatre (San Francisco)

Date: Sunday, Jan. 24

Time: 7 p.m.

Cost: $95-$105 for orchestra seating, $55-$65 for balcony seating


Randa Akeel


Review on Matsuev's Concert in the International Music Festival of Canary Islands

Con un auditorio casi lleno (¿cuándo podremos prescindir del "casi" en conciertos como este?) subieron a escena los filarmónicos londinenses y dió comienzo el Concierto para piano núm. 3, de Rachmaninov. En el podio, el director colombiano Andrés Orozco-Estrada, que ya visitó Las Palmas hace un par de años para dirigir la Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, dejando muy buen sabor de boca a la afición local. 

Read more... Tags: