Denis Matsuev

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“The Independent” named the CD “Matsuev. Liszt” album of the week

“This impressive double CD of Liszt concertos, plus his Orpheus and Heroide, is an all-Russian effort. Matsuev’s pianism has heroic force and highly calibrated control; Pletnev, who is a magnificent pianist in his own right, shows off the excellence of his orchestra he founded an 1990” – wrote the newspaper.


Broadcast from London concert

February, 21, at 19 30 (London time) BBC 3 radio will be broadcasting from Barbican Hall. Denis Matsuev and the London Symphony Orchestra headed by Valery Gergiev will perform Tchaikovsky, Overture 'Romeo and Juliet', Prokofiev: Piano Concerto no.3 and Shostakovich, Symphony no.5.

Denis Matsuev played Rachmaninov at the Astrakhan opera and ballet theatre

The Tchaikovsky symphony orchestra headed by Vladimir Fedoseev performed for the first time in Astrakhan. The concert was held at the new Astrakhan opera and ballet theatre, whose long-expected opening took place last year. Denis Matsuev was the first musician to touch the new piano given to the theatre as a sponsor gift. That evening Denis played Pachmaninov, Piano concerto no.2. The video coverage is available on the “1st channel” official site.


Denis Matsuev’s II International music festival in Perm is over

Denis regularly comes to play in Perm, but the event of such a scale happened in the Perm Philharmonic for the second time only. During the festival Denis appeared in diverse roles: he gave a recital, played together with orchestra and took part in a chamber music concert.

February, 9, the festival started with a concert in which Denis Matsuev and the State Symphony Orchestra “New Russia” headed by the Honourary Artist of Russia Alexandr Sladkovsky performed Rachmaninov, Piano concerto no.3. Denis played this concerto in Perm for the first time. He says that Rachmaninov’s concerto no.3 is a true work of genius and an indicator of the shape a pianist is in.

The next day, February, 10, Denis gave a recital which consisted of Schubert, Sonata a minor, op. 143, Beethoven, Sonata #23 “Appassionata”, Grieg, Sonata e minor and Stravinsky, Three movements from “Petrouchka”. This programme was previously unfamiliar to the Russian audience, but it was the exact programme of Denis’ USA tour in January 2012, including his recital in Carnegie Hall.

February, 11, the young musicians of Perm, the grant holders of the “New names” foundation gave a charity concert in the Philharmonic. The activities of the foundation headed by Denis Matsuev are aimed at finding and supporting young gifted musicians from all around Russia. Some time ago Denis was in the “New names” care himself. Now under his guidance the teachers from Moscow hold auditions of the talented children from Russian regions and name the new grant holders. The new “sparkles” (Denis does not like the word “stars” – he thinks it grates upon the ears) receive the material support like music instruments as well as the educational: a chance to go to the creative school in Suzdal, an invitation to Moscow.

February, 12, there was a chamber music concert with Denis Matsuev, in which also took part Sergey Krylov, violin (Italy), Boris Brovtsyn, violin (UK), Julia Deyneka, viola (Germany) and Alexandr Buzlov, cello (Russia). The programme of the concert consisted of Rachmaninov, Elegiac trio no.1 g minor, Shostakovich, Trio no.2 and Bartok, Quartet for piano and strings. This concert acknowledged the international importance of the festival, because it gathered on the stage world famous musicians who came to Russia especially for the event.

Denis believes that the Perm audience is very receptive and sensitive, but also fastidious. The musician is planning to come back to Perm many times: next year will see his jazz concert in Perm. And the prepartions for the music festival in 2013 have already started.

You can watch the piece of news from the “Rifey Perm” TV channel here.


Denis Matsuev's festival in Perm

Denis Matsuev's II International Music Festival in Perm has begun. From February, 9 till February, 12 in Perm and Berezniki there are concerts, showcases, selection of the new grandholders for the "New names" foundation. You can watch the video by "Culture" TV channel here.

The American tour is over

Denis Matsuev’s solo American tour, which lasted from January, 22 till January, 27 is over. The musician tours the USA every year, which is a privilege only of the most asked-for musicians. Matsuev performs in the best concert halls of the country, invariably with a sold-out. Both the admirers and the professional music community are looking forward to his arrival.

Anticipating the Hill Auditorium recital in Ann Arbor on January, 23 the local press described Matsuev’s playing as “jaw dropping” and his technique as “titanic”. Their expectations were fully met: “The concert showcased an artist who can put the depth and plushness of his sound to as good use in crystalline, intimate moments as in bravura ones” – such was the praise of the critics.  “Los Angeles Times” after the concert in Royce Hall expressed its opinion in set terms, calling Matsuev “a virtuoso in the tradition of Gilels, Richter and Horowitz”.

The programme of the tour consisted of Schubert, Sonata a minor, op. 143, Beethoven, Sonata #23, Appassionata, Grieg, Sonata e minor and Stravinsky, Three movements from “Petrouchka”. In the encores the musician played jazz for a change.

The finale of the tour was the recital in Carnegie Hall – the hall to perform in which is the dream of probably every pianist. The photos from Carnegie Hall will appear on this site soon.


Denis Matsuev plays at the Jubilee of the Moscow Philharmonic Society

January, 30 Denis Matsuev takes part in the Jubilee Concert dated to the 90th anniversary of the Moscow Philharmonic Society. The following musicians will also appear on the stage of Tchaikovsky Concert Hall this evening: Yuri Bashmet (viola), Vadim Repin (violin), Alexander Knyazev (cello), Alena Baeva (violin), Alexander Buzlov (cello) and Grigory Kovalevsky (contrabass). The programme will consist of Shostakovich, Piano Trio No. 2,Op.67 and Schubert, “Trout” quintet.

On the Moscow Philharmonic official site you can watch a video with Denis Matsuev congratulating the Philharmonic.


Review: Rachmaninov and Nielsen with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

Once Langeland had finished playing, the concert proper began. On the programme was Rachmaninoff’s third piano concerto and Nielsen’s fourth symphony. The soloist for the Rachmaninov concerto was the Russian pianist Denis Matsuev. This performance also marked his debut with the orchestra. His account of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto no. 3 was truly ravishing. His playing was crystal clear, even during Rachmaninov’s most virtuosic writing, his phrasing natural, and he never slid into the kind of sentimental, overly romantic interpretation that can easily almost ruin a piece like this concerto. Matsuev also played the longer, more difficult, original first-movement cadenza. His use of pedal, however, was a tad too liberal and often managed to blur out some of the virtuosic passages. 

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Review Pittsbough Post Gazette: PSO's perfection

At Heinz Hall recently, we saw the PSO's "A Night on Bald Mountain," Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7. Stunning. Explosive. Brilliant. Never heard the PSO play better or as one instrument. It was as if I was listening to "A Night On Bald Mountain" for the first time.

Russian pianist Denis Matsuev was grandly lyrical with unbelievable chops in the Rach 2 Piano Concerto. And when Mr. Matsuev encored with an Oscar Peterson-like brilliance on the Juan Tizol jazz standard, "Caravan," the packed house roared and the sitting orchestra members, stunned, responded in kind.

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OSM review: Virtuoso duet from Denis Matsuev, Mikhail Pletnev

MONTREAL - My Moscow relatives were jealous when I told them I would hear Denis Matsuev play Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto at the Maison symphonique Thursday, and these are not easy people to impress. I had one cousin train an elephant to walk a tightrope between two balconies at a party — a three-ton beast, bejazzled in every way, who loped across with a triumphant teenager on top — and nobody noticed.

Turns out they were right to be jealous, but first there was the matter of The Seasons, the ballet by Glazunov — the same Glazunov who allegedly ruined the première of Rachmaninoff’s first symphony by conducting it drunk. Not a Russian tradition, in this case — it’s just what I think of whenever these two share a concert program.

Glazunov was a wunderkind, like Rachmaninoff, but from St. Petersburg instead of Moscow. He even managed to ride out the revolution, which comes to mind because there is something shrewd about his music, even with Mikhail Pletnev leading the OSM. It was a vivid performance and its more brilliant parts, like the Autumn Bacchanal, made me glad there weren’t dancers trying to keep up with Pletnev. He conducts like a man launching a yacht in a tuxedo, careful-don’t-get-mud-on-it movements bursting into Christ-I’ll-do-it-myself. But most of the suite just ran prettily past. No matter how finely the material is worked, it’s still not gold.

Expectations were high when Matsuev arrived. At 38, he looks like a big, rosy-cheeked Siberian boy, but he moves like a gallant; he could have entered in a litter. Pletnev and he passed for two men ignoring each other while performing a virtuoso duet; the opening theme’s octaves glided into the orchestral line as if they were played by one hand, and the first cadenza (the piano solo) was volcanic, a freakish release that cast Matsuev’s elegant composure into self-conscious relief. The finale was sublime, but the best was their wondrous Intermezzo, as balanced as a watch spring and as full of discoveries as the ocean in the dead of night.

This much beauty was almost a knockout after Glazunov’s pretty slapping, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the massive audience from giving the champion six trips to the door before he realized an encore was necessary. So he played two.

Lev Bratishenko

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Famous American Pianist Van Cliburn Died

He personified a whole epoch of piano art, winning the Tchaikovsky competition in 1958. The victory was a truly landmark event – an American pianist won the first contest of P. I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Soviet Moscow. It really was a breakthrough in all respects, including politics, but politics in this case were relegated to second place because his playing was just so brilliant.

It is important that Van Cliburn was a follower of the Russian piano school. He graduated from the famous Julliard teacher Rosina Lhévinne, herself a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory. He subsequently was awarded the diploma of the Moscow Conservatory and it’s certainly a sign of recognition, because Russian pianist school is felt in his playing: the art of singing at the piano and an absolutely amazing romantic style of execution that captivated audiences in the Soviet Union. All were in love, and the love was mutual. He adored the Soviet Union, Russia, the Russian audience. He was absolutely out of politics, has always been at the forefront of his art.

Very hard to speak in the past tense about such person. I remember my personal impressions from meeting him, we compared the purely visual aspects of winning the Tchaikovsky competition. This was an infinitely touching, sensitive, kind and helpful person who dedicated his entire life to the service of art and proved by his example that talent has no nationality, that there are artists all around the world. Such a bereavement. A true legend. Legends such as he, you can count them on one hand. Eternal memory …


Symphony superb in performances of classics

Pittsburgh Symphony music director Manfred Honeck returned Friday night to a packed house at Heinz Hall, where he conducted a blockbuster program of great and popular music. 

Honeck, who has been busy making his debuts with the New York and Berlin Philharmonics in 2013, began with an interpretation of Modest Mussorgsky's “Night on Bald Mountain” that would test any orchestra.


The performance played to extremes of all kinds, including a tempo for the main section of the piece that was so fast it was reminiscent of Soviet conductor Yevgeny Mravsinky in other repertoire. 

Although the tempo was anything but out of place for frenzied debauchery, only a great orchestra could make it work. 

No doubt Honeck pushed the limit, but the orchestra rose to the occasion in many ways — and not with only stunning articulation, dynamic contrasts and impressively concentrated brass sonorities. 

The end of the piece, ushered in by morning's bell, was quite slow and featured beautiful wind solos by Michael Rusinek and Lorna McGhee. Her flute tone was instantly captivating in a special way and her phrasing included nice individuality. 

Russian pianist Denis Matsuev followed with an astonishing performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2. This is music written for a pianist with big sound and stunning virtuosity, and has been played by countless great pianists. Even so, Matsuev's power and velocity were jaw dropping. 

Matsuev enjoys being the soloist, and if he sometimes overplayed and covered melodies he's actually accompanying, it must be admitted at other time he brought out inner ornamentation against the orchestra that is usually overlooked and provided freshness. 

After intermission Honeck brought back Ludwig van Beeethoven's Symphony No. 7, a piece for which he has a particularly superb interpretation. 

Honeck conducted this piece at his New York Philharmonic debut in early January. The interpretation he led Friday night was in most respects very similar to the one he led here in 2009. The energy and rhythmic focus carries all before it. His tempo relationships are excellent.


Yet there were new elements, most significantly more sustained and warmer string playing at the start of the second movement — which only served to deepen the expression without in any way losing the dignity of the feeling. 

By Mark Kanny

Published: Saturday, February 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Updated 10 hours ago

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Today I start my world concert tour!

Now I'm in Israel already, in the anticipation of a new performance with the genius world known conductor Kurt Masur and the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. We will perform Piano concerto No.1 of J. Brahms. Eighteen months ago we were performing a concert of Prokofiev in Paris and right after the concert he personally asked me to learn Piano concerto No.1 of J. Brahms. During the last year I have performed it very often in many cities. For today it is one of my favorite concerts. I am looking forward to our performances in Israel. Performance of Piano concerto No.1 of J. Brahms with Kurt Masur, an expert in German music, one of the greatest conductors of our time, of course, is a significant event for me.

After a tour in Israel, I move to the American continent, where I will give concerts with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Manfred Honeck. We will perform Rachmaninoff's Piano concerto No. 2.

Then it will be Montreal - performing with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Mikhail Pletnev Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No.3.

Then I fly back to Rome, where we will perform Tchaikovsky’s Piano concerto No. 1 with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra and maestro Yuri Temirkanov.

Wait for more news from the tour!

Сongratulations on the anniversary, Rodion Konstantinovich!

I would like to congratulate one of the greatest composers of our time on his anniversary. A composer with unique, original style of composing. I was lucky enough to know him for the last ten years. I performed his Piano concerto №5 and recorded it twice, once with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra with Mariss Jansons and the second time not long ago with Valery Gergiev. These records have a great success all over the world, like all his work, that, in my opinion, because of his genius. They are simply destined for success. My Congratulations to Rodion Konstantinovich and his muse, Maya Plisetskaya. This is a unique couple that proves that so talented, ambitious persons, like Rodion Konstantinovich and Maya Michailovna, can live happily together in one family.

Upon the request of Rodion Konstantinovich I gladly began rehearsing his Piano concerto № 2, which will be presented to the public on December 22nd in St. Petersburg, and on December 25th in Moscow. He had a feeling that this concert, devoted to Maya Plisetskaya, perfect fit for my style of performing. At the moment I am rehearsing the concert. I must say that rehearsals, when Shchedrin in a concert hall, or concerts, when he is in the auditorium, are very special rehearsals and concerts. And I have a very special feeling during performance, when the composer is in the hall. I wish him good health and prosperity for many years to come, I wish him energy to go along in the same vein, the same pace, in the same rhythm. I admire him and I am looking forward to these concerts.