Denis Matsuev

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Matsuev and the Maestro

Pianist Denis Matsuev will participate in Zubin Mehta’s 80th birthday concert.

Russian pianist Denis Matsuev is coming back to Israel. On April 11, he will participate in a special concert at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv in honor of Zubin Mehta’s 80th birthday, performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

He will also perform a solo program in Haifa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

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Russian virtuoso Denis Matsuev unveils new piano contest for kids

The 1st International Grand Piano Competition for children up to 16 years of age is to be held at the Moscow Conservatory from April 30 to May 5, 2015.

Young pianists will be able to apply on official site of the the competition, which will be broadcast online on Medici.TV, up to March 20, said Russian virtuoso and founder of the competition Denis Matsuev.

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Denis Matsuev and Tchaikovsky's Second Piano Concerto

Russian pianist Denis Matsuev won the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998.  As one of Russia's leading pianists, he can be heard in a recent recording of Tchaikovsky's First and Second piano concertos with the Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev conducting, surely a great combination.

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10th Anniversary of Crescendo festival

This year "Crescendo" celebrates its 10 years anniversary. This unique festival brings talented young musicians, who are at the beginning of their career, and eminent artists to different cities of Russia, France, Israel, USA. The list of cities changes every year, but there is only one that remains in each list every year - Pskov.

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Bachtrack review on Denis Matsuev and Yuri Temirkanov concert

Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto no. 3 in D minor is indeed the non plus ultra of the Romantic repertoire, famously difficult and never failing to impress. It begins unassumingly, however, with a theme in the piano likely of Russian monastic origin, to which Temirkanov’s batonless conducting provided a supple, keenly judged accompaniment. The piano writing gets very difficult very quickly, but under Matsuev’s big-boned playing, even the most severe challenges were brushed off with ease and aplomb. Projection was never an issue for him either, as he effortlessly overpowered the orchestra – there was really no contest.

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Excerpts from reviews of performances of Denis Matsuev in Chicago with Yuri Temirkanov, the Symphony Orchestra of the Baltimore and Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Chicago Tribune

No one denies that Matsuev commands as huge a technical arsenal as any pianist on the planet, or that he can vanquish Rachmaninov's most daunting keyboard writing with a nonchalant shrug. The crowd adored his virtuoso prowess…


Chicago Classical Review

Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 took up the first half of the evening—a rare occurrence since the beloved keyboard showpiece invariably winds up hard to top.

Matsuev’s technical arsenal is as complete as any pianist currently before the public yet the opening minutes of Thursday’s performance were so restrained as to seem almost offhand. Matsuev clearly sees the cadenza as the climax of the first movement–the “point” as Rachmaninoff called it–and his full-metal assault on the longer cadenza was explosive in its power and massive bravura.

The soloist brought stoic elegance to the main theme of the Intermezzo as well as a wry vivacity to the scherzando middle section. The solo burst that launches the finale was daunting in its fire and attack. Others have plumbed more light and shade in the concluding movement but Matsuev’s relentless buildup of momentum and sonority was undeniably thrilling, accelerating to a thunderous and virtuosic coda.

Matsuev earned one of the longest and most rousing ovations of the season with repeated curtain calls. Finally, he relented with an encore of Liadov’s A Musical Snuffbox, teasing out the music box delicacy with gentle charm and a deliciously halting rubato.


Baltimore Sun

The pianist, in an overdue visit 12 years after his last appearance with the BSO, made child's play of the score's ferocious technical demands and used the leftover energy to add welcome expressive nuance. There was an organic, inevitable quality to Matsuev's playing, which was warm-hearted without turning sentimental.


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Matsuev, il veemente sincero

L’Accademia di Santa Cecilia ospita nuovamente un recital del talentuosissimo russo Denis Matsuev. Non l’ascoltavamo dal marzo del 2014. Torna oggi proponendoci un programma simile all’ultimo. Figurano ancora Čajkovskij e Rachmaninov; ci ripropone, anche, il primo Mephisto-Walzer di Liszt, suo cavallo di battaglia. Unica incursione stricto sensu romantica è la Kreisleriana di Schumann. Una marea di bis concludono un’eccellente serata di musica, coi fuochi d’artificio, alla maniera di Matsuev.

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INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION IN MOSCOW

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!

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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.

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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.

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