Denis Matsuev

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Orenburg seasons by Denis Matsuev

March, 28, the Great Hall of the Orenburg Philharmonic sees the opening of the music festival “Orenburg seasons” by Denis Matsuev. The festival began with the presentation of the album “Matsuev. Liszt”: Denis Matsuev and the Tatarstan Symphony orchestra headed by Alexandr Sladkovsky performed Liszt, Piano concertos no.1 and no.2, and “Totentanz”.

The next day Denis Matsuev gives a recital in Orsk, playing on the stage of the “Metallurg” culture centre Shumann, “Kinderszennen”, Beethoven, Sonata F minor “Appassionata”, Grieg, “Poetic tone pictures” and Sonata E minor and Liszt, “Mephisto Waltz”. At the same time in the Orenburg Philharmonic the Tatarstan Symphony orchestra headed by Alexandr Sladkovsky, Alexandr Knyazev (cello) and Hibla Gerzmava (soprano) perform Tchaikovsky, Variations on a Rococo Theme, Shostakovich, Cello concerto no.1 and arias from the operas by Russian and foreign composers.

March, 30 the Moscow Chamber Choir headed by Vladimir Minin will be singing in the Philharmonic, and in the regional Museum of Visual Arts the “New Names” foundation events will take place: grants handing ceremony and a concert of gifted children of Orenburg region.

April, 1, Denis Matsuev, Arkady Shilkloper (French horn), Aydar Gaynullin (button accordion) and Dmitry Sevastianov (percussion) take part in the concert “Classics and jazz. Denis Matsuev and friends”. This concert marks the official closing of the festival.

April, 2, after the official closing, but still in terms of the festival, the Orenburg folk choir will be singing in the Philharmonic.


"Teuflisch virtuos"

Entspannt und ohne Pomp

Jukka-Pekka Saraste stellte den russischen Pianisten Denis Matsuev vor


Das jüngste Philharmoniekonzert des WDR Sinfonieorchesters soll­te den Titel „Dämonen“ tragen, passend zu Prokofjews 3. Sinfonie (1928). Doch war der Chefdirigent Jukka-Pekka Saraste vorüberge­hend erkrankt, hatte es an Proben­zeit fiir diese Rarität gefehlt.

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BBC Music Magazine assessed the latest CD by Denis Matsuev as a 5-star recording

The review by Callum McDonald says:

Denis Matsuev might be better known internationally as a Rachmaninov expert, but these new accounts of the two Shostakovich concertos must be among the best currently available. He is brilliant and mercurial in the fast movements of both works, creatively negotiating the First’s many changes of direction, tempo and style and bringing a sense of élan to the Second’s outer movements. He also gives the Second’s Rachmaninov-like central Andante due expressive weight and romantic feeling. In all this he is assisted by the superb playing that Valery Gergiev draws from the Mariinsky orchestra, and superb  SACD sound.

Rodion Shchedrin’s atmospheric Fifth concerto (1999) is less pithy, but the subdued poetry of its first two movements is haunted by past composers – most notably, Prokofiev. Its finale explodes into a capricious moto perpetuo, becoming a bravura toccata that leads to a kaleidoscopic finale. Matsuev’s stamina and technique pass the test with flying colours. Though the piece seems overlong, I was glad to hear it. This unfamiliar coupling offers added value for any collector of Russian music.


Denis Matsuev brings young pianists contest to Kazakhstan

March, 6 Denis played “Rhapsody of love” concert in Astana. The musician announced that a contest for the young pianists will be launched soon in Kazakhstan under his patronage. The contest is planned for the autumn 2012.

It was the 4th time that Denis has visited Kazakhstan in 2.5 years. He enjoyed playing with the Symphony orchestra of the Astana Philharmonic, especially given the fact that there are a lot of young musicians in the orchestra. The concert hall “Kazakhstan”, opened not so long ago, produced on Denis a most favourable impression: “Your hall has amazing acoustics that, in my opinion, will become better and better. A hall is a living being, it must get roots, it must live, it must breathe. A hall must live on music… I remember playing my first recital here, and now we have been rehearsing Rachmaninov’s concerto: the hall breathes in a completely new manner, the sound spreads in a totally new way, it has got more air”.


Norman Lebrecht thinks that Denis Matsuev has solved the puzzle of Shostakovich's concertos.

Norman Lebrecht, the famous music expert, critic and writer, the author of “Who killed classical music” bestseller, has listened to the latest Denis Matsuev’s release and named it “the CD of the week”. On this CD Denis and the Mariinsky orchestra headed by Valery Gergiev perform Shostakovich, Piano concerto no.1 and no.2 and also Shchedrin, Piano concerto no.5. Norman Lebrecht states in his review that Matsuev managed to come close to the solution of the Shostakovich’s concertos puzzle.

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Asian tour finishing triumphantly

March, 5, Denis Matsuev and the London Symphony Orchestra headed by Valery Gergiev will give the final concert of the triumphal Asian tour. During the tour that embraced Seoul, Beijing and Shanghai Denis Matsuev, one of the best Russian pianists, played Sergei Prokofiev, one of the most often performed Russian composers.

The concert in South Korea was especially meaningful because the London Symphony Orchestra visited the city for the first time in 6 years. The press noticed that Denis “enthralled the audience with a rendition of Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3”.

No less meaningful was the visit of Denis Matsuev and the London Symphony Orchestra headed by Valery Gergiev in Beijing and Shanghai. The critics state that there are more and more connoisseurs of classical music in the country. Performances of famous musicians are in growing demand, new concert halls are constantly being built throughout the country.

Denis’ concert geography in 2012 has been impressive: he has performed in New York and Los Angeles, in Irkutsk and Saint Petersburg, in Zurich and London, in Tokyo and Seoul and many other cities. Soon the musician will be heading to Kazakhstan and Germany and then he will devote the first half of April to Russia – Orenburg and Chelyabinsk.


"New Names" is a matter of honour"

The “New Names” foundation events took place in Voronezh for the 7th time already. Teachers from Moscow held an audition for 15 young musicians and named the new grant holders. Personal grants were given to Polina Makhina, Maria Arteeva, Alexey Kardash and Alexey Nemykin.

February, 24 a concert in terms of the “New Names” project took place in Voronezh Philharmonic. In the first part there were performances by the young talents who had just joined the “New Names” family: Ariana Mokhammad (flute, Lipetsk), Andrey Kapitsyn (trumpet, Gubkin), Roman Boldyrev (piano, Moscow), Valentin Mingalev (cello, Voronezh) and Alexey Nemykin (accordion, Voronezh). In the second part Denis Matsuev and the Voronezh Youth Symphony Orchestra headed by the Honoured Artist of Russia Yuri Androsov performed Tchaikovsky, Piano concerto no.1

Denis Matsuev says that Voronezh has long ago become a native town for him: “When I come here I always have a nostalgic feeling: I remember my first visit to this town. I played Tchaikovsky, Piano concerto no.1 with Vladimir Verbitsky. And musicologist Bronislav Tabachnikov, a man with a bright mind and an incredible sense of humour, predicted my victory at the Tchaikovsky competition when he introduced me as a future laureate. It happened a few months before the competition and I didn’t take it serious. But when I came back in a year he said we should have made a bet”.

You can watch the video from Voronezh here.


New videos from Amsterdam

February, 4, 2012, Denis Matsuev performed in Amsterdam. Director Joost Honselaar made a promo movie for this concert.

Denis Matsuev plays an encore: "Musical snuffbox" by Lyadov. February, 4, 2012, Amsterdam, Concertgebouw.


Blog # 71. Start of the International Tour with Chamber Orchestra "Vienna-Berlin"

Our story with a unique orchestra – Chamber Orchestra “Vienna-Berlin” begins today. We start our grand international tour around Europe in a famous Musikverein. And I am pleased, that we managed to expand the geography of this tour to Russia. To my mind this is a very important and significant event in our cultural life. There are 4 concerts planned in Russia: 18th of May in the Great Hall of Conservatory in Moscow (within my original series), 19th of May in the Great Hall of Philharmonic Society in St. Petersburg, 21st of May – in Ekaterinburg, 22nd of May – in Kazan. And on 24th of May we will perform in Astana (Kazakhstan) the same program.

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Announcement of the Concert on 7th of May in Tchaikovsky Concert Hall

On the birthday of P.I.Tchaikovsky 7th of May at 13:00 (Moscow time) in Tchaikovsky Concert Hall Denis Matsuev and Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra under baton of Valery Gergiev perform three piano concertos of P.I.Tchaikovsky.

“It’s a great honour to perform three concerts of P.I.Tchaikovsky on his birthday. And an indescribable feeling for me because I have such an opportunity, - Denis Matsuev says, - It is my strong conviction that all his three piano concertos are jewels of equal value, not only his First Concert, as many believe.

Undoubtedly, First Concert is the most popular all over the world: even those, who have never been to a concert hall for classical music, know it. But nevertheless Second and Third concerts to my mind are not less brilliant and great pieces. We’ve just performed these three concerts in St. Petersburg in the Concert Hall of Mariinsky Theatre. We performed Second Concert a lot of times all over the world, but we performed Third Concert for the first time.

It’s a wonderful and very moving music. Despite the fact that it was written in the year of composer death, almost in a period when he was writing his Sixth Symphony, there is not a single sign of tragedy in it. And it has an original Tchaikovsky orchestration, his fantastic melancholic, ardent, lyrical melodies, arduous cadenzas for piano, including the biggest one that can be compared to the cadenza in Second Concert of Tchaikovsky and Third Concert of Rachmaninoff.

But when I play them in a row, notwithstanding their technical difficulties, I am in my element. Maestro Gergiev and I decided to present a cycle of concerts with this program in many capitals of the world in the near future”.

Live broadcast can be watched 7 of May at 13:00 (Moscow time) on three Internet channels –,, TV Channel Kultura will broadcast the First piano concerto live, too (16:15 Moscow time). You can also watch free of charge this performance in Virtual Concert Hall all over Russia (there are more than 40 cities participating in this project). Stay tuned for the most convenient channel for you!!/valery-gergiev-denis-matsuev-tchaikovsky-concert-hall-anniversary-concert

Blog #70. Astana Piano Passion Finale

Bravo, Astana! Bravo the unique team, that organized with great enthusiasm the Competition this year. I’d like to thank Imangali Tasmagambetov for this idea and for his constant support for Astana Piano Passion. This Competition turns out to be a musical fairy tale for unique Kazakh hospitality, kindness and heartfulness. There are no more places in the world with such a wonderful atmosphere, healthy approach to competition and a good attitude. These facts affect people all over the world: unbelievable quantity of viewing on official web-site justifies it. 

The Competition is over, yesterday I was performing three concerts of P. I. Tchaikovsky in a row with maestro Gergiev in St. Petersburg , but emotions, evoked by Astana Piano Passion, still overwhelm me. We have a new “team”, new members of our big united family, and it’s priceless. I am looking forward to the forth Competition. We invite everybody to Astana in 2017.