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.


Xth "Stars on Baikal" Festival

The time of my favorite festival “Stars on Baikal” is approaching. It is about my native town, about Baikal and place, that you will love the moment you visit it.

“Stars on Baikal” for me and my guests is a unique event: outstanding concerts are held in a unique atmosphere. And everyone who was there can prove my words.

Every of nine last festivals for sure gave a lot of tremendous impressions, musical knowledge and acquaintances with famous musicians to our Irkutsk audience. We remember legendary concerts of past in our Irkutsk Philharmony, but later they seized to exist and with the help of “Stars on Baikal” we try to revive this tradition. And I believe we’ve managed to turn it to region’s most famous musical brand.

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Review on the Concert at La Roque-d’Anthéron Festival

Le plus jeune a ouvert les feux avec le 1er Concerto pour piano de Tchaïkovski. L’insolence de sa virtuosité s’appuie sur la joie d’être au monde et le plaisir du jeu. Un bonheur physique et combatif. Denis Matsuev attaque le clavier à plein corps, ses doigts ronds plantés dans les touches. A quarante ans, il conserve ce tempérament d’enfant bagarreur qui le propulse allègrement au sommet des partitions les plus ardues. Il fallait bien cette force joviale et une diabolique improvisation jazz en bis pour calmer l’agacement d’une partie du public, après une demi-heure de retard due au plan Vigipirate. Et pour contrer la vigueur des cigales que la canicule a stimulées pendant toute la durée du concert…

Son Tchaïkovski charnel, puissant, lyrique et virtuose perd tout maniérisme dans une interprétation qui soulève des tempêtes. Mais la fluidité des notes transforme chaque déferlement en embruns scintillants. Matsuev survole la vélocité et libère des énergies telluriques sur une tranquillité désarmante. Plus athlète que poète, jusque dans les nuances les plus douces, il installe l’œuvre dans un combat contre les éléments. Dont il sort vainqueur sans la moindre peine.

Le Temps


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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