Denis Matsuev

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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.


Matsuev draws a rock-star response from his audience

«Denis Matsuev’s solo recital at Hill Auditorium…drew a rapturous rock-star response from old and newly minted fans of this 36-year-old Russian phenom steeped in the Russian tradition of pianism» - write American media about Matsuev’s concert in Ann Arbor. You can read the article by Susan Isaacs Nisbett here.

Meanwhile there is some other important news: the famous Estonian conductor, Grammy award winning Paavo Järvi accepted Denis Matsuev’s invitation  to take part in his personal series concerts. The tandem, not afraid of any experiments, plays Tchaikovsky, Piano concert No.2 – a difficult, antipianistic composition. You can watch the piece of news by the Russian “Culture” TV channel here.



Denis Matsuev’s solo USA tour

January, 22 Denis Matsuev started his solo American tour. The musician has already played in Benaroya Hall in Seattle, in Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor and in Royce Hall in Los Angeles. January, 27 the tour will be crowned with the final solo concert in Carnegie Hall.

During the tour Denis Matsuev performs the programme which consists of Schubert, Sonata A minor; Beethoven, Sonata No.23 “Appassionata”; Grieg, Sonata E minor and Stravinsky, Three movements from “Petrouchka”. It is not the most evident repertoire for a pianist, and the fact that Matsuev chose there compositions proves the originality of his creative thinking. “How he deploys his titanic pianistic technique and his musical sensibilities in works from Schubert through Stravinsky should make for an exceptional encounter” – writes the American press.

Denis Matsuev is one of the few musicians in the world who regularly present their solo concert programmes in the USA. His USA tours every time attract a most intent attention of the professional critics and the general public, and the geography of his concerts comprises the leading concert halls of the country. But the capstone of the tour will definitely be the recital in Carnegie Hall, Mecca of the American music culture. To perform in this Hall is a big event in every musician’s life, and Denis is having this honour for the fourth time already. The final concert in Carnegie Hall is a cause for pride not only for Denis Matsuev, but for the whole Russian pianist school.


Review on Denis Matsuev's Concert in London from The Guardian and The Artdesk

The Guardian

They also provided formidable support to the evening's soloist, Denis Matsuev, who delivered an exceptional account of Liszt's Piano Concerto No 2 in terms of power and brilliance. Technically commanding, he maintained beauty of tone whatever the force employed or the speed with which virtuoso passages were attacked. With Gergiev fully endorsing Matsuev's approach, this was a performance that married a barnstorming manner with real musical distinction.

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Denis Matsuev e il Mephisto Waltz di Liszt a Santa Cecilia, Roma

Ospite abituale dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, lo straordinario pianista russo Denis Matsuev torna a travolgere il romano con il suo ultimo concerto, nuovo appuntamento della stagione di musica da camera.

Ammiratissimo, prodigioso interprete di Rachmaninoff, Matsuev ha proposto la sua duplice vena artistica con un programma variegato, strizzando l’occhio da una parte al repertorio romantico e dall’altra al virtuosismo più sfrenato. Cuore del concerto è stato il celebre Mephisto Waltz di Liszt: 13 minuti di scoppiettante virtuosismo e di inquietante furore in cui il pianista ha concretizzato davanti agli occhi degli spettatori le figure di Mefistofele e Faust.

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Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2/Denis Matsuev, piano/Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev

I was anticipating a huge, monstrously bombastic performance of the First Concerto under the fingers of the powerful and technically phenomenal Matsuev, and he did not disappoint in that regard. 

Few pianists would seem to be more adept at the sometimes quite un-pianistic writing that the 34-year-old non-pianist Tchaikovsky would create, pouring his heart into the work only to have it shot down by the original dedicatee, the oft-times thuggish Nicolai Rubinstein, who called it “worthless and unplayable”. 

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Review: Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2/Denis Matsuev, piano/Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev

This Mariinsky CD includes Concertos 1 and 2. The Concerto No. 1, not too popular at the first performance, has become the benchmark for today’s virtuoso display. I recently heard it live with Bronfman and Dudamel in Los Angeles; it never loses its appeal. Matsuev manages much of Bronfman’s power, but under the critical ear of the microphone, his technique is flawless and Gergiev accompanies beautifully. Only one flat horn phrase in the 2nd Concerto suggests that the Mariinsky Orchestra is almost the completed project. As such, it fares better than some of the recent Shostakovich Symphonies — same conductor, recording company, and hall.

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Reviews on CD Prokofiev: Piano Concerto no. 3, Symphony no. 5 - Matsuev, Gergiev

Classics Today: Matsuev and Gergiev Offer Impressive Prokofiev

I have no criticisms whatsoever regarding the Third Piano Concerto. Denis Matsuev is dazzling wherever digital dexterity is required, which is everywhere, and it’s incredibly refreshing to hear a performance of the work at tempos under nine minutes for two out of the three movements–closer to the composer’s own version. Gergiev and Matsuev beautifully capture the brittle wit of the first movement’s second subject, with its dry castanets, and in the second movement the allegro giusto fifth variation is among the best you’ll hear. The finale also has both an unusual degree of excitement plus a welcome unity thanks to Matsuev’s refusal to let the music languish in the central lyrical interlude. It’s a tremendous performance, gripping from first note to last.

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Blog #23

This blog is about how we recorded the disc that is to be released in February 2014. This is our third work with Maestro Gergiev and the Mariinsky label. The two previous CDs with records enjoyed great success. The first record included Rachmaninoff's the Third Concerto and Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini. The second - two Shostakovich’s concertos and the Fifth concert of Shchedrin. And here we are with V. Gergiev decided to record these two concerts by P. I. Tchaikovsky. Along with the famous First Concerto you will enjoy less known, but not less beloved, the Second Concerto. Maestro Gergiev shares my opinion that this outstanding concert, undeservedly forgotten and unfortunately rarely performed, must become famous. Therefore we have decided to present these two concerts to the public in such a bundle. Immerse yourself in these moments the recording, that was made a year ago in the concert hall of the Mariinsky.

Director and camera - A. Matison, cameraman - V. Ivanov, sound - I.Muraviev, P. Nedel, design - A.Proshin


Blog #22

Please, forgive me for keeping silence these days: I was under the impression from what happened here. I am in Sochi from the day of the opening of the Olympic games. I am overwhelmed with emotions right now, and I want to talk about what I see here.

To begin with, the Opening Ceremony made a huge impression, because it was the case when everything turned out perfectly well: the Grand conception, outstanding director’s work and artistic vision and sound. Of course, the TV picture was different from what I've seen in the audience at the stadium Fisht, but I can say that of course, the Opening was 100% successful in all respects.

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Review by of a new disc "Tchaikovsky. Piano Concertos 1&2 - Matsuev, Gergiev (Mariinsky label)

The Russian pianist Denis Matsuev has already shown his dazzling virtuosity on record in works by Shostakovich, Shchedrin, Rachmaninov and others. On this new generously filled (78'32”) SACD from the Mariinsky label he performs both of Tchaikovsky's completed Piano Concertos accompanied by Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra.

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Today Two concerts of Denis Matsuev, artist of the month on

Tchaikovsky Monday 20 January 8:30pm      

Tchaikovsky : Piano Concerto no.  2 – Schubert : Impromptu no.  2 – Grieg : Peer Gynt (excerpts)

Denis Matsuev (piano), Orchestre de Paris, Paavo Järvi (conductor)

Recorded on 12 January 2011 at Salle Pleyel, Paris – Directed for TV by Olivier Simonnet – Duration : 55’

Prokofiev Monday 20 January 9:30pm      

Denis Matsuev (piano), Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Yuri Temirkanov (conductor)

Prokofiev : Piano Concerto no. 1 – Shchedrin : Humoreske – Wagner : Lohengrin (Prelude to Act I)

Ginzburg : Fantaisie on Il Barbiere di Siviglia  – Stravinsky : Petrouchka

Recorded at the Festival Annecy in 2012 – Directed for TV by Lionel Escama