Denis Matsuev

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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.


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.



Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra Open the Symphonic Masters Series at Lincoln Center

The second Brahms program by Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra was at once more challenging and more satisfying. The choice of repertoire was less popularly appealing, more demanding, and much darker in palette. The choice of soloist — Russian pianist Denis Matsuev — in the titanic first piano concerto was much more felicitous, insofar as there was a greater sense of coherence and unity of interpretation between solo and orchestra than had been the case with the violin concerto.

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DENIS MATSUEV/MARIINSKY ORCHESTRA. Shostakovich Piano Concertos (Mariinsky)

Here is 20th-century Russian music at its most charismatic. The two piano concertos of Shostakovich contrast the expansive grin of a 27-year-old composer in the flush of his first fame with the jaded smile of a 51-year-old. Young Russian pianist Denis Matsuev is masterful at overcoming the works’ many technical demands. He lends the piano forward-moving power while giving his overall interpretation smoothly rounded corners. Conductor Valery Gergiev and his Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra are magnificent in achieving the same kind of balance, giving the music weight without ever making it ponderous. The slow movements in both concertos are magical as they waft gently by.

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Thumbs up for Denis Matsuev's all-Russian concert at Koerner Hall

His build is blocky like the hockey defense-man he once was, but Denis Matsuev’s fingers can touch piano keys lightly as butterflies landing on begonias. The mood of his solo recital opened blissfully, like the January night by the fireplace described in Puskin’s poem “By the Hearth” which inspired the first of the twelve monthly miniatures Tchaikovsky published as The Seasons, Op. 37b. These are lyrical works that sing in folk and popular dance idioms of love and nostalgia for times gone by. Languid and energetic by turns, the disarming simplicity of these pieces reveal the underpinnings of Matsuev’s virtuosity: his fine control of tempo and dynamics, his subtle rubato, and the magical display of orchestral colours he can conjure from the simple chords and melodies of Tchaikovsky’s score. These abilities, and Matsuev’s sure sense of narrative, make this rather long, shallow, technically unambitious work entertaining enough to occupy the entire first half of his recital.

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Concert review: Denis Matsuev a pianist for all seasons — and reasons.

The most dazzling thing about the dazzling recital Russian pianist Denis Matsuev gave at Koerner Hall on Sunday evening was how he managed to be an artist for every sort of audience member.

Lovers of pianistic fireworks were given one of the most spectacular displays of technical prowess mixed with brilliant playing we’ve seen since, well, the last time Matsuev was in town a couple of seasons ago. And he didn’t appear to even break a sweat in the process.

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This morning in Oslo turns out to be very unfortunate. All troubles during our attempts with Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra at first, and then the Orchestra of Mariinsky Theatre, to escape from Hurricane Sandy are nothing in comparison with the news that came just an hour ago.

This night Alexander Borisovich Rachmaninoff, the grandson of the composer, passed away and it is especially discouraging, because it happened so suddenly. This news is like a punch in the stomach.

A man who devoted his life to preserve the creative heritage of the great grandfather.

A man, Russian, body and soul, who could not live without Russian nature, Russian language, culture and music of his genius grandfather.

Energetic, athletic, full of life person. He was not yet 80 years old, next year we would be celebrating his birthday.

Alexander Borisovich was a very close friend of mine, who has played a very important role in my life. During the eight years of our acquaintance with him, we did a lot together, including the recording of unknown works by Rachmaninoff, the text of which he gave me, in Senar on the piano of Sergey Vasilievich.

The day after tomorrow he planned to come to the concert in Warsaw on "Rachmaninov Gala" - another our joint project.

Do not want to say any more, there are no words in those moments when it happens so suddenly.

Tsarstvie Nebesnoe!

Yesterday it was a very important day in every way

The Council meeting with the President and a concert with Valery Gergiev. Dinamic and eventful day. 

But the most important result of this day, and I am very, very glad to say so, is that I managed to convey to the President the problem of special music schools. I hope that in the near future it will be eliminated. As you probably know, starting next year, it was decided, though I do not know who the author of this madness, that children in special music schools will be studying according the standards for general education schools, that is, professional music training will start only at fifth grade and before that they will have to attend a mainstream secondary school. It means literally “to kill our outstanding performing and teaching Russian music school”. Yesterday, during a meeting with the President, we talked about the fact that these schools MUST be given a special status, they should not be treated as general education schools, they should not be forced to follow educational standards for general education schools, because outstanding children, who need to start learning from early childhood, are studying in these music schools. And I am very glad that this conversation yesterday with the President took place, and, thank God, it was decided that it should be immediately corrected. Fortunately, aftertaste of yesterday's very nice!

L. A. Times Music review: Denis Matsuev at The Hollywood Bowl

The evening's splashy soloist was Denis Matsuev in Prokofiev's splashy First Piano Concerto. Winner of the 1998 Tchaikovsky competition, Matsuev has been nicknamed "the Siberian bear." Slightly bear-like he may be, but one with the fastest paws in the Arctic and maybe anywhere else.

He's a Russian banger, perhaps, but with glittering cascades of sound that impart terrific sparkle. And that meant nonstop fireworks in an early score Prokofiev had written to show himself off. Urbanski found an excellent balance for the orchestra, allowing Matsuev his prominence, but offering exquisite accompanimental phrasing.

In an unusual, but smart, move, Matsuev then followed the relatively short concerto with a piano solo — two selections from Stravinsky's "Petrushka," setting off a whole new round of amazing percussive fireworks. Nor was there any stopping him. Matsuev returned for an encore, his own outrageously and irresistibly flashy arrangement of "Largo al Factotum" from Rossini's "Barber of Seville."

Use this link to see the article.