Denis Matsuev

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Classical Review: IPO No Mere Substitute

Except for regretting Kurt Masur’s unfortunate accident that prevented him from conducting the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert last week, there was no reason for disappointment with Doron Salomon as substitute.

Russian pianist Denis Matsuev’s performance of Brahns’ Piano Concerto No. 1 was electrifying. He is a veritable bombshell of temperament, radiating passion, intensity of expression, and excitement. Powerfully convincing though his outbursts are, there is nothing exaggerated or showy about them. Not even the slightest fleeting detail is neglected, tempi are subtly flexible with no trace of rigidity, climactic highlights are significantly accentuated, nuances of dynamics are abundant, and technically demanding runs are meticulously polished.

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ICMA nomination

Shostakovich Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2 and Shchedrin Piano Concerto No 5 has been nominated for an International Classical Music Award (ICMA) in the Concerto category. The Award Ceremony and Gala concert will take place in Milan, 18 March 2013.

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The composition of the Culture and Arts Presidential Council was approved

Today the decree of the President of Russia V. Putin about the composition  

of the Culture and Arts Presidential Council was published.

58 cultural figures form it. The presidium consists of 15 members. Among them the adviser to the President Vladimir Tolstoy, the director of cinema concern "Mosfilm" Karen Shakhnazarov, the Hermitage Museum director Mikhail Piotrovsky, the president of the Moscow Performing Arts Centre Vladimir Spivakov.

Among members of the Council are the Director of the Maryinsky Theater in St. Petersburg Valery Gergiev, the president of the Union of Theatrical Figures of Russia Alexander Kalyagin, the artistic director of the Moscow Art Theatre Oleg Tabakov, the conductor Yury Bashmet, the editor-in-chief of "Kultura" TV-channel Sergey Shumakov and the pianist Denis Matsuev.

And traditionally all those members form the Board of trustees of "Kultura" TV-channel.


"Echo of Crescendo" in Kuzbass

Music festival “Echo of Crescendo in Kuzbass” is going on in the region of Kemerovo. During 3 days young Russian musicians accompanied by the Governor’s Symphony Orchestra of Kuzbass headed by Tao Lin perform world classics. Denis Matsuev played Prokofiev, piano concerto no.1. Follow the links to watch the videos by the “Culture” and “Vesti-Kuzbass” channels.

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On My American Tour

I’ve just completed my long awaited American tour. These concerts were postponed, because in January I fell ill with pneumonia. For me it is, of course, was a shock, because I was forced to reschedule concerts for the first time in my life. I love concert halls both in Washington and in New York, I love American public. And I was absolutely frustrated also because I knew that all tickets were sold out, I knew that people were waiting for these concerts.

I would like to linger round the solo concert at the legendary Carnegie Hall. When people say "legendary halls", this is just about the Carnegie Hall, it was opened by P.I. Tchaikovsky. And Rachmaninoff has performed more than a hundred concerts on this scene. Carnegie Hall is a landmark place for any musician, and, of course, every appearance on this stage is a huge responsibility and a unique pleasure. My debut album was a recording of a concert from Carnegie Hall. I have over two dozen performances here, and each time I feel awe.

This year my friend, Executive and artistic Director of Carnegie Hall, Sir Clive Gillinson invited me to take part in the three concerts of a series "Carnegie Hall presents". This concert was part of a series "Keyboard Virtuosos", in which I found myself in the company of wonderful musicians performing at Carnegie Hall during this musical season. I thought over the program for this concert really thoroughly, as I was aware of all the responsibility to the American public, which I love and good attitude of which I cherish. The atmosphere at the concert itself was fascinating; I was got a lot of positive energy and emotions from the audience.

As it happens all the time after the concerts in Carnegie Hall, I got a lot of enemies. Tickets for the concert were sold out, so not all comers were lucky to get them. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do about it. In Russia, knowing how it is important for many people to come to classic music concerts, I always manage to solve the problem with tickets somehow (to get tickets to the gallery or just put the chairs on the stage that happens more and more often recently). Unfortunately, it is impossible variant for Carnegie Hall, because of the traditions and original peculiarities of the hall. Therefore, those who has not got to the concert this time, I solemnly promise to inform you about the dates of future concerts in Carnegie Hall, which will take place in January 2015, where you all are invited.

Once again I would like to thank the administration of Carnegie Hall and New York public for the incredible emotions and warm welcome!

I convey my greetings to all, I am now in Luxembourg, tomorrow - Paris, the day after tomorrow I'll be in St. Petersburg with Valery Gergiev at his festival, so this wonderful madness continues.

Concert Over Controversy

To get the geopolitical controversy out of the way first: Acclaimed Russian pianist Denis Matsuev says he does not regret signing a document that voiced support for President Vladimir Putin’s position on Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The document, which was published in mid-March on the Web site of Russia’s Ministry of Culture, and which also endorsed Putin’s stance on Ukraine in general, attracted signatures from world-famous conductor Valery Gergiev, Bolshoi Theatre general director Vladimir Urin and other members of Russia’s artistic elite, prompting some dismay within and outside the country.

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I’d like to congratulate my very close friend, my elder brother, a brilliant maestro Gergiev on his birthday!

I am proud of being his friend, I am proud that we have such a unique conductor, who every day devotes himself to art of music on a stage, enlightens the minds of lots of people. 

I wish him to remain in the crazy tempo he got used to, as this tempo allows him to create absolutely genius interpretations, which will live in hearts and minds of his audience all over the world for years on.

Bravo, Maestro!

Happy birthday!

Review of the disc "Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 3; Symphony No 5"

Tie yourself and your valuables down. Denis Matsuev and Valery Gergiev take a dangerous, open-top sports car approach to Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto. The sharpness of the attack, the delight in clashing sonorities, and the sheer raciness of the approach make the music so exciting it’s almost exhausting to listen to. Matsuev’s command is astonishing, in a performance that unflinchingly aligns the piece to the daunting world of the composer’s Second Concerto.

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Review of the concert in Florence with Zubin Mehta

It was a wonderful evening at Florence’s Teatro Comunale, with Indian conductor Zubin Mehta really in great shape. On the program, Liszt’ Concert Nr. 2 for piano and orchestra, a work not so famous and much less performed than Concert Nr. 1. The soloist was young Russian Denis Matsuev, who plays with great virtuosity and subtleties.

Matsuev plays solidly, his sound is bright and rich in volume so that he can compete with the full sound of Mehta’s ensemble. Moreover, the young soloist looks for the right colours and expressivity, and shows a pianism rich in strong contrasts.

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El decimotercer Titán

Ciclo de Grandes Intérpretes.

No han pasado dos meses desde su última aparición en el Auditorio Nacional de Música y Denis Matsuev ya ha vuelto a Madrid para entusiasmar al público de nuevo. El pianista ruso arrancó sonrisas, bravos y enérgicos aplausos con su hercúlea interpretación.

Las estaciones opus 37a de Tchaikovsky sacaron de Matsuev su faceta más sensible e incluso delicada. Cada frase fue masticada, sentida y declamada. De todas ellas llamó la atención en particular “Canción de otoño” con la que el artista se ganó más de un suspiro entre el público aunque no podemos dejar de reverenciar la destreza con la que presentó el conjunto global de la obra. Los meses del año fueron descritos por la música de Tchaikovsky con la precisión de un pincel o un objetivo, las impresiones a las que Matsuev dio vida nos hicieron sentir calor y frío, valor, nostalgia y paz.

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Review of the Concert of Denis Matsuev in Torino

A centro serata il Secondo Concerto per pianoforte e orchestra di Liszt in un unico ‘blocco’ plurifrazionato, assai più moderno strutturalmente rispetto al Primo, pagina tuttora di sicura presa sul pubblico, nonostante certi passaggi gonfi di retorica e impregnati di vacuo trionfalismo, ritmi di marcia e via elencando. 

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Pianiste et ambassadeur

Les Ambassadeurs de bonne volonté de l’UNESCO sont des personnalités qui mettent leur renommée au service des idéaux de l’organisation. Ils acceptent d’utiliser leur talent et leur charisme pour sensibiliser l’opinion mondiale à la promotion de l’éducation, de la culture et de la science. Les activités de l’organisation deviennent-elles ainsi plus visibles et efficaces. La dernière personne investie de ce rôle est le célèbre pianiste russe Denis Matsuev. 

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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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