Biography

Since his triumph in the 1998 at the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition, Denis Matsuev has become a virtuoso in the grandest of Russian pianistic tradition and has quickly established himself as one of the most prominent pianists of his generation.

Mr. Matsuev performs with the world's best known orchestras, such as the New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapella Dresden, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony, “Philharmonia” Orchestra of London, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Vienna Symphony, Israel Philharmonic and Rotterdam Philharmonic, Oslo Symphony, National Orchestra of Belgium, Swiss Romande orchestra, Lucerne Symphony orchestra, Verbier and Budapest Festival Orchestras, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, NHK Symphony, as well as the European Chamber Orchestra. He is continually re-engaged with the legendary Russian orchestras such as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Mariinsky Orchestra and the Russian National Orchestra.

Denis gives recitals in the USA in Boston, Washington and New York in Carnegie Hall (Keyboard Virtuosos series), in London in Royal Festival Hall (International Piano series), Madrid in Auditorio Nacional de Musica, Amsterdam in Concertgebouw (Master Pianists series) and Moscow (the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory).

Denis Matsuev regularly appears with the most distinguished conductors on a stage today, including Valery Gergiev, Yuri Temirkanov, Mariss Jansons, Zubin Mehta, Ricardo Chailly, Christian Thielemann, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, Paavo Jarvi, Antonio Pappano, Charles Dutoit, Alain Gilbert, Leonard Slatkin, Myung-Whun Chung, Semyon Bychkov, Iván Fischer, Adam Fisher, Gianandrea Noseda, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Manfred Honeck, James Conlon, Vladimir Spivakov, Mikhail Pletnev, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Yury Bashmet, Alexander Sladkovsky, K. Jarvi and others.

Mr. Matsuev is a frequent guest of world famous music festivals such as Verbier Festival and Lucerne Music Festival in Switzerland, BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival in Great Britain, Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden in Germany, Les Chorégies d’Orange and Festival de la Rogue d’Anthéron in France, Ravinia and the Hollywood Bowl in the U.S., Chopin Festival in Poland, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and Mito Festival in Italy, Montreux Festival in Switzerland, Enescu Festival in Romania, Baltic Sea Festival in Sweden and Stars of the White Nights Festival in Russia.

For 11 consecutive years Denis Matsuev has his original series at The Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory “Denis Matsuev invites…”. Many famous orchestras, prominent conductors, outstanding soloists have taken part in it.

In 2010, in Avery Fisher Hall, the New York Philharmonic gave the orchestra’s 15,000th concert – a number unmatched by any other orchestra. Denis Matsuev was a leading soloist in this unprecedented milestone concert, which was conducted by Maestro Valery Gergiev, and was praised highly by music critics.

For many years Denis Matsuev has led numerous musical festivals and educational projects which have added to his role as a prominent public figure. Since 2004 he has organized “Stars on Baikal” in Irkutsk, Siberia (in 2009 he was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Irkutsk), and since 2005 he has been the artistic director of the music festival “Crescendo” (a series of events held in international cities such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Tel Aviv, Kaliningrad, Paris and New York). In 2010 he became the artistic director of Annecy Music Festival in Annecy, France, with the goal to bring together Russian and French music cultures. In 2012 Denis Matsuev became the artistic director of I International “Astana Piano Passion” Festival and Competition as well as the artistic director of International Festival and Competition “Sberbank DEBUT” in Kiev in 2013. In 2016 Denis Matsuev as the artistic director of the Competition and chairman of the Organizing Committee started a new competition for young pianists in Moscow - Grand Piano Competition. Additionally, Mr. Matsuev is the president of the charitable Russian foundation “New Names” that discovers and supports talented children and helps to develop music education in regions of his native Russia. More than 10000 children received monetary grants and/or opportunity to perform at the professional stage.

In 2007, RCA Red Seal released “Unknown Rachmaninoff” featuring Mr. Matsuev. The recording has received strong positive reviews praising his execution and creativity. His Carnegie Hall recital in November 2007 was recorded and released in 2009 as an album entitled “Denis Matsuev – Concert at Carnegie Hall.” The New York Times praised this performance writing “…his poetic instincts held fast in tender moments, with trills as thrillingly precise as one might ever hope to hear.”

Mariinsky Label releases include Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3, Shostakovich Concertos No. 1, No. 2 and Schedrin’s Fifth with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra in the famed Mariinsky Concert Hall. Among many awards granted is the Five Star rating of BBC Music Magazine. Norman Lebrecht wrote: “Neither is a virtuoso vehicle and, the composer apart, there is no pianist who has stamped these works decisively as his or her own. Denis Matsuev, a Siberian who made his name in Rachmaninoff is perhaps the first to come close”.

In April 2013 Denis Matsuev presented the record (RCA Red Seal) with S. Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Rhapsody in Blue by G. Gershwin, accompanied by the New York Philharmonic under the baton of its music director Alan Gilbert.

In September 2013 the label LSO Live released a new disc with Denis Matsuev and LSO under baton of Valery Gergiev performing Symphonia Concertante by K. Szymanowski.

Gramophone has chosen Denis Matsuev’s recording of Tchaikovsky Concerti Nos. 1 & 2 as their recording of the month in April 2014.

“Matsuev’s Tchaikovsky No 1 is thrilling, the work’s drama excitingly to the fore – a new ‘personal benchmark’, says Jeremy Nicholas. That’s for you to decide, of course, but do hear it.” Gramophone (UK)

In 2018 Mariinsky Label released a disc with the record of two legendary piano concertos – Piano concerto #2 by S. Prokofiev and Piano concerto #2 by S. Rachmaninoff, performed by Denis Matsuev and Mariinsky Theatre orchestra under baton of Valery Gergiev.

For many years Denis Matsuev has collaborated with the Sergei Rachmaninov Foundation, established by Alexander Rachmaninov, the grandson of the composer. Mr. Matsuev was chosen by the Foundation to perform and record Rachmaninov’s unknown pieces on the composer's own piano at the Rachmaninov house “Villa Senar” in Lucerne. Later, he became the artistic director of the Foundation. To the 145th anniversary of S. Rachmaninoff Denis Matsuev prepared the cycle of all Rachmaninoff’s piano concertos and is ready to perform this cycle during his concerts all over the world.

Denis Matsuev is a laureate of prestigious “Shostakovich’s Prize” in Music as well as the State Prize of Russian Federation in Literature and Arts. He also is a “People’s Artist of Russia.” Denis Matsuev was named Honorary Professor of the Moscow State University. He is a member of The Presidential Council for Culture and Arts, Honored Artist of Russia and was the head of The Public Council under The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.

In February 2014 Denis Matsuev was awarded the honour of performing at the official Closing Ceremony of the XXII Winter Olympic games in Sochi and at the same year UNESCO designated Denis Matsuev as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

In 2016 Denis Matsuev was announced as 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia ambassador.

Denis Matsuev was awarded with State Order of Honour.

And in 2017 he received Government of Russia Prize in the sphere of Culture for his International Music Festival in Irkutsk “Stars on the Baikal”.

As the Ambassador of FIFA World Cup Russia Denis organized the unique concert with participation of Valery Gergiev, Anna Netrebko, Placido Domingo and other stars of classical music at the Red Square in Moscow on 13th of June 2018.

This season sees Mr. Matsuev perform with New-York Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Mariinsky orchestra under baton of Maestro Gergiev, Israel Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Christian Thielemann, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under baton of Mariss Jansons, London Symphony and Chicago Symphony orchestras under baton of Gianandrea Noseda, La Scala Orchestra with Riccardo Chailly, Konzerthausorchester Berlin with Thomas Sanderling, Vienna Symphony Orchestra with Alain Altinoglu, and the London Philharmonia Orchestra with Yuri Temirkanov, Montreal Symphony Orchestra with Kent Nagano, the Orchestra of the Teatro di San Carlo with Neeme Jarvi.

He performs recitals at Carnegie Hall, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Vienna Konzerthaus, Pergola Theatre in Florence, G. Verdi Conservatory in Turin, Tonhalle in Zurich, Tonhalle in Dusseldorf, Berlin Philharmonie, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Tivoli in Copenhagen, Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Smetana Hall in Prague, Gasteig in Munich, Santa Cecilia in Rome, Conservatorio di Musica "Giuseppe Verdi" in Milan and Flagey in Brussels. He also takes part in concerts and tours with Staatskapelle Dresden as this season’s Capel-Virtuos. To celebrate the 145th anniversary of Rachmaninoff’s birth in 2018, Mr. Matsuev performs the composer’s complete piano concerto cycles across the world.

Denis Matsuev participates in international music festivals such as Gstaad Menuhin Festival, Verbier Festival, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Lucerne Festival, Montreux Festival, Stresa Festival and Bucharest Music festival.