Denis Matsuev

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Matsuev: Sport and culture are international heritage of Russia

Classical pianist Denis Matsuev was recently announced as the latest 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ ambassador. He received his official ambassador certificate from Alexey Sorokin, CEO of the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee, and FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura.  

After receiving his certificate, Matsuev took some time out of his busy schedule to talk about the grandmother who sparked his interest in football, Spartak’s golden moment in 1989 and the World Cup he expects to create new opportunities for Russia.

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Matsuev and the Maestro

Pianist Denis Matsuev will participate in Zubin Mehta’s 80th birthday concert.

Russian pianist Denis Matsuev is coming back to Israel. On April 11, he will participate in a special concert at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv in honor of Zubin Mehta’s 80th birthday, performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

He will also perform a solo program in Haifa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

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Russian virtuoso Denis Matsuev unveils new piano contest for kids

The 1st International Grand Piano Competition for children up to 16 years of age is to be held at the Moscow Conservatory from April 30 to May 5, 2015.

Young pianists will be able to apply on official site of the the competition, which will be broadcast online on Medici.TV, up to March 20, said Russian virtuoso and founder of the competition Denis Matsuev.

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Denis Matsuev and Tchaikovsky's Second Piano Concerto

Russian pianist Denis Matsuev won the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998.  As one of Russia's leading pianists, he can be heard in a recent recording of Tchaikovsky's First and Second piano concertos with the Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev conducting, surely a great combination.


10th Anniversary of Crescendo festival

This year "Crescendo" celebrates its 10 years anniversary. This unique festival brings talented young musicians, who are at the beginning of their career, and eminent artists to different cities of Russia, France, Israel, USA. The list of cities changes every year, but there is only one that remains in each list every year - Pskov.

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Festival Music review: Russian National Orchestra, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

five stars

THE details of the venue at the back of the EIF's Usher Hall programmes need a small amendment. As well as boasting a fine organ, the hall now has three, rather than two, Steinway grand pianos. On Sunday night the new number one instrument was wheeled centre-stage for the first time, for the attention of pianist Denis Matsuev. The Siberian winner of the 1998 International Tchaikovsky Competition proceeded to give it the mother of all baptisms with an account of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No 1 that everyone present will recall for a long time. The Spinal Tap-inspired interval joke was that this keyboard "goes up to eleven". 

It was not just volume that Matsuev produced from the new concert grand, however. In his hands its bright, sparkling sound transmitted every note on of the lightning-fast passages as well as those huge famous opening chords and the sort of power that gave the trombone section of the Russian National Orchestra serious competition. It was the performance of a showman, certainly, but with real musical intensity and attention to detail as well.

Nor was Matsuev quite finished with his demonstration. By way of two encores he demonstrated that the piano could sound as delicate as a musical box and then took us all to a jazz club with a virtuosic improvisation including themes by Ellington and Gershwin.

Keith Bruce, Arts Editor



Denis Matsuev, Valery Gergiev, et le National Youth Orchestra-USA, débarquaient à Montpellier ce 21 juillet 2016. Ils arrivaient d’Amsterdam où ils avaient joué la veille, captés remarquablement ꟷles images et le sonꟷ par Medici.TV, et retransmis en direct sur internet. L’avion s’était posé le matin même sous une pluie biblique. Raccord prévu dans la salle, notamment pour que France Musique puisse effectuer un test sonore avant la radiodiffusion du concert le soir même. Un seul programme, certes, mais le lendemain d’une réussite, un relâchement de concentration se produit souvent, et puis dans ce cas, la fatigue du voyage vient ralentir les réflexes, disperser l’exigence, tout cela sans parler des effets du changement de zone climatique... Ensuite, après une seule nuit de repos, il faudra rassembler les bagages pour Copenhague où le surlendemain le public attendra toute la fraîcheur et l’enthousiasme qui lui est dû. Le jour suivant : Prague. Cette dernière prestation clôturera la tournée. On voit clairement que des qualités de récupération hors pair dans l’entraînement quotidien d’un sportif de haut niveau, sont requises pour cette vie de bohème.

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Blog # 90. European Tour with National Youth Orchestra of the USA and Valery Gergiev

Our European tour with maestro Gergiev and a unique orchestra begins! I am talking about National Youth Orchestra of the USA. The most important thing is that musicians in this orchestra are between the ages of 16 and 19 years old, US citizens or permanent residents from different states, who are not enrolled full-time in a college-level conservatory or music department on an instrumental performance major. For the first time auditions for this orchestra took place in 2013 under the initiative of Carnegie Hall and its executive and artistic director Sir Clive Gillinson (exceptionally creative and talented person), the inaugural guest conductor was Valery Gergiev. Their first tour with maestro Valery Gergiev and violinist Joshua Bell included concerts in Washington, DC, Moscow, St. Petersburg and London.

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Denis Matsuev becomes 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Ambassador

Denis Matsuev has become an ambassador for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. The Russian classical pianist received his ambassador’s certificate today from Alexey Sorokin, CEO of the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee, and FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura.

“It is a great honour to become a World Cup ambassador. This gives me even more energy to promote the values of the tournament and do everything I can on the cultural side of things,” said Matsuev. According to the new ambassador, the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup will help Russia capitalise on its vast sporting and cultural potential. Matsuev shared his first idea for ensuring this happens immediately after the appointment: “All host cities have their own symphonic orchestras and I think they should be involved in activities around the matches,” said the pianist.

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Special prizes of the Grand Piano Competition


Alexander Malofeev (Russia)

  • Participation in International winter festival “Arts Square” (St. Petersburg, Russia)
  • Participation in Denis Matsuev’s project of 2016/2017 concert season
  • Participation in the project of Moscow Philharmonic Society of 2016/2017 concert season
  • Special prize from the Museum of Piotr Tchaikovsky - participation in Tchaikovsky Music Festival in Klin
  • Special prize from Yamaha Music LTD – a recital in Tokio
  • Special prize of the Yuri Rozum International Charitable Fund: 3 000 USD

Sandro Nebieridze (Georgia)

  • Participation in the Mariinsky International Piano Festival (St.-Petersburg, Russia)
  • Participation in “Stars on Baikal” International Music Festival (Irkutsk, Russia)
  • Participation in Denis Matsuev’s project of 2016/2017 concert season
  • Participation in Vladimir Spivakov’s project of 2016/2017 concert season
  • Participation in the project of Moscow Philharmonic Society of 2016/2017 concert season
  • Special prize from Rosconcert – participation in International Tariverdiev music Festival in Tbilisi.

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Bachtrack review on Denis Matsuev and Yuri Temirkanov concert

Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto no. 3 in D minor is indeed the non plus ultra of the Romantic repertoire, famously difficult and never failing to impress. It begins unassumingly, however, with a theme in the piano likely of Russian monastic origin, to which Temirkanov’s batonless conducting provided a supple, keenly judged accompaniment. The piano writing gets very difficult very quickly, but under Matsuev’s big-boned playing, even the most severe challenges were brushed off with ease and aplomb. Projection was never an issue for him either, as he effortlessly overpowered the orchestra – there was really no contest.

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Excerpts from reviews of performances of Denis Matsuev in Chicago with Yuri Temirkanov, the Symphony Orchestra of the Baltimore and Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Chicago Tribune

No one denies that Matsuev commands as huge a technical arsenal as any pianist on the planet, or that he can vanquish Rachmaninov's most daunting keyboard writing with a nonchalant shrug. The crowd adored his virtuoso prowess…

Chicago Classical Review

Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 took up the first half of the evening—a rare occurrence since the beloved keyboard showpiece invariably winds up hard to top.

Matsuev’s technical arsenal is as complete as any pianist currently before the public yet the opening minutes of Thursday’s performance were so restrained as to seem almost offhand. Matsuev clearly sees the cadenza as the climax of the first movement–the “point” as Rachmaninoff called it–and his full-metal assault on the longer cadenza was explosive in its power and massive bravura.

The soloist brought stoic elegance to the main theme of the Intermezzo as well as a wry vivacity to the scherzando middle section. The solo burst that launches the finale was daunting in its fire and attack. Others have plumbed more light and shade in the concluding movement but Matsuev’s relentless buildup of momentum and sonority was undeniably thrilling, accelerating to a thunderous and virtuosic coda.

Matsuev earned one of the longest and most rousing ovations of the season with repeated curtain calls. Finally, he relented with an encore of Liadov’s A Musical Snuffbox, teasing out the music box delicacy with gentle charm and a deliciously halting rubato.

Baltimore Sun

The pianist, in an overdue visit 12 years after his last appearance with the BSO, made child's play of the score's ferocious technical demands and used the leftover energy to add welcome expressive nuance. There was an organic, inevitable quality to Matsuev's playing, which was warm-hearted without turning sentimental.


Matsuev, il veemente sincero

L’Accademia di Santa Cecilia ospita nuovamente un recital del talentuosissimo russo Denis Matsuev. Non l’ascoltavamo dal marzo del 2014. Torna oggi proponendoci un programma simile all’ultimo. Figurano ancora Čajkovskij e Rachmaninov; ci ripropone, anche, il primo Mephisto-Walzer di Liszt, suo cavallo di battaglia. Unica incursione stricto sensu romantica è la Kreisleriana di Schumann. Una marea di bis concludono un’eccellente serata di musica, coi fuochi d’artificio, alla maniera di Matsuev.

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What was planned, despite negative economic conditions, is going to take place this spring.

My wish for organizing a competition for pianists in Moscow has been met. I’d like to thank Olga Golodets, Vladimir Medinsky, Arkady Dvorkovich for their support.

Piano is the most popular instrument in the world. The largest number of competitions and famous performers in classical music is of this specialty. We all remember Tchaikovsky Competition, where (from the time of Van Cliburn) piano specialty is in the spotlight. 

Working as the President of “New Names” Charity Foundation, I spend a lot of time looking for new young talented musicians all over Russia and former USSR republics. Ivetta Nikolaevna Voronova, who headed this Foundation before and who found me many years ago in Irkutsk, always underlined, that new younger generations were the future of “New Names”, of “Crescendo” and the most important part of our team. Thanks to our master-classes, contests, concerts, I know a lot of talented pianists under 16.

I also have piano competitions in Astana and Kiev, owing to which we’ve found new young classical music stars. So I fully understand that the level of our Moscow Competition will be very high. Dates of this new competition are from 30th of April to 5th of May.

Astana Piano Passion became famous and prestigious worldwide. And I am really grateful to Imangali Tasmagambetov for this wonderful idea and original format – Festival-Competition. There is no psychological stress from selection and failure - every participant becomes a member of our team. This approach inspired me so much that I decided to organize such festival-competition in Russia. This new Competition in Moscow will differ from all other piano competitions.

A qualifying round (video program viewing) will help us to select 15 contestants. Round II (recital) will be held in Rachmaninoff Concert Hall, and final Round III (performance with orchestra) – in Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory with brilliant State Academic Symphony Orchestra. No one will be eliminated from the Competition after Round II. All 15 participants will have a chance to perform with the orchestra in the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory. There will be no First, Second, Third of Forth prize. Every participant becomes a member of our team. We’ll have 5 laureates and 10 diplomants. And Grand Prix – a grand piano from Yamaha. 

So all 15 participants are winners already, because they’ll have a chance to show their art to the public all over the world. Medici.TV agreed to become a partner of our Competition and will broadcast all rounds online. So if you won’t be able to come to Moscow in May, you can see the Competition on Medici.TV web-site. 

Jury of the Competition will be announced soon, but I can assure you, that Jury’s level will be as professional and reputable as Tchaikovsky Competition Jury was in summer 2015.

We also start the Competition web-site soon, present Competition’s General Rules and announce preliminary round. 

Thank you all for your support!

Wait for the updates!

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