Denis Maestro Denis Matsuev
«For here is a virtuoso in the grandest of Russian traditions who returns us to the great days of Emil Gilels... He literally possesses the sort of technique which begins where others end»
«Perhaps he is the new Horowitz»
Denis Matsuev is one of those electrifying pianists often associated with finger-busting repertory. But his keyboard persona is rather perfectly balanced: its thunder and hair-raising brilliance coexist nicely with delicacy and nuance to yield an interpretive depth of a rare kind. In short, he is an artist who can bowl his audiences over with pyrotechnics one moment, then mesmerize them with poetic rapture the next. His repertory as a soloist is rich in the concertos of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, and Prokofiev, and his recitals feature works by that trio as well, but also Schumann, Chopin, Scriabin, and a spate of other notables. Matsuev has appeared with the major orchestras of New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh, London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, and St. Petersburg, and with such conductors as Gergiev, Maazel, Mehta, Masur, Temirkanov, Slatkin, and Jansons. His recordings are available on Mariinsky, RCA, and Sony.
Denis Matsuev was born in Irkutsk, Russia, on June 11, 1975. His father was a composer and pianist and his mother was a piano teacher. From age three, Denis played the piano. From 1990-1993 he studied at Moscow's Central Music School, and from 1993 at the Moscow Conservatory under Aleksei Nasedkin and Sergei Dorensky.
Tribute to Horowitz In 1998 Matsuev won the Tchaikovsky Competition, probably the most attention-grabbing springboard from which to launch one's international career. While many winners of this prestigious competition fade within a few years, Matsuev thrived in the limelight. His first recording for RCA, Tribute to Horowitz (2004), seemed to boldly proclaim the path of his reputation. In 2005 Matsuev founded two music festivals: the Irkutsk-based Stars at Baikal and the Crescendo Festival in Moscow. On November 19, 2007, Matsuev appeared at Carnegie Hall in a recital of works by Schumann, Liszt, and Prokofiev and simply brought down the house.
Unknown Rachmaninoff But this reaction was hardly unusual: his December 2007 appearance at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall in a Rachmaninov program and his 2008 Ravinia Festival performance of the Rachmaninov Third were merely icing on the already well-decorated cake. In 2008 Alexander Rachmaninoff, grandson of the composer, appointed Matsuev artistic director of the Sergei Rachmaninov Foundation. Through this organization Matsuev introduced two lost Rachmaninov works, the D minor Fugue and the piano version of the Suite for Orchestra. Both pieces appeared on Matsuev's 2008 RCA recording Unknown Rachmaninoff. Among Matsuev's more acclaimed recordings is his 2010 Mariinsky CD of the Rachmaninov Third Concerto and Paganini Rhapsody.
Denis Matsuev has become a fast-rising star on the international concert stage since his triumphant victory at the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1998, and is quickly establishing himself as one of the most sought after pianists of his generation.
Mr. Matsuev has appeared in hundreds of recitals at prestigious concert halls throughout the world, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Salle Gaveau and Theatre de Champs Elysee in Paris, Mozarteum in Salzburg, Musikhalle in Hamburg, Musikverein in Vienna, Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Great Hall of the Conservatoire in Moscow, Great Hall of Philharmonie in St. Petersburg, La Scala in Milan and the new Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall in St. Petersburg.
Mr. Matsuev has given brilliant performances around the world with orchestras such as Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester Bayerischen Rundfunks, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Filharmonica della Scala, Leipzig Gewanhaus, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Budapest Festival Orchestra and others.
He is also continually engaged with the great Russian orchestras of his native motherland such as Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia, and Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra among others.
Denis Matsuev regularly collaborates with the most prominent conductors on the stage today including Lorin Maazel, Yuri Temirkanov, Mikhail Pletnev, Valery Gergiev, Mariss Jansons Vladimir Fedoseyev, Leonard Slatkin, Vladimir Spivakov, Ivan Fischer.
In the 2007-2008 season, Mr. Matsuev opened the season of Houston Symphony Orchestra, debuted with Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Leonard Slatkin, performed eleven concerts in the United States with State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia, and engaged in a successful tour of Spain and Italy with the Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra under Yuri Temirkanov. In Amsterdam, critics have acclaimed his brilliant performance with Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse under the direction of Tugan Sokhiev. Mr. Matsuev also appeared in recital at prestigious concert halls throughout the world, including Carnegie Hall in New York City, Queen Elizabeth in London, Liege Concert Hall, Concert Hall of Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Theatre des Champs Elyse’s in Paris and his debut at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago. At the end of the season, Denis Matsuev and Valery Gergiev gave a remarkable tour in Slovenia and Germany with concerts at well-known European festivals «Schleswig-Holstein» and «Rheingau».
Over the past three years, Denis Matsuev has been in collaboration with Serge Rachmaninoff Foundation and its President Alexander Rachmaninoff, the grandson of the composer. Mr. Matsuev was chosen by the Foundation to perform and record unknown pieces of Rachmaninoff on the composer’s own piano at the Rachmaninoff house "Villa Senar" in Switzerland. This unique program has been in high demand across the world. After his triumphal appearance at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London «The Independent» wrote: «Matsuev spent the first half of his concert proving he had an artistic hot-line to his great predecessor. He has the rare gift of letting notes expand in a surrounding stillness» (by Michael Church, Dec. 6, 2007) Mr. Matsuev made his Recital debut at the Ravinia Festival in July 2008 with this program.
Season 2008-2009 for Denis Matsuev is filled with performances in well-known concert halls across the world featuring an exciting array of unique programs. Mr. Matsuev will open the season with Filharmonica della Scalla under the direction of Maestro Myung-Whun Chung, tour with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra in Asia and Europe, and also tour North America with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia in March 2009. He has also been invited to perform with the symphonies of Cincinnati and New-Jersey under the direction of Paavo and Neemi Jarvi respectively, Valery Gergiev and Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra in the «Stars of the White Nights» Festival in Saint-Petersburg, and tour Russia with Maestro Lorin Maazel and Filarmonica Toscanini. This year, he will also debut with Leipzig’s Gewanhaus with Axel Kober, West Deutsche Rundfunk and Semyon Bychkov and European Chamber Orchestra. One of the highlights of this season is a concert with the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic under the direction of Mariss Jansons in celebration of the legendary Yuri Temirkanov. Mr. Matsuev will also perform in a series of concerts organized by the Serge Rachmaninoff Foundation called «Rachmaninoff Gala» at some of the most prestigious concert halls in Geneva’s Victoria Hall with Orchestre National de Lyon, in Bruxelles with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and Pittsburgh with Pittsburgh Symphony and Leonard Slatkin.
Mr. Matsuev is Artistic Director of two famous classical music festivals in Russia: "Stars on Baikal" in Irkutsk and famous "Crescendo" which is being held all over the World: Moscow, Sankt-Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Tel-Aviv, Kaliningrad, Paris and Rome. These remarkable festivals feature gifted Russian soloists from all over the world with the best Russian orchestras and present a new generation of students from Russia’s music schools. "Crescendo" festival had an incredible resonance in Russia and is under the patronage of the President of the Russian Federation.
In 2004, Denis Matsuev signed a contract with BMG Russia (SONY BMG Russia since 2005). His albums «Tribute to Horowitz» and the Tchaikovsky Seasons and «Three movements from Petrouchka» by Stravinsky won the most prestigious Russian music awards for two years in a row: RECORD 2005 and RECORD 2006 (best-selling classical album in Russia). In March 2007, the Tchaikovsky piano concerto №1 and Shostakovich piano concerto №1 with legendary St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Yuri Temirkanov were released. In December of 2007, SONY BMG released a disc «Unknown Rachmaninoff» which has received strong positive reviews praising Denis, execution and creativity. Denis Matsuev’s recital at Carnegie Hall in November 2007 was recorded by Philipp Nedel. New York Times praised his performance with «his poetic instincts held fast in tender moments, with trills as thrillingly precise as one might ever hope to hear».
All Matsuev’s albums are internationally released by RCA RED SEAL.