Monday, July 20th 2020
Grigory Sokolov (piano)
The unique, unrepeatable nature of music made in the present moment is central to understanding the expressive beauty and compelling honesty of Grigory Sokolov’s art. The Russian pianist’s poetic interpretations, which come to life with mystical intensity in performance, arise from profound knowledge of the works in his vast repertoire.
His recital programmes span everything from transcriptions of medieval sacred polyphony and keyboard works by Byrd, Couperin, Rameau, Froberger to the music of Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Brahms and landmark twentieth-century compositions by Prokofiev, Ravel, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, Schoenberg and Stravinsky.
He is widely recognized among pianophiles as one of today’s greatest pianists. Grigory Sokolov was born in Leningrad on 18 April 1950. He started to play piano at the age of five and, two years later, began studies with Liya Zelikhman at the Central Special School of the Leningrad Conservatory. He went on to receive lessons from Moisey Khalfin at the Leningrad Conservatory, and gave his debut recital in Leningrad in 1962. Sokolov’s prodigious talent was recognized in 1966 when at 16, he became the youngest musician ever to receive the Gold Medal at the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Sokolov began to appear at Europe’s leading concert halls and festivals. He performed extensively as concerto soloist with orchestras of the highest calibre, working with among others the New York Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Philharmonia London, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and the Munich Philharmonic, before deciding to focus exclusively on giving solo recitals. Sokolov performs around 70 concerts each season, immersing himself fully in a single programme and touring extensively throughout Europe.
Unlike many pianists, Sokolov takes the closest interest in the mechanism and set-up of the instruments he plays.