Following the successes of his previous, award-winning recordings for Warner Classics of works by Chopin, Britten and Rachmaninov, the brilliant Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky tackles three virtuosic works by Sergei Prokofiev: the Sonatas Nos. 4 and 6 and the 10 Piece Suite from Romeo and Juliet
, a transcription for piano drawn from the composer’s ballet score. Lugansky, the son of two Russian scientists and the piano student of the late, great Russian pianist Tatiana Nikolayeva, won a silver medal in the 1988 Leipzig International Bach Competition and second prize in the 1990 Moscow Rachmaninov Competition. It was the top prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1994, however, that launched his international career with a string of celebrated concert appearances and recordings. His late teacher and mentor Nikolayeva referred to Lugansky as “the next one” in the grand Russian line of pianists extending back through Neuhaus, Gilels and Richter. Lugansky’s recordings of Chopin Etudes and Preludes and Rachmaninov Preludes and Moments musicaux have each been awarded the Diapason d’Or. In addition, his Chopin Preludes CD was selected as Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and cited as one of the “Top 10 Classical CDs of 2002” in The Daily Telegraph. His Rachmaninov Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 3 with the CBSO and Sakari Oramo have won the Choc du Monde de la Musique and the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Lugansky’s recital and concerto performances in 2004 take him to Germany, Spain, UK, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Denmark and Italy. He returns to Japan as soloist with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Valery Gergiev in May and in recital with Vadim Repin in September. He gives a Wigmore Hall (London) recital in December. Nikolai Lugansky’s next two CDs for Warner Classics will be Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, with the CBSO and Sakari Oramo, coupled with the Variations on a Theme of Corelli and Variations on a Theme of Chopin, followed by a disc of the same composer’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 4, with the same forces, to complete the cycle.
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