The International Piano Festival

8 – 14 April 2012
Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre

 Eighteen pianists and eight concerts:

Evgeni Koroliov, Ljupka Hadzi-Georgieva, Sergei Babayan, Daniil Trifonov, Peter Laul, Christian Zacharias, Alexander Toradze, Alexei Volodin, Igor Tchetuev, Miroslav Kultyshev, the piano duo Remnant and students of Professor Alexander Sandler’s class in recitals and with the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev as well as with the Moscow Virtuosi orchestra under the baton of Christian Zacharias.


The Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre is running its III International Piano Festival, a platform for outstanding unique musicians from various generations and different schools, each with a “voice” of his or her own, unlike that of any other pianist.

According to Maestro Valery Gergiev, the tasks of the festival are to invite musicians to St Petersburg who have established international careers but are as yet less known in Russia, to discover and develop new and young talent and to popularise piano music.

In line with now-established tradition, the III International Piano Festival will showcase pianists from different generations – dazzling musicians who have already won international acclaim such as Evgeni Koroliov as well as young musicians whose careers have recently begun to soar and pianists who have just set out on their lives in music.

The festival continues to introduce the public to renowned teachers and their pupils. The first festival brought together the famed Tatiana Zelikman’s pupils. The second saw Sergei Babayan perform with Daniil Trifonov, his pupil at the Cleveland Institute of Music. At the third festival this year audiences will see performances by students from the class of Professor Alexander Sandler of the St Petersburg Conservatoire.

On 8 April the festival opens with a performance by the German pianist of Russian descent Evgeni Koroliov, one of the most interesting interpreters of the music of Bach and Mozart in recent times. The musician will perform two of Mozart’s piano concerti – No 20 and No 24. Valery Gergiev will be conducting the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra that night. The programme for the evening also includes Sergei Prokofiev’s first two symphonies.

On 9 April Evgeni Koroliov will be performing a recital of music by Bach (Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, Prelude and Fugue in A Minor (Franz Liszt’s version) and Concerto italiano). That evening, in addition to Bach, the programme will feature music by Stravinsky for the ballet Le Sacre du printemps (his own piano version for four hands) in which Evgeni Koroliov will be joined by his wife, the pianist Ljupka Hadzi-Georgieva.

On 10 April there will be a recital by the diverse and dazzling pianist Peter Laul whose programme will include waltzes by Weber, Schubert, Chopin, Brahms, Johann Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Scriabin, Ravel and Debussy.

On 11 April there will be a programme of works from the golden age of classical music. The Moscow Virtuosi chamber orchestra will be performing works by Haydn and Mozart under Christian Zacharias, a connoisseur of the early Viennese classics; he will also be performing as a soloist in two piano concerti by Mozart – No 15 and No 16.

On 12 April at 19:00 there will be a performance by the piano duo Remnant featuring young South Korean sisters Hee Jin and Hyun Joo June who are students in Professor Sandler’s class; the duo has already been a prize-winner at the Schubert Competition in the Czech Republic and the prestigious ARD International Competition in Munich. The programme for their performance includes a Mozart sonata for four hands, a suite by Rachmaninoff and a suite from Prokofiev’s ballet Cinderella arranged for piano duo by Mikhail Pletnev.

On 12 April at 22.00 Daniil Trifonov will perform a recital.

On 13 April there will be performances by students from the class of Professor Alexander Sandler at the St Petersburg Conservatoire. The professor’s class has already produced a number of significant concert pianists and prize-winners at international competitions, among them Peter Laul, Alexandre Pirojenko, Pavel Raikerus and Miroslav Kultyshev who took 2nd prize at the XIII International Tchaikovsky Competition.

On 14 April the festival will come to a close with the now traditional “piano marathon”: all five of Prokofiev’s piano concerti will be performed by Daniil Trifonov, Alexander Toradze, Igor Tchetuev, Alexei Volodin and Sergei Babayan together with the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev.

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