Internationally acclaimed Russian pianist Yuri Didenko has performed recitals and with orchestras in the best concert halls of Moscow, including Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory and Moscow International House of Music, cities of the former Soviet Union and abroad: USA, Japan, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Greece, Malta, Chile, China, countries of Western Africa, Turkey, Cyprus, South Korea.
The British magazine Pianoforte referred to his performances as “bold, open, powerful, and technically accomplished old-school virtuosity.” The Belgian newspaper La Semaine d’Anvers wrote of him as a “brilliant pianist” and mentioned his “large and bright sonority” as well as dynamism. His concerts in USA were highly appraised by the press. “Didenko captured the hearts of the audience when he performed several selections by Sergei Rachmaninov”, a critic wrote about one of his recitals.”Immortal works by Schubert, Liszt, and Rachmaninov sounded with an incredible force of conviction, emotional power and brightness under the magic hands of Yuri Didenko, the chairman of the Jury of Dimitrios Vikelas International competition. When the music finds its ideal interpreter, he enchants his listeners, fillings their hearts with beauty, passion, and harmony. Yuri Didenko proved to be this ideal performer”, – a Greek newspaper “Epikaira” wrote about his performance. Didenko’s wide and diverse repertoire includes works of different styles – from Bach to Messiaen and avant-garde music of the twentieth century.
Mr. Didenko studied piano at the Central Music School affiliated with the Moscow Conservatory with Alexander Mndoyants and then at the Moscow Conservatory with Professor Merzhanov. Since 1994, he has been on the piano faculty of the Moscow Conservatory. Mr. Didenko is a prizewinner of numerous competitions in Italy, USA, Belgium; he is the winner of the International Concert Artists Competition in Royal Tunbridge Wells (Great Britain). In 2003, Mr. Didenko received the Russian Federation Ministry of Culture Award “For Special Achievements in Culture”.
Yuri Didenko recorded several compact discs with various romantic and XX century works including Brahms’s Variations on the Theme by Paganini, Liszt’s Six Grandes Etudes de Paganini, Rachmaninoff’s Sonata No. 2, two trios by Rachmaninoff (with Graf Mourja, violin, and Mikhail Utkin, cello) Visions de L’Amen by Messiaen for two pianos (with Maria Parshina). He made numerous recordings on the Russian State Radio.
Mr. Didenko is in demand for master classes in many cities of Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Malta, Germany, Poland, as well as USA, South Korea, and China. He has also served on piano juries of several international piano competitions (as a member and as a chairman of the jury) in Russia, Poland, USA, Greece, Kazakhstan, Ukraine. From 1996 to 2002, Mr. Didenko was an active member and secretary of the Rachmaninov Society of Russia. He is also member of the Presidium of the Scriabin Foundation.
Since her debut at the age of seventeen playing Beethoven´s „Emperor Concerto“ Nina Tichman has appeared in the musical centers of the world such as New York´s Carnegie Hall, the Philharmonie in Cologne, the Konzerthaus in Berlin and the Festspielhaus in Salzburg, to name only a few. The winner of numerous prestigious competitions (Busoni, Mendelssohn, Casagrande), she has performed with the Bamberger Sinfoniker, the symphony orchestras of the Bayerische, Hessische and Norddeutsche Rundfunk, the Baltimore and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras under the batons of Moshe Atzmon, Leon Barzin, Aaron Copland, Dmitri Kitaenko und Louis Langrée. Tichman´s discography includes works by Bartók, Beethoven, Copland (complete), Chopin, Corigliano, Debussy, Fauré, V.D. Kirchner, Mendelssohn, Penderecki, und Reger. Her recording of the Complete Piano Works was hailed as a milestone in Debussy interpretation. As soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue she has appeared at international Festivals including Marlboro, Tanglewood, International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, Styriarte, Frankfurt Feste, Rheingau Musikfestival. Concert tours in the last years have taken her to China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Greece, Turkey, Israel, New Zealand, Mexico, the United States as well as almost all in European countries. 2001 she founded the Xyrion Trio with Ida Bieler and Maria Kliegel – the highly successful ensemble has been praised by the press around the world for its recordings of the Complete Piano Trios of Beethoven.
Nina Tichman is a graduate of the Juilliard School, which awarded her the Eduard-Steuermann-Prize for outstanding musical achievement. She is Professor of Piano at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne and has given Master Classes at Amherst College, Princeton University, IKIF in New York, the Europäischen Akademie für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Montepulcianoand at the “Mozarteum” in Salzburg. She has served as jury member of prominent international competitions such as the European International Piano Competition (Bremen), Rachmaninov Competition (Bonn), Aschenbrenner Wettbewerb (Köln), Busoni Wettbewerb (Bozen).
Highlights of the 2013/14 season include the world premiere of the cycle „Skizzen, Ruinen, Adlerfittige“ by Stefan Heucke in New York as well as concerts and master classes in Europe, China and Japan.
Called the “Van Cliburn of today” by the BBC, pianist Alexander Kobrin has placed himself at the forefront of today’s performing musicians. His prize winning performances have been praised for their brilliant technique, musicality, and emotional engagement with the audience. The New York Times has written the Mr. Kobrin was a “fastidious guide” to Schumann’s “otherworldly visions, pointing out hunters, flowers, haunted corners and friendly bowers, all captured in richly characterized vignettes.” “This was a performance that will be revered and remembered as a landmark of the regeneration of exceptional classical music in Central New York.”-critic wrote after Mr. Kobrin’s performance of Second Piano Concerto by Johannes Brahms with Syracuse Symphony in Syracuse,NY.
In 2005, Mr. Kobrin was awarded the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Gold Medal at the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, TX. His numerous successes in competitions also include top prizes at the Busoni International Piano Competition (First Prize), Hamamatsu International Piano Competition (Top Prize), Scottish International Piano Competition in Glasgow (First Prize), and the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (Third Prize). Mr. Kobrin has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Russian National Orchestra, Belgrade Philharmonic, English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Verdi, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Moscow Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Berliner Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Swedish Radio Symphony, Birmingham Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Conductors he has collaborated with include Mikhail Pletnev, Mikhail Jurovsky, Mark Elder, Vassiliy Sinaisky, James Conlon, Claus Peter Flor, Alexander Lazarev, Vassiliy Petrenko and Yuri Bashmet.
He has appeared in recital at major halls worldwide, including the Louvre Auditorium and Salle Cortot in Paris, Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Munich Herkulesaal and Berliner Filarmonia Hall in Germany, the Kennedy Centre in Washington, Avery Fisher Hall in New York, the Great Hall at the Moscow Conservatoire, Sheung Wan Civic Centre in Hong Kong, as well as Sala Verdi in Milan and many others. Other past performances have include recitals at Bass Hall for the Cliburn Series, the Washington Performing Arts Society, La Roque d’Antheron, the Ravinia Festival, the Beethoven Easter Festival, Busoni Festival , the renowned Klavier-Festival Ruhr, the Festival Musique dans le Grésivaudan ,the International Keyboard Institute & Festival, annual concert tours in Japan, China and Taiwan. Mr. Kobrin has also performed a two-piano recital in collaboration with his friend of many years, French pianist Frederic d’Oria Nicolas at Salle Gaveau, Paris which was broadcast by both Mezzo and ARTE.
Though widely acclaimed as a performer, Mr. Kobrin’s teaching has been an inspiration to many students through his passion for music. He served on the faculty of the Gnessin’s Academy of Music from 2003 to 2010. Since 2006 he has been on the faculty of the IKIF at Mannes College of Music and is now the L. Rexford Whiddon Distinguished Chair in Piano at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University. In 2013, he joined the renowned Artist Faculty of the Steinhardt School of Piano Studies at New York University. Mr. Kobrin has also given masterclasses in Europe and Asia, the International Piano Series and at the Conservatories of Japan and China.
Mr. Kobrin has been a jury member for several international piano competitions, including the “Prix Animato” in Paris, the Blüthner International Piano Competition in Vienna, E-Competition in Fairbanks, AZ and the Neuhaus International Piano Festival in Moscow.
Mr. Kobrin has released recordings on the Harmonia Mundi, Quartz, and Centaur labels, covering a wide swath of the piano literature. Gramophone Magazine raved about his Cliburn Competition release on Harmonia Mundi, writing that “in [Rachmaninoff’s] Second Sonata (played in the 1931 revision), despite fire-storms of virtuosity, there is always room for everything to tell and Kobrin achieves a hypnotic sense of the music’s dark necromancy.”
Mr. Kobrin was born in 1980 in Moscow. At the age of five, he was enrolled in the world-famous Gnessin Special School of Music after which he attended the prestigious Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire. His teachers have included renowned professors Tatiana Zelikman and Lev Naumov.
Internationally acclaimed pianist and Yamaha Artist Nikita Fitenko has performed recitals and with orchestras in the former Soviet Union, Europe, Asia, and South and North America. He has appeared as a soloist with such orchestras as St. Petersburg Capella Symphony, Russian Chamber Philharmonic, Russian Philharmonic Orchestra of Moscow, St. Petersburg State Conservatory Orchestra, State Hermitage Orchestra, Slovak National Philharmonic, Corvallis Symphony Orchestra, Lewisville Symphony, Rapides Symphony, Northeast Texas Symphony, and Northwestern Symphony Orchestra.
While performing a wide and diverse repertoire, Nikita Fitenko is an acknowledged master of Russian piano music. His CDs for Altarus Records of complete piano works by leading contemporary Russian composers Georgy Sviridov and Sergei Slonimsky have garnered rave reviews from the international music press. Fanfare Music Review wrote, “Fitenko plays magnificently!” Slonimsky himself described Fitenko’s interpretation of his piano music as “outstanding.” He also added, “It is very vivid, imaginative, virtuosic, fascinating, and pianistically brilliant.” Mr. Fitenko’s recording of Scriabin’s Piano Concerto with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra of Moscow was released internationally on Classical Records label. His latest recording of works by Bach, Beethoven, Mussorgsky, and Rachmaninov for Classical Records was released in the spring of 2014.
In addition to solo recitals, Nikita Fitenko performs extensively in piano duo with Katerina Zaitseva. Hailed by critics for their “superlative sound, superlative interpretation, and superlative pianism…”, the duo has performed worldwide with most recent appearances at the Moscow State Conservatory Hall (Russia), Madeira Music Festival (Portugal), Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage (Washington, D.C.), Yamaha Hall (NYC), Piano Duo Series (Tokyo, Japan), Nancyphonies Music Festival (France), University of Florida Young Pianists Festival, and Berkeley University (California, USA). Their critically acclaimed CD featuring works for piano four hands by Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms has been released internationally by the Classical Records label and is available through Amazon.
Native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Nikita Fitenko graduated from the St. Petersburg State Conservatory with a citation for excellence given to only five other graduates in the last fifty years. After receiving the Anton Rubinstein Memorial Award he came to study to the US pursuing his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of North Texas. His principal teachers included Roman Lebedev, Igor Lebedev, and Joseph Banowetz.
Dr. Fitenko has been invited to serve on many international piano competition juries, including 2013 Schubert International Piano Competition (San Cristoforo, Italy), 2012 Nordic International Piano Competition (Malmo, Sweden), 2011 Chopin International Piano Competition (Hartford, CT), 2010 and 2015 Scriabin International Piano Competitions (Grosetto, Italy), 2009 American Pianists Association’s Classical Fellowship Awards (Indianapolis, IN), 2008 Rachmaninov International Piano Competition (Moscow, Russia), and 2003 World International Piano Competition (Cincinnati, OH) among others. He has presented master classes at the Verdi Conservatory of Music (Turin, Italy), Hochschule fur Musik (Saarbruken, Germany), Tokyo College of Music, Estonian Academy of Music (Tallinn, Estonia), Korean National, Yeonsei, Hanyang, Sejong, ChungAng Universities (South Korea), Sichuan Conservatory, Xinghai Conservatory, Jinan University, Changchun University, Hangzhou University (China), as well as at the 2010 Convention of the Maryland State Music Teachers Association, 2009 Chinese-American International Piano Institute (Chengdu, China), and 2009 University of Florida Young Pianists Festival (Gainesville, FL). Among his students are winners of national and international competitions including National MTNA Competition.
Juan Lago studied at the Conservatorio de Málaga, Amsterdam Conservatorium and Real Conservatorio de Madrid. His teachers were Juan J. Peralta, Jan Wijn and Ana Guijarro. He has also been influenced by Gyorgy Sebok, Eugen Indjic, Claudio Martínez Mehner, Josep Colom, Imre Rohmann, Stanislav Pochekin and Leonel Morales.
He received many awards in many national and international piano competitions such as Spanish Composers International Piano Competition in Las Rozas, Madrid, Concurso Internacional de Piano “Cidade de Ferrol”, Concorso Pianistico Internazionale “Alexander Scriabin” in Grosseto, Italy and Concorso Internazionale “Valsesia Musica” in Varallo, Italy.
He has performed in Spain, Portugal, France, England, Germany, Holland, Italy and Turkey. He has been featured as soloist with the Orquesta Sinfónica Provincial de Málaga, Orquesta Sinfónica de Córdoba, Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid, Orquesta de Valencia, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Bacau Royal State Philarmonic Orquestra and Çukurova State Symphony Orchestra.
He was a faculty member at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Salamanca and at the present he is a member of the Piano Faculty at the Conservatorio “José Iturbi” de Valencia. His pupils have achieved more than 50 top Prizes at national and international piano competitions.
He is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Campillos International Piano Competition and Paterna International Piano Prize. Juan Lago is often invited to adjudicate as Jury member in international competitions such as the Spanish Composers International Competition in Las Rozas, Madrid, “Prix AmadeO” in Aachen, Germany and “Città di Cantù”, Italy. He is also invited frequently to teach Master classes in Spain, Italy and Germany.