December 15, 2014

Nikolai Lugansky set for UAB Piano Series performance March 21

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pavel webPavel NersessianPianist Nikolai Lugansky will perform on Saturday, March 21, as part of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Piano Series.

The UAB Piano Series, produced by Professor of Piano Yakov Kasman, DMA, and presented by the UAB College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Music, brings the world’s finest pianists to Birmingham. Both Pavel Nersessian, who performed Jan. 25, and Lugansky are part of the world’s pianistic elite and are sought-after artists of the highest caliber, Kasman says.

Lugansky will perform works by Schubert and Tchaikovsky. The performance will take place at 4 p.m. in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center Reynolds-Kirschbaum Recital Hall, 1200 10th Ave. South. Tickets are $15; $5 for UAB students. Call 205-975-2787 for tickets. Visit the UAB Department of Music online at www.uab.edu/cas/music.

Nersessian is known to fans and critics alike as one of the most remarkable pianists of his generation in Russia, and he is famed for his ability to play with equal talent the entire palette of piano repertoire. He has won prizes in every piano competition he has entered, including the Beethoven Competition in Vienna, the Paloma O’Shea Santander International Competition in Spain and the Tokyo International Piano Competition.

Nersessian’s concert activity is intense. He has toured Russia and surrounding countries since age 8, and because of his remarkable successes in international competitions, he has performed in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Cannes, Leipzig, Vienna, Budapest, Madrid, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Dublin, Munich, Caracas, Rio de Janeiro, Belgrade, Cairo, Kiev and many other cities. His many recordings include compositions by Chopin, Schumann, Schubert, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Shostakovich and more.

Since childhood he has been connected with the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire. Upon graduating from the Conservatoire in 1987 with the highest maximum marks — a rare distinction — he is now a professor there. In 2005 he became a merited artist of the Russian Federation. In 2013 he became a professor of piano at Boston University.

nikoai luganskyNikolai Lugansky. Photo credit Marco Borggreve, Naãve-AmbroisieLugansky has performed to sold-out audiences at UAB in 2009 and 2012. He is considered one of the world’s great interpreters of piano repertoire and receives high praise for his concerts, recitals and chamber music performances around the world. His musical ability was evident early: When he was only 5 years old, before he had even been taught to read music, he went to a neighbor’s house and played a Beethoven sonata from memory, having learned the music by ear.

He won first prize in the All-Union Competition in Tbilisi in 1988 and the silver medal at the International Bach Competition in Leipzig. In 1990 he took second prize at Moscow’s Rachmaninoff Competition. He was awarded “Best Pianist” in 1992 at the International Summer Academy Mozarteum in Austria. In 1994, after recovering from back and foot injuries sustained in an accident, and after the death of his teacher, he won the 1994 Tchaikovsky Competition. 

His concerto highlights in the 2014-15 season include the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and Philharmonia orchestras, both with Yuri Temirkanov; London Philharmonic Orchestra, with both Vladimir Jurowski and Osmo Vänskä; Philharmoniker Hamburg and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, both with Kent Nagano; and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and a tour of the United States with the San Francisco Symphony, both with Charles Dutoit.

An acclaimed recording artist, Lugansky records exclusively for the Naãve-Ambroisie label. His recording of the Chopin Piano Concertos with Sinfonia Varsovia and Alexander Vedernikov was released in summer 2014, and it was preceded in autumn 2013 by a disc featuring Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the Deutsches-Symphonie Orchester Berlin and Kent Nagano. These releases follow his first two acclaimed solo recordings of Liszt and Rachmaninoff, the latter receiving an ECHO Klassik Award. He was given the honor “People’s Artist of Russia” in April 2013.