Mikhail Stepanovich Petukhov |

Mikhail Stepanovich Petukhov |

Mikhail Petukhov

Date of birth
composer, pianist
Russia, USSR

The individuality of Mikhail Petukhov is determined by poetry and rigor, the assimilation of a full-blooded arsenal of technical means, confidence and close attention to everything that gives the musical sound that elusive feature that cannot leave us indifferent, the power of which we submit to … a rare maturity for this age, ”wrote Belgian newspaper “La libre Belzhik” about a young Russian pianist who became a laureate of the 7th International Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels.

Honored Artist of Russia Mikhail Petukhov was born in Varna, in a family of geologists, where, thanks to the highly spiritual atmosphere, the boy’s musical affections were determined early. Under the guidance of Valeria Vyazovskaya, he takes his first steps in mastering the laws of piano playing and has been taking part in concerts since the age of 10, often performing his own compositions. The meeting with the famous composer Boris Lyatoshinsky determined the boy’s professional future and strengthened his confidence in his own creative powers.

Studying piano and composition with the excellent teachers of the Kyiv Special Music School Nina Naiditsch and Valentin Kucherov, Mikhail becomes close to the representatives of the avant-garde composers in the person of Valentin Silvestrov, Leonid Grabovsky and Nikolai Silvansky, and also gains his first European recognition at the 4th International Piano Competition named after Bach in Leipzig, where he won a bronze award. The future fate of the musician is inextricably linked with the Moscow Conservatory, where he studies in the class of the outstanding pianist and composer Tatyana Nikolaeva. His active creative life at various times was enriched by contacts with such major contemporary musicians as Svyatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels, Georgy Sviridov, Karl Eliasberg, Alexander Sveshnikov, Tikhon Khrennikov, Albert Leman, Yuri Fortunatov and many others. While still a student, Petukhov created many works of various genres, including the opera The Bride of Messina based on Schiller’s text. Sonata for solo violin, written in 1972, is highly appreciated by the great David Oistrakh.

The biggest event of Petukhov’s creative life was his communication with Dmitry Shostakovich, who spoke enthusiastically about the young artist. Subsequently, the famous Belgian critic Max Vandermasbrugge wrote in his essay “From Shostakovich to Petukhov”:

“The meeting with the music of Shostakovich performed by Petukhov can be regarded as a continuation of the latter’s work by Shostakovich, when the elder encourages the younger to persistently develop his thoughts … How great would be the joy of the master!”

The intensive concert activity of the artist, which began at school, was, unfortunately, unknown to the Western world for a long time. When, after success at the Brussels competition, numerous invitations from Europe, the USA and Japan followed, an insurmountable obstacle to the well-known political situation in the former USSR prevented Petukhov from traveling abroad. International recognition returned to him only in 1988, when the Italian press called him one of the most talented concert artists of our time. This assessment is echoed by the statement of the famous conductor Saulius Sondeckis: “Petukhov’s performance is distinguished not only by his performing brilliance and rare virtuosity, but also by his deep understanding of musical dramaturgy and stylistic features of the music he performs. Petukhov is a performer who harmoniously combines the impulse and temperament of a virtuoso, calmness, the wisdom of an expert and erudition.”

Mikhail Petukhov’s repertoire, consisting of many solo programs and over 50 piano concertos, ranges from pre-classical music to the latest compositions. At the same time, any of the authors finds in the pianist’s interpretation an original, fresh, but always stylistically reliable interpretation.

The world press is unanimous in their statements, noting the artist’s “combinations of greatness and intimate lyricism in Bach, sublime simplicity in Mozart, fabulous technique in Prokofiev, refinement and exciting performance perfection in Chopin, a magnificent gift of a colorist in Mussorgsky, breadth of melodic breath in Rachmaninov, steel strike in Bartók, dazzling virtuosity in Liszt.

Petukhov’s concert activity, which has been going on for almost 40 years, is of great interest all over the world. It is enthusiastically accepted by the public in Europe, Asia, the USA, and Latin America. It is difficult to enumerate all the world’s largest stages on which the pianist gave keyboard bands or performed as a soloist with the world’s largest orchestras under the baton of many famous conductors. Among them are the Bolshoi Theatre, the Berlin and Warsaw Philharmonics, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the Milan and Geneva Conservatories, the National Auditorium of Madrid, the Palace of Fine Arts in Brussels, the Erodium Theater in Athens, the Colon Theater in Buenos Aires, Usher Hall in Edinburgh, Leader Hall in Stuttgart, Tokyo Suntory Hall, Budapest and Philadelphia Academy of Music.

During his creative life, the musician gave about 2000 concerts.

M. Petukhov has numerous recordings on radio and television in different countries. He also recorded 15 CDs for Pavane (Belgium), MonoPoly (Korea), Sonora (USA), Opus (Slovakia), Pro Domino (Switzerland), Melopea (Argentina), Consonance (France). Among them are such highly prestigious recordings as Tchaikovsky’s First and Second Concertos from the Colon Theatre, and Rachmaninov’s Third Concerto from the Bolshoi Theatre.

Mikhail Petukhov is a professor at the Moscow Conservatory, where he has been teaching for 30 years. He also conducts annual master classes in many countries around the world and participates in the work of the jury of various international competitions.

The composing work of Mikhail Petukhov, the author of compositions of various genres, is also very extensive: for orchestra – “Sevastopol Suite”, symphonic poem “Memories of Bruges”, Chaconne “Monument to Shostakovich”, Nocturne “Dreams of White Nights”, Piano and Violin Concertos; chamber-instrumental: “Romantic Elegy” for piano trio, Sonata-Fantasy “Lucrezia Borgia” (after V. Hugo) for bassoon and piano, String Quartet, Piano Sonata in Memory of Shostakovich, “Allegories” for double bass solo, “Three Canvases of Leonardo » for flute ensemble; vocal – romances on poems by Goethe for soprano and piano, Triptych for bass-baritone and wind instruments; choral works – Two sketches in memory of Lyatoshinsky, Japanese miniatures “Ise Monogatari”, Prayer, Psalm 50 of David, Triptych to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Four Spiritual Concertos, Divine Liturgy op. John Chrysostom.

Petukhov’s music has been repeatedly performed at major festivals in the CIS countries, as well as in Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Japan, the Republic of Korea, with the participation of such famous contemporary musicians as Y. Simonov, S. Sondetskis, M Gorenstein, S. Girshenko, Yu. Bashmet, J. Brett, A. Dmitriev, B. Tevlin, V. Chernushenko, S. Kalinin, J. Oktors, E. Gunter. The Belgian company Pavane released the disc “Petukhov plays Petukhov”.

Winner of the “Napoli Cultural Classic 2009” award in the category “Best Musician of the Year”.

Source: pianist’s official website

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