Stepan Simonian |

Stepan Simonian |

Stepan Simonian

Date of birth
Germany, Russia

Stepan Simonian |

The young pianist Stepan Simonyan is one of those people who are said to have been born “with a golden spoon in his mouth.” Judge for yourself. Firstly, he comes from a famous musical family (his grandfather is People’s Artist of Russia Vyacheslav Korobko, long-term artistic director of the Alexandrov Song and Dance Ensemble). Secondly, Stepan’s musical abilities showed up very early, and from the age of five he began studying at the Central Music School at the Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory, which he graduated with a gold medal. True, for this one “golden spoon” alone would not be enough. In the opinion of school teachers, there were few students in their memory who were capable of such intensive classes as Simonyan. Moreover, not only the specialty and the Chamber Ensemble were the subject of deep interest of the young musician, but also harmony, polyphony, and orchestration. It should be noted that from the age of 15 to 17 Stepan Simonyan was very successful in conducting. That is, everything that is possible, in musical creativity, he tried “by the tooth”. Thirdly, Simonyan was very lucky with the teachers. At the conservatory, he got to the brilliant professor Pavel Nersesyan. This is in the piano class, and Nina Kogan taught him the chamber ensemble. And before that, for a year Simonyan studied with the famous Oleg Boshnyakovich, a brilliant master of the cantilena, who managed to teach Stepan the musical technique of the “singing piano”.

2005 becomes a turning point in the biography of the pianist. His skills are highly appreciated abroad: Stepan is invited to Hamburg by the outstanding Russian pianist Yevgeny Korolev, who has won world recognition for his interpretations of Johann Sebastian Bach. Stepan improves his skills in postgraduate studies at the Hamburg Higher School of Music and Theatre, and gives many and successful concerts in the cities of Germany and neighboring European countries.

In the same year, Stepan first came to the United States, where he participated in the prestigious international competition of Virginia Wareing in the Los Angeles suburb of Palm Springs. And quite unexpectedly, Stepan wins the Grand Prix. Tours around America after the competition (including the debut at the legendary Carnegie Hall) bring Stepan a resounding success with the public and high critical acclaim. In early 2008, he received a grant for a master’s course at the famous Yale University, and in the summer of the same year he won third prize at one of the largest piano competitions in North America named after José Iturbi in Los Angeles. However, at the same time, he receives an offer from the Higher School of Music and Theater in Hamburg to take the position of an assistant professor, and then a professor, which is an exceptional rarity for a young foreigner in Germany.

Soon, his duet with violinist Mikhail Kibardin was awarded the prestigious Berenberg Bank Kulturpreis award, which opened the doors of many new concert venues for him, such as, for example, the NDR Rolf-Liebermann-Studio in Hamburg, Stepan’s concert from which was broadcast by the largest in Germany classical music radio station “NDR Kultur”. And Stepan decides to stay in Hamburg.

Such a choice is connected not only with career prospects: despite the fact that Stepan is impressed by the optimism and active attitude towards the life of Americans, his creative attitudes are more in line with the mentality of the European public. First of all, Stepan is looking not for easy success, but for the listener’s understanding of the uniqueness of classical music, the ability to experience its unique depth. It is noteworthy that, from his youth, having excellent virtuoso abilities and a huge temperament for performing spectacular and bravura pieces, Stepan prefers to perform compositions that require, above all, spiritual subtlety and intellectual depth: his concertos are often entirely from the works of Bach, Mozart, Scarlatti, Schubert. He is also interested in contemporary music.

Sergey Avdeev, 2009

In 2010, Simonyan received a silver medal at one of the oldest and most prestigious competitions in the world – the International Piano Competition. I.S. Bach in Leipzig. The pianist’s debut disc with the complete collection of Bach’s toccata, released at the GENUIN studio, received critical acclaim.

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