Cultivating fresh perceptions of familiar repertoire is central to Pavel Kolesnikov’s recent and upcoming recitals in Wigmore Hall and Flagey Brussels. His programme commemorates the centenary of Debussy’s death with the French composer’s Children’s Corner interleaved with pieces by Helmut Lachenmann, Chopin and Louis Couperin.
“I am fascinated by Debussy,” he observes. “He was an extraordinary composer who influenced the development of music in the last century, inspiring so many composers who have little else in common. I think that diversity of influence comes from theway in which Debussy formed his art by borrowing ideas from unexpected places and making entirely new works from them. My homage to Debussy explores this diversity and, like his music, includes something that will touch every listener. He was able to look at the world very intensely and express his responses in music of great complexity. While the surface is always polished, it’s not hard to go deeper into his compositions to find powerful emotions. Schumann’s Fantasie, for me, is about the same thing: about listening very carefully, with all your being, to what the world around you has to say.”
The 2017-18 season contained other career milestones for Kolesnikov, beginning with his BBC Symphony Orchestra debut at the Barbican Centre, where he performed Max Bruch’s Concerto for two pianos Op.88a in partnership with fellow pianist Samson Tsoy and conductor Alexander Vedernikov.
He gave performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.5 ‘Emperor’ Concerto at Exeter Cathedral with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Michael Seal, Piano Concerto No.4 at the Royal Festival Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Ilan Volkov and Piano Concerto No.3 at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Vassily Sinaisky. He toured with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in the ‘Emperor’ Concerto, followed by four performances in Belgium and two in the UK of the Piano Concerto No.1 with the Flanders Symphony Orchestra and Jan Latham-Koenig.
Pavel Kolesnikov is the Prize Laureate winner of the Honens Prize for Piano in 2012. He was a BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists from 2014 to 2016. Significant recital and festival appearances include Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Berlin’s Konzerthaus, the Louvre (Paris), Vancouver Recital Society, La Jolla Music Society, Spoleto Festival USA, Canada’s Ottawa ChamberFest and Banff Summer Festival, Plush Music Festival, and the BBC Proms.
A live recording of Pavel's prize-winning performances was released on the Honens label in March 2013, about which the BBC Music Magazine wrote “tremendous clarity, unfailing musicality and considerable beauty”. His debut studio recording was released on the Hyperion label to critical acclaim, with The Sunday Times described his playing on this all-Tchaikovsky disc as having “affection and élan”. His disc of the Chopin Mazurkas, released on the Hyperion label, has won worldwide critical acclaim, winning a Diapason D'Or Award in November 2016.
Artistic daring belongs to the essence of Pavel Kolesnikov’s latest recording. The album, set for international release on the label Hyperion in April 2018, comprises a selection of pièces de clavecin by Louis Couperin (c.1626-61), compositions created half a century before the invention of the piano. It presents several of the French composer’s unmeasured Preludes together with allemandes, courantes and other pieces cast in a striking variety of styles and expressive moods.
Pavel Kolesnikov lives in London and considers it a perfect place for himself. He is a passionate perfume collector, among rare contemporary and vintage specimens in his perfume library the oldest ones date back to the 1920s. Painting, photography and fashion are some of his main interests..