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Grigory Sokolov, who was born in 1950 in the former Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), started playing the piano at the age of five. He began his studies with Liya Zelikhman at the Leningrad Conservatory two years later and won the Gold Medal at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at the age of sixteen. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, his international career was able to fully develop, with appearances at the world’s major concert halls and festivals. As a concert soloist, Sokolov worked with the leading orchestras before deciding to perform in solo recitals exclusively. Nowadays, Sokolov gives about 70 concerts per season, devoting himself to a single program every six months. Yet his repertoire is extremely broad, ranging from transcriptions of medieval polyphony to Baroque harpsichord works and from the great Classical and Romantic composers to music of the 20th century. Sokolov meticulously prepares his recitals and, before each performance, acquaints himself with the precise mechanical details of each instrument on which he will perform; he rehearses for many hours in the hall, even on the day of the concert, to explore its acoustic conditions as well as the specifics of the grand piano. In the current season, Sokolov has made guest appearances in the Berlin Philharmonie, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, the Parco della Musica in Rome, and the Konserthuset in Stockholm. Most of his releases have been recorded live: Sokolov prefers the magical moment of the concert experience to the sterile atmosphere of the studio. His most recent release appeared in 2017 and includes piano concertos by Mozart and Rachmaninoff.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 22 November 2001 in works by Haydn, Mozart, and César Franck.