Grigory Sokolov © Mary Slepkova
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Grigory Sokolov © Mary Slepkova
The rest of the program will be announced at a later date.
No other pianist goes his own way as steadfastly – and radically – as Grigory Sokolov. He becomes intensely engaged with the same works for a half-year stretch, playing them wherever he appears. At the same time, routine never enters into the picture for him – the music remains inexhaustible. Moreover, each concert is different, because every day brings something new and the environment inevitably changes as the audience does. “Performers are performers of their time, whether they like it or not, and so are the listeners,” Sokolov said in 2016 in a conversation with Die Zeit, his first interview after fifteen years of silence. The result of his interpretations is, of course, unique. With Sokolov, wrote the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Schubert’s Impromptus sounded “as if they had never been heard before. As if Schubert himself were playing from the page, still wet with ink. You think you’re encountering a kind of wise monk who has penetrated to the very root of the music through endless hours of practice, occasionally allowing the audience to participate. A bit sulkily though by no means grudgingly.”
Grigory Sokolov © Georg Anderhub/LUCERNE FESTIVAL
Grigory Sokolov, who was born in 1950 in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), began playing piano at the age of five, embarking on his studies with Liya Zelikhman at the Leningrad Conservatory two years later. When he was 16 he won the Gold Medal at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, his international career was able to fully flourish, with appearances at major concert halls and distinguished festivals around the world. As a soloist in orchestral concerts, Sokolov worked with leading orchestras before he decided to play only solo recitals. Today Sokolov gives some 70 recitals per season; each year he devotes himself to a single program. Yet the spectrum of his repertoire is extremely wide-ranging, from transcriptions of medieval polyphony through Baroque harpsichord as well as the major Classic and Romantic composers to the music of the 20th century. Sokolov meticulously prepares his recitals, becoming intimately familiar before each performance with the intricate mechanism of the respective instrument on which he will concertize; even on the day of the concert he spends many hours rehearsing in the hall to explore the acoustic conditions and specific features of the keyboard for that evening’s performance. In the current season Sokolov will appear at such venues as the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Auditorio Nacional Madrid, the Parco della Musica in Rome, and the Konserthuset in Stockholm. His recordings are for the most part taken from live performances, for Sokolov prefers the magical moment of the concert experience to the sterile atmosphere of the studio. His most recent release appeared at the beginning of 2016 and includes piano pieces by Schubert along with Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 22 November 2001 in works by Haydn, Mozart, and César Franck.
November 2016Other dates