Vassily Primakov

In recent years, Vassily Primakov has been hailed as a pianist of world class importance. Gramophone wrote that “Primakov’s empathy with Chopin’s spirit could hardly be more complete,” and the American Record Guide stated: “Since Gilels, how many pianists have the right touch? In Chopin, no one currently playing sounds as good as this! This is a great Chopin pianist.”

His first piano studies were with his mother, Marina Primakova. He entered Moscow’s Central Special Music School at the age of eleven as a pupil of Vera Gornostaeva, and at 17 came to New York to pursue studies at the Juilliard School with the noted pianist, Jerome Lowenthal. At Juilliard Mr. Primakov won the William Petschek Piano Recital Award, which presented his debut recital at Alice Tully Hall, and while at Juilliard, aided by a Susan W. Rose Career Grant, he won both the Silver Medal and the Audience Prize in the 2002 Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition. Later that year Primakov won First Prize in the 2002 Young Concert Artists (YCA) International Auditions. In 2007 he was named the Classical Recording Foundation’s “Young Artist of the Year.” In 2009, Primakov’s Chopin Mazurkas recording was named “Best of the Year” by National Public Radio and that same year he began recording the 27 Mozart piano concertos in Denmark. BBC Music Magazine (November, 2010) praised the first volume of Primakov’s Mozart concertos: “The piano playing is of exceptional quality: refined, multi-coloured, elegant of phrase and immaculately balanced, both in itself and in relation to the effortlessly stylish orchestra. The rhythm is both shapely and dynamic, the articulation a model of subtlety. By almost every objective criterion, Vassily Primakov is a Mozartian to the manner born, fit to stand as a role model to a new generation.” 

Vassily Primakov has released numerous recordings for Bridge Records that include works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Chopin, Dvorak, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, Philip Glass, Arlene Sierra and Poul Ruders.

Vassily Primakov Plays Rachmaninov

Vassily Primakov Plays Rachmaninov

Back to overview Vassily Primakov, born in 1979 in Moscow, and educated there and at the Juilliard School under Jerome Lowenthal, already recorded numerous CD on the American label Bridge. Up to now, however, his extensive discography did not include the name Rachmaninov — a rather unusual lacuna for a Russian pianist. In January 2011, Primakov finally recorded Rachmaninov’s Corelli Variations, the Elégie in E flat minor (op. 3 no. 1), and a selection of eleven Preludes. The C. Bechstein D 282 concert grand at the Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City blossomed splendidly during the recording. Winner of the Gina Bachauer Audience Prize, Vassily Primakov undoubtedly has a great future before him.

Erik Levi wrote in BBC Music Magazin, October issue, 2011: "Vassily Primakov delivers some exceptional fine Rachmaninow playing in this generously filled recital. All the necessary ingredients are in place from the opening barnstorming bars on the B flat major Prelude, Op. 23 No. 2. Primakov maximises the music's richness of sonority, producing a warm and luxuriant sound that builds up in intensity. … As a contrast to the assortment of Preludes, Primakov also features the Corelli Variations, the composer's last substantial piano work. Once again the performance is totally captivating, managing to emphasise the leaner more acerbic features of the writing, but not at the expense of its moments of nostalgia (as in the magical 15th variation)."Levi gave five stars for this recording on Bechstein.

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