Nikolai Lugansky Performs Extracts from Rachmaninov's 3rd Piano Concerto
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto n.3 - Nikolai Lugansky - 1st mvt.
Nikolai Lugansky was born in Moscow in 1972 into a family of scientists. He began studying the piano at the age of five, and shortly afterwards was enrolled in the class of Tatiana Kestner at the Moscow Central Music School. During his fifth year at the school, Lugansky became a pupil of Tatiana Nikolaeva, with whom he was to work closely for nine years. In her last interview, Nikolaeva declared that Lugansky would be “The Next One” in a line of great Russian pianists. Lugansky completed his studies at the Moscow Conservatory with another renowned pianist and teacher, Sergei Dorensky.
In 1988, Lugansky won first prize at the All-Union Competition for Young Musicians in Tbilisi and second prize at the International Bach Competition in Leipzig. He went on to win prizes at the 1990 Rachmaninov Competition in Moscow, the 1992 International Summer Academy “Mozarteum” in Salzburg and the 1994 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
Lugansky’s glittering career has taken him to many of the world’s great concert venues. His repertoire includes over 40 concertos and a diverse range of solo and chamber works. He has collaborated with such distinguished conductors as Paavo Berglund, Riccardo Chailly, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Valery Gergiev, Yoel Levi, Sir Charles Mackerras, Kent Nagano, Michel Plasson, Mikhail Pletnev, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Leonard Slatkin, Yuri Temirkanov and Edo de Waart.
Highlights of recent seasons include Lugansky’s appearances with l’Orchestre de Paris under Christoph Eschenbach, the Dresden Philharmonic under Marek Janowski and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra under Neeme Järvi. In June 2001, at the Grieghalle in Bergen, Norway, Lugansky collaborated with Simone Young and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, the centerpiece of the closing concert of the Bergen International Piano Festival. In September of that year, he performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Mikhail Pletnev at the opening concert of the London season. At the 2002 Edinburgh Festival, he played Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio under Vladimir Fedoseyev. This year, Lugansky performed Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, opening the 2003-2004 season of l’Orchestre National de France, in a concert conducted by Kurt Masur and broadcast live on radio stations in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada.
In December 2003, Lugansky will collaborate for the first time with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under Stéphane Deneve. The following week, he will give a recital at the University of Washington in Seattle, and will make his New York debut at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Lugansky records for Warner Classics and for PentaTone Classics. His Warner recordings of Chopin Etudes, Rachmaninov Préludes & Moments musicaux and Chopin Preludes have each been awarded a Diapason d’Or. In addition, his Chopin Preludes CD was selected as Editor’s Choice in Gramophone and cited as one of the “Top 10 Classical Discs of 2002” in The Daily Telegraph.
Lugansky’s latest release on Warner Classics, Rachmaninov Concertos 1 and 3 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Sakari Oramo, has won two awards to date: Choc du Monde de la Musique and Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik. His next recording for Warner Classics will be dedicated to the solo works of Prokofiev. In October 2003 PentaTone Classics released Lugansky’s recording of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with Kent Nagano and the Russian National Orchestra.
An avid chess player, Nikolai resides in Moscow with his wife and two children.