Mikhail Pletnev


Mikhail Pletnev
Mikhail Pletnev in 2006

Mikhail Vasilievich Pletnev (Russian: Михаил Васильевич Плетнёв - Mikhail Vasil'evič Pletnëv; born 14 April 1957) is a Russian pianist, conductor, and composer.

Contents

Life and career

Pletnev was born into a very musical family in Arkhangelsk, then part of the Soviet Union; his father played and taught accordion, and his mother the piano.[1] He entered the Central School of Music at the age of 13 and, in 1974, entered the Moscow Conservatory, under the instruction of Yakov Flier and Lev Vlasenko. At age 21, he won the Gold Medal at the VI International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1978, which earned him international recognition and drew great attention worldwide. The following year he made his debut in the United States. He also taught at the Moscow Conservatory.

In 1988, he was invited to perform at the superpower conference in Washington, D.C. At this conference, he met and befriended Mikhail Gorbachev. Because of this friendship, he gained the support to found two years later the Russian National Orchestra in 1990, the first non-government-supported orchestra in Russia since 1917, and was its first principal conductor.[2] He and the orchestra made their recording debut on Virgin Classics, releasing Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony and Marche Slave in 1991.[3] He stepped down as Principal Conductor in the late 1990s, but remained the orchestra's artistic director.[4] Mikhail Pletnev has been named first guest conductor of the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland from 2008 to 2010.

Pletnev has had an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon since 1996. His recordings are mostly of Russian works, though he has recently recorded the complete Beethoven symphonies. The first works he recorded were for orchestra, including Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty, his Pathetique Symphony and Manfred Symphony, and Rachmaninoff's Second and Third Symphonies. His piano repertoire is extensive and includes The Seasons, many Scarlatti sonatas, Pictures at an Exhibition as well as his own transcriptions of suites from The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty.

Pletnev, who lives in Thailand, was questioned on 6 July 2010 for allegedly procuring under-age boys for sexual purposes and one instance of alleged rape of a 14-year-old male in Pattaya. Pletnev, who was released on bail, denied the charges.[5][6] The pianist cancelled appearances at the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh International Festival in order to prepare his defence,[7] but the charges were dropped on 28 September, and he resumed his career two months later.[8]

In February 2011 Pletnev conducted Staatskapelle Dresden in A German Requiem by Brahms in memoriam of the firestorm on Dresden in the Semperoper.[9]

Awards and recognitions

  • 1978: Gold Medal and First Prize Tchaikovsky Competition Moscow
  • 1995: State Prize First Class of the Russian Federation by President Boris Yeltsin
  • 1999: Echo Klassik (Skrjabin)
  • 2001: Echo Klassik (Live at Carnegie Hall)
  • 2002: State Prize First Class of the Russian Federation by President Vladimir Putin
  • 2005: Grammy Awards of 2005 Best Chamber Music Performance with Martha Argerich
  • 2005: European Conductor's Prize
  • 2005: Triumph, Prize by the independent Russian foundation Triumph-Nowy-Wek
  • 2006: State Prize First Class of the Russian Federation for the year 2005 by President Vladimir Putin

Notable compositions

  • 1978: Quintet for Piano, Flute, Violin, Viola and cello
  • 1979: "Triptych" for Symphony Orchestra
  • 1988: Classical Symphony
  • 1997: Viola Concerto
  • 2000: Variations on a theme by Rachmaninov
  • 2000: Adagio for five Double basses
  • 2006: Cello sonata
  • 2006: Fantasia Elvetica (First performance: December 09 2006 Orchestra Musikkollegium Winterthur Switzerland; Mikhail Pletnev, Conductor; Sascha und Mischa Manz)
  • 2009: Jazz suite

Transcriptions

  • 1976: Rodion Konstantinovich Shchedrin: 2 Concert Pieces from „Anna Karenina“ (Transcription for piano)
  • 2005: Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev: Suite from Cinderella op. 87 (Transcription for two pianos)

Bibliography

  • Ludmila Kokoreva: Michail Pletnyov. Moskau 2003, ISBN 5-85285-748-3 (Russian)
  • Lora Tokareva: Muzykal'nye Otkrytiya Mikhaila Pletneva. Etudy Nabroski Interwiev, Moskau 2009, ISBN 978-5-206-00747-3 (Russian)

References

External links

Interviews


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