Ariën Artists - Mikhail RUDY, piano - English biography



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Mikhail RUDY, piano


An artist of great creativity and charisma, Mikhail Rudy enthuses audiences worldwide with his profound musicality and his extraordinary virtuosity. He was born in Russia where he studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Jacob Flier. After winning First Prize at the Marguerite Long Competition in Paris, he settled in France where he was appointed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government. It was apt recognition for a man whose pursuit of an outstanding musical career has always been inextricably linked with a search for excellence in many areas of art and culture. As a concert and recording pianist his honours are many: the Prix de l'Académie du Disque Français for his Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 2 and Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No 1 with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic/Jansons; the Grand Prix du Disque for his recording of Szymanowski solo piano works; the Grand Prix Académie Charles Cros for his Scriabin cycle and the Grand Prix Liszt in Budapest for his recording of solo pieces by that composer; Der Deutsche Schallplatten Kritik Prize for his Shostakovich concerti with LPO and Berlin Philharmonic/Jansons.

It is significant that Rudy's concert debut in the West was a performance of Beethoven's Triple Concerto with Mstislav Rostropovich and Isaac Stern - composer and performers creating a synthesis of East and West which Rudy has himself always sustained in his programming and in the essence of his music making. The occasion was a celebration of the 90th birthday of Marc Chagall - a painter whom he had long admired and an event which gave Rudy the opportunity to be close to the painter in his last years.

Following invitations set the standard for what has become the highest level international career: an American debut with the Cleveland Orchestra/Maazel; an invitation to the Salzburg Easter Festival with Karajan; a London debut with the London Symphony Orchestra/Tilson Thomas and a performance of the Wanderer Fantasie with the Berlin Philharmonic/Jansons at Waldbühne. These are orchestras which continue to feature in Rudy's schedule, along with others including the Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia, Boston, Houston, Baltimore, St Louis, Seattle, Montreal, Toronto, Accademia di Santa Cecilia di Roma, La Scala di Milano, Maggio Musicale Firenze, RAI Torino, Tonhalle Zurich, Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Residentie The Hague, Rotterdam, Munich Philharmonic, Hamburg NDR, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Köln Gurzenich, Köln WDR, Dresden Staatskappelle, Dresden Philharmonic, Berlin Staatskapelle, Stockholm Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, Hallé Orchestra, Royal National Scottish Orchestra, NHK Tokyo, Yomiuri Symphony, Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras.

Since his debut in Paris with Paul Paray, Rudy has regularly performed with all French orchestras where he remains one of the most popular artists. Rudy also goes frequently to his native Russia where he is an annual guest of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic as well as of the main Moscow Orchestras.Rudy appears at major festivals such as Berlin, Vienna, Tanglewood, Blossom, Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, Harrogate, Schleswig-Holstein, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Carinthischer Sommer, Piano Ruhr Festival, Festival Pianistico Michelangeli di Brescia e Bergamo, Prague Spring and Autumn Festivals, Aix en Provence, La Roque d’Anthéron and most of the French festivals including Nohant, Colmar, Sully-sur-Loire and Strasbourg.

On stage, Rudy regularly receives praise from the critics:
“Rudy tops the list of pianists who tackle the Rachmaninoff.” Washington Post.
In a Mozart concerto: “…the poetic playing of the buccaneering pianist made for exciting, edge-of-the-seat listening”. The Glasgow Herald. "Rudy finally performed a piece that Jansons is famous for, Stravinsky’s Petrouchka. The superhuman virtuosity he exhibited made it far and away the musical highlight of the night.” Post-Gazette Pittsburgh/Andrew Druckenbrod (Mariss Janson’ 60th birthday celebration), February 2003.

Rudy founded the prestigious Saint-Riquier Festival where he was Artistic Director for twenty years. He is also a respected television broadcaster and has contributed to a BBC television documentary on the life and music of Tchaikovsky. In France he created a series of radio projects for France-Musique, illuminating the life and works of Scriabin, Brahms, Szymanowski and Janá?ek and he is active in experimental video-filming and writing.

Rudy has developed an exciting, innovative project for two pianos, ‘Double Dream’, with the great jazz pianist Misha Alperin which consists of partly rewritten and partly improvised compositions of classical repertoire. The CD, released in 2004 on EMI Classics, received many distinctions including ‘Best Record of the Month’ in Gramophone. “Rudy is a pianist with an enormous musical appetite… an intrepid explorer” (Bryce Morrison, Gramophone). “They display artistry most people would die for” (John Brunning, Classic FM). In 2006, they will perform in France, the UK and at the Copenhagen Jazz festival in Tivoli.

He wrote and performed together with French actor Robin Renucci a theatrical and musical play based on Wladyslaw Szpilman’s book The Pianist. The show ran in Paris for more than four months and received both audience and critical acclaim. The project toured French speaking countries throughout the 2006 season.

Rudy’s highly acclaimed recordings on EMI include Rachmaninov's complete works for piano and orchestra with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic/Jansons (the initial recording in that series being the first concerto recording the orchestra had made for over thirty years); Brahms solo works in a three disc set; Janacek solo works and orchestral works with the Paris Opera Orchestra/Mackerras; solo works by Szymanowski, Ravel, Schubert, Liszt and Scriabin. Other releases include Shostakovich concerti with the London Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic/Jansons and his solo recording of Stravinsky's complete Petrouchka (transcription Stravinsky/Rudy), original piano works and partly unpublished transcriptions by Richard Wagner. In 2006, EMI released his new Chopin CD including Sonata No.2 and 24 Preludes.

Mikhail Rudy’s 2005 highlights included concerts with the Russian National Orchestra/Pletnev, Budapest National Orchestra/Kocsis, a tour in Austria with the Royal National Scottish Orchestra and Walter Weller, with concerts in Musikverein in Vienna and Grossefestspielhaus in Salzburg. In North America, he opened the season of the Vancouver Symphony and was the guest of the Milwaukee Symphony orchestra. The 2006 highlights included four concerts with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra under the direction de Mstislav Rostropovitch, both in Rome and Madrid and two concerts with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra under Mariss Jansons for the opening concerts of their season, as well as a recital at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées when he played the complete late Brahms solo pieces.

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