Nikolai Lugansky is one of Russia's major pianists, especially known for his performances of Romantic music. He has won several of Russia's major national artistic awards. Lugansky was born in Moscow on April 26, 1972. His parents were scientists, but when they heard their son play a Beethoven sonata by ear, they signed him up for lessons with their neighbor, composer/pianist Sergei Ipatov. Lugansky went on to the Moscow Central Music School and then the Moscow Conservatory, studying with Tatiana Kestner, Tatiana Nikolaeva, and Sergei Dorensky; the latter became a mentor through Lugansky's postgraduate studies. Major prizes launched Lugansky's performing career successfully; he won the All-Union Competition in Tbilisi, Georgia, and the silver medal at the International Bach Competition in Leipzig, East Germany in 1988. The breakup of the Soviet Union and the East Bloc proved propitious for Lugansky, who in 1992 won the Best Pianist Award at the Mozarteum International Summer Academy in Salzburg, Austria. He began to record for the Melodiya label and also for Vanguard. In 1994, he was the top finisher at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, taking a silver medal (no gold was awarded). Lugansky has appeared as a concerto soloist with major orchestras in both Russia and the West, collaborating with such conductors as Valery Gergiev, Christoph Eschenbach, and Riccardo Chailly. An enthusiastic chamber music player, he has accompanied internationally renowned singers and instrumentalists, including Anna Netrebko, Yuri Bashmet, and Joshua Bell. Lugansky's recording catalog is large, encompassing releases on Challenge Classics, Naïve, Harmonia Mundi (with which he signed an exclusive contract in 2018), and many smaller labels. He has focused on core Russian repertory, especially Rachmaninov, as well as on the music of Chopin, but has also recorded works of Mozart, Beethoven, Grieg, and many other 19th century composers, as well as appearing on recordings as an accompanist. In 2020, for Harmonia Mundi, he recorded an album of solo keyboard music by César Franck. Lugansky is on the piano faculty at the Moscow Conservatory. He was named a People's Artist of Russia in 2013 and received the State Prize of the Russian Federation in 2019.
© James Manheim /TiVo
© James Manheim /TiVo
1 album sorted by Most acclaimed and filtered by Sergei Prokofiev
Narrow my search
Classical - Released March 5, 2004 | Warner Classics International
When he's not throwing tantrums and slamming the keyboard, Sergey Prokofiev is a wonderfully lyrical and sometimes even deeply moving composer. Alongside moments and whole movements of egocentric virtuosity and tremendous vulgarity, there are moments and melodies, passages and pages in his Piano Sonata No. 4 and No. 6 as beautiful as anything he ever composed. And all the music from the ballet Romeo and Juliet is among the most lyrical and the most expressive Prokofiev ever composed and his piano suite drawn from the ballet has an intimacy and soulfulness that belie the composer's image as a enfant terrible. When Prokofiev is throwing tantrums and slamming the keyboard, Nikolai Lugansky is at his worst. Which is not to say that Lugansky lacks the technique, far from it: Lugansky has a technique equal to the demands of Prokofiev's recklessly virtuosic piano writing. However, when Prokofiev gets willfully brutal, Lugansky descends to Prokofiev's level and bludgeons with the worst of the Russian bangers before him. But when Prokofiev's at his best, so is Lugansky, and the music's expressive lyricism pours through his fingers and much of Lugansky's Romeo and Juliet suite is among the most ravishing performances of the music on piano. Warner's sound is too harsh above forte but quite lovely at pianissimo. © TiVo