Alexander Melnikov completed his studies at the Moscow Conservatory under Lev Naumov. His most formative musical moments in Moscow include an early encounter with Svjatoslav Richter, who thereafter regularly invited him to festivals in Russia and France. He was awarded important prizes at eminent competitions such as the International Robert Schumann Competition in Zwickau (1989) and the Concours Musical Reine Elisabeth in Brussels (1991).
Known for his often unusual musical and programmatic decisions, Alexander Melnikov developed his career-long interest in historically informed performance practice early on. His major influences in this field include Andreas Staier and Alexei Lubimov. Melnikov performs regularly with distinguished period ensembles including the Freiburger Barockorchester, Musica Aeterna and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.
As a soloist, Alexander Melnikov has performed with orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Koninklijk Concertgebouw Orkest Amsterdam, Philadelphia Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, HR-Sinfonieorchester, Munich Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic and BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, under conductors such as Mikhail Pletnev, Teodor Currentzis, Charles Dutoit, Paavo Järvi, Thomas Dausgaard, Maxim Emelyanychev and Vladimir Jurowski.
Together with Andreas Staier, Alexander Melnikov recorded a unique all-Schubert programme of four-hand pieces, which they have also performed in concert. An essential part of Melnikov’s work is intensive chamber music collaboration with partners including cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras.
Alexander Melnikov’s association with the label harmonia mundi arose through his regular recital partner, violinist Isabelle Faust, and in 2010 their complete recording of the Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano won a Gramophone Award. This album, which has become a landmark recording for these works, was also nominated for a Grammy. Their most recent releases feature Brahms and Mozart sonatas for violin and piano.
Melnikov’s recording of the Preludes and Fugues by Shostakovich was awarded the BBC Music Magazine Award, Choc de classica and the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. In 2011, it was also named by the BBC Music Magazine as one of the “50 Greatest Recordings of All Time. ” Additionally, his discography features works by Brahms, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich and Scriabin. Along with Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Pablo Heras-Casado and the Freiburger Barockorchester, Melnikov recorded a trilogy of albums featuring the Schumann Concertos and Trios (published in 2015-16) and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto (2021). Other releases include a complete recording of Prokofiev’s piano sonatas , “Four Pieces, Four Pianos”, released in 2018 and highly acclaimed by critics and following this in 2023 his new album “Fantasie – Seven Composers Seven Keyboards” in which he plays the pieces on the instruments of the time.
Highlights of the 2023/24 season will be Alexander Melnikov’s concert tour to Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, his residency as “Porträtkünstler” at the Kölner Philharmonie, performances with François-Xavier Roth’s orchestra “Les Siècles”, concerts with orchestras such as the Bayerisches Staatsorchester, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Münchener Kammerorchester, or the baroque orchestra B’Rock from Belgium, and collaborations with Maxim Emelyanychev, Anja Bihlmaier, Vladimir Jurowski, Nicholas Collon, and Osmo Vänskä, among others.
Alexander Melnikov continues his chamber music work in various formations with partners such as Isabelle Faust, Antoine Tamestit and Jean-Guihen Queyras and performs with these formations at the Paris Philharmonie, the Philharmonie de Luxembourg, the Cologne Philharmonie, the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, the Mozarteum Salzburg, the Musikfest Berlin, and the Wigmore Hall in London.
Solo concerts at the Berliner Philharmonie, Toppan Hall in Tokyo, Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw or Munich’s Prinzregententheater will complete Alexander Melnikov’s season this year.
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