Anna Zassimova

Anna Zassimova is a pianist of a kind rarely still found, the sort you’d imagine walking out the pages of a 19th century novel. Her playing bleeds with passionate intensity, all softness and fury, coupled with an unparalleled knowledge and sympathetic understanding of the works she plays. There’s nothing showy about it, though it’s riveting, and all the emotion – and my god there is plenty – is of the sort that can only be lived, and cannot be faked.

Anna Zassimova is a product of – perhaps the last generation of – the Great Russian School founded by Heinrich Neuhaus: Bayerische Rundfunk were the first of many to compare her playing to that of Richter and Gilels. The comparison is an apt one.

She trained at the world-renowned Gnessin School in Moscow from age six. While studying her first degree (in piano, at Gnessin Academy, taught by Vladimir Tropp), she experienced the traumas of the collapse of the Soviet Union first hand and full-on, an experience she credits with causing her to “commit” to her art as the only stable point in what was, for her, a time of great instability. Her education, she explains, trained pianists’ hands and minds, almost from birth; it was at this time that piano became her soul. Personal circumstances led her to leave Russia for Germany during this period. She received a DAAD Fellowship to do so, and duly studied at the Karlsruhe Music University (under Michael Uhde und Markus Stange) where she now teaches.


Over the course of the last decade, she has entranced audiences at a plethora of festivals and major concert halls, both with her solo recitals and her concerti. Her solo CD recordings, featuring Romantic and contemporary works, and released on Antes, have drawn unchecked praise from every quarter. These recordings have focussed on Chopin, her great ‘non-Russian’ love, Brahms and fin-de-siecle Russian composers. Vergessene Weisen (“Forgotten Ways”), her album of disappearing Romantic and modernist Russian music and ways of feeling, featuring Medtner, Catoire, Scriabin and Roslavets is widely considered her greatest recording. It’s sequel, Sonata Reminiscenza, is currently being mixed. She has also featured on chamber recordings of Tanejew and Catoire, released by cpo.







Anna Zassimova machte mit Einspielungen wenig bekannter Meisterwerke der russischen Komponisten um 1900 auf sich aufmerksam (CDs bei cpo und Antes, Aufnahmen bei SWR und BR). Dabei ist sie nicht nur Interpretin sondern auch Kunsthistorikerin und promovierte Musikwissenschaftlerin: So verbindet man die Wiederentdeckung des russisch-französischen Komponisten Georges Catoire inzwischen vor allem mit ihrem Namen. Ihr Buch über sein leben und Werk (Verlag Ernst Kuhn, Berlin 2011) – die erste umfassende Veröffentlichung über diesen Komponisten – sowie ihre CD-Produktionen mit seinen Werken eröffnen einen völlig neuen Blick auf diesen faszinierenden Wegbereiter der russischen Moderne.

Konzertreisen führten die gebürtige Moskauerin durch Russland, USA und China. Sie gab Solo- und Kammermusikabende auf internationalen Festivals, wie dem Klavierfestival Ruhr, Piano á Saint-Ursanne und dem Herzogenberg-Festival in der Schweiz, dem Bloomsbury Festival in London, dem Heidelberger Frühling, und dem Chopin-Festival in der tschechischen Stadt Mariánské Lázne. Sie spielte außerdem Uraufführungen bei den Festivals für zeitgenössische Musik, wie dem Musica Viva München und dem ECLAT Stuttgart.

Anna Zassimova studierte Klavier bei Vladimir Tropp (Musikakademie Gnessin, Moskau) und bei Michael Uhde und Markus Stange (Musikhochschule Karlsruhe). Sie lehrt an der Musikhochschule in Karlsruhe und lebt in Baden-Baden.



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