In 2012 pianist Pavel Kolesnikov became a sensation at the Honens International Piano Competition when he took home the world’s largest piano prize. The London-based pianist was born in Siberia into a family of scientists. He studied both the piano and violin for ten years, before concentrating solely on the piano. He has studied at Moscow State Conservatory with Sergey Dorensky, at London’s Royal College of Music with Norma Fisher and at Brussels’ Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel with Maria João Pires thanks to the generous support of Mr Christopher D Budden, the RCM Scholarship Foundation and Hattori Foundation. Pavel is the recipient of the Milstein Medal and is the RCM Benjamin Britten Piano Fellow, and was a member of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists from 2014 to 2016.
Celebrated for his imaginative, thought-provoking programming which offers the listener a fresh, often unexpected perspective on familiar pieces, Pavel has given recitals at the Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, as part of the international Piano Series, Carnegie Hall in New York, and Berlin’s Konzerthaus, the Louvre and Salle Gaveau in Paris, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam. In recent years he also performed at La Roque d’Antheron festival, the Musiq3 Festival in Brussels, Piano aux Jacobins in Toulouse, and the Aldeburgh Festival, among others.
An avid ensemble player, Kolesnikov regularly performs in piano duo with Samson Tsoy and collaborates with other musicians such as cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan, the Hermes String Quartet and the Calidore String Quartet. In 2019 he performed the complete cycle of Brahms violin and viola sonatas with Lawrence Power. He formed Trio Aventure with Elina Buksha and Aurelien Pascal.
Kolesnikov records for Hyperion, with repertoire ranging from rarely heard harpsichord pieces by Louis Couperin to Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons. His Chopin Mazurkas album won Diapason d’Or de l’annee, one of world’s most prestigious awards in the area of recording. The Guardian gave Bach’s Goldberg Variations five stars and wrote: ‘Kolesnikov’s Goldbergs are softly spoken, but they are also extraordinarily eloquent.’ His last album “Poèmes & Valses of Reynaldo Hahn appeared in June 2022.
He collaborated with legendary Belgian dancer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker on a new choreographic work based on the Goldberg Variations which was premiered in August 2020 at the Wiener Festwochen and is currently touring the world.
In 2019, together with Samson Tsoy, Kolesnikov started Ragged Music Festival at the Ragged School Museum, former “ragged school” of Dr Barnardo in London’s East End. In the same year Kolesnikov was honoured with the Critics’ Circle Young Talent Award 2019 for piano, praised for his “intensely personal interpretations, often daring in their originality” and his “crusading vision”.
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