Nikolai Demidenko

Piano

Biography

Authoritative interpretations of over fifty concerti, specifically those of Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, have brought Nikolai Demidenko worldwide recognition and critical acclaim. His passionate, virtuosic performances and musical individuality marked him as one of the most extraordinary pianists of this century.

Nikolai has worked with many renowned conductors such as Yuri Temirkanov, Sir Roger Norrington, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Charles Dutoit, Evgeny Svetlanov and Sir Andrew Davis. Orchestras with whom he has collaborated include the St Petersburg Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Simfónica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, Orquesta Nacional de Espana, Orchestre National de France and Danish National Symphony Orchestra.

Concerto highlights of his current and upcoming seasons include appearances with Lahti Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Göttinger Symphonie Orchester, a tour of the UK with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic, Gulbenkian Ochestra and Seoul Philharmonic.

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Reviews

“The Russian pianist Nikolai Demidenko was a brilliant interpreter for Scriabin’s emotional piano concerto. He offered many gradations between powerful, downright steel chords and filigree delicate, glittering drive, could seductively create lovely moods as well as power-driven outbursts. He has a surprising virtuosity in piano technique, but he does not produce it vainly anywhere but places it at the service of the musical statement.”

Michael Schäfer

Göttinger Tageblatt

“Demidenko delivered moment after moment of unimaginable beauty. Much, if not most of the difficulties in this work are in the left hand, and the pianist proved ambidextrous, as the many gradations of his tone stayed in mind long after the sounds and their inflections died. Like a flowing conversation, Demidenko and Tchivzhel rarely deviated, and they hid the difficulties of synchronized rubato well. However, nothing on this night sounded as ravishing as the Andante. The strings breathed life into this heavenly music, and Demidenko followed them with some of the most arresting sixteenth-note passages I’ve ever heard. The Allegro moderato, on the other hand, was a force of nature, as Demidenko scaled the most breathtaking artistic heights, replete with sweeping arpeggios — and the kitchen sink.”

The Mercury News

More Reviews

“Through the grace of his extraordinarily light touch and artistic rubato, he succeeds in expressing the paradox of this piece of music – being as serious as it is carefree.”

La Liberte

“He banished all thoughts of the harpsichord for which these little masterpieces were written, and created instead a canvas which was almost symphonic. On that the paint was lovingly applied: swooningly smooth legatos, staccato outbursts to make you jump, whirling figurations to make the head spin, all delivered with extreme precision. Every bar of this first half of his recital was riveting.”

The Independent

“Nikolai Demidenko is an extrordinary pianist.”

Danas

“Demidenko delivered moment after moment of unimaginable beauty. Much, if not most of the difficulties in this work are in the left hand, and the pianist proved ambidextrous, as the many gradations of his tone stayed in mind long after the sounds and their inflections died. Like a flowing conversation, Demidenko and Tchivzhel rarely deviated, and they hid the difficulties of synchronized rubato well. However, nothing on this night sounded as ravishing as the Andante. The strings breathed life into this heavenly music, and Demidenko followed them with some of the most arresting sixteenth-note passages I’ve ever heard. The Allegro moderato, on the other hand, was a force of nature, as Demidenko scaled the most breathtaking artistic heights, replete with sweeping arpeggios — and the kitchen sink. ”

The Mercury News

“Demidenko gave a truly formidable performance, creating an almost hypnotic feeling of relentless motion. At times, his fingers leapt across the keyboard with the mischievous sprightliness of Puck and at others, he stabbed at the piano like a scene from Macbeth. In other moments, he evoked the ingratiating malevolence of Iago or a sense of seething bitterness straight from Hamlet.”

The Straits Times

“His performance was robust and expansive, rich in wit, musical understanding and clarity, particularly in the perilous final section of the first movement. His treatment of the cadenzas was spontaneous and colourful, bright yet warm-toned.”

Bachtrack

“Demidenko’s playing was always precise, profound, and well-articulated. In the last cadenza, shortly before the end, his rendition of Rachmaninov reached its utmost intensity, and it was a great joy to hear him resume the first theme with fervour and full-handed chords.”

Bachtrack

“Nikolai Demidenko is an extrordinary pianist. (…)Nikolai’s interpretations of Brahms and particularly Prokofiev were defined by a high degree of musical individuality. He is clearly a very sensitive performer. He does not give in to empty virtuosity, rather he analises the structure and pays attention to the smallest of detail.”

Danas

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