Pavel Kolesnikov

Winner of the Honens International Piano Competition in 2012, London-based pianist Pavel Kolesnikov was born in Siberia into a family of scientists. He studied both the piano and violin for 10 years, before concentrating solely on the piano, studying at Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory with Sergei Dorensky, at London’s Royal College of Music with Norma Fisher where he received the Milstein Medal and is the Benjamin Britten Piano Fellow, and at Brussels’ Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel with Maria João Pires, thanks to the generous support of Christopher D Budden, the RCM Scholarship Foundation and Hattori Foundation. He was a member of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists from 2014 to 2016.

Celebrated for his imaginative and thought-provoking programming which offers the listener a fresh, often unexpected perspective on familiar pieces, Kolesnikov has given recitals at the Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London as part of the international Piano Series, Carnegie Hall in New York, Konzerthaus in Berlin, Louvre and Salle Gaveau in Paris, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam. In recent years, he has also performed at Festival International de Piano La Roque d’Anthéron, the Musiq3 Festival in Brussels, Piano aux Jacobins in Toulouse, and 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 Hermès Quartet and the Calidore String Quartet. He is a founding member of Trio Aventure with Elina Buksha and Aurélien Pascal, and performed the complete cycle of Brahms’ violin and viola sonatas with Lawrence Power in 2019.

Kolesnikov records for Hyperion, with repertoire ranging from rarely heard harpsichord pieces by Louis Couperin to Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons. His album of Chopin’s Mazurkas won the Diapason d’Or de l’Annee, one of world’s most prestigious awards in the area of recording. His sixth album featuring Bach’s Goldberg Variations was released in 2020, and he collaborated with legendary Belgian dancer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker on a new choreographic work based on the Variations, which was premiered at the Vienna Festival and is currently touring the world.

In 2019, together with Tsoy, Kolesnikov started the Ragged Music Festival at the Ragged School Museum in London’s East End. In the same year, he was honoured with the Young Talent Award by The Critics’ Circle, praised for his “intensely personal interpretations, often daring in their originality” and his “crusading vision”.

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© Eva Vermandel