InConcert Sierra brings renowned pianist Lugansky back to Grass Valley in spring 2016

World-famous Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky is returning to perform in Grass Valley on March 14, 2016, thanks to InConcert Sierra, our magazine has learned.

It is part of a big upcoming season that also includes celebrated violinist Joshua Bell, as previously reported.

“Lugansky enjoyed himself so much while he was here last time,” said InConcert Sierra Executive Director Julie Hardin. “He and Ken played around — sight-reading, four-hands piano literature one day — while Lugansky was practicing on the Grotrian piano at the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

“Nobody was there, and I sure wish I had been. Ken said Lugansky was nearly impossible to keep up with, and Ken had played the four-hands literature before with (Music in the Mountains’ co-founder) Paul Perry numerous times so he knew it pretty well. Lugansky was sight-reading it for the first time.”

Four-hands piano literature refers to music for four hands at one piano. Lugansky last played in Grass Valley in March 2011.

According to his biography, concerto highlights in Lugansky’s forthcoming seasons include the St Petersburg Philharmonic and Philharmonia orchestras (both with Yuri Temirkanov); London Philharmonic Orchestra (with both Vladimir Jurowski and Osmo Vänskä); Philharmoniker Hamburg and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (both with Kent Nagano); San Francisco Symphony, and a tour of the United States with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (both with Charles Dutoit).

Lugansky is Artistic Director of the Tambov Rachmaninov Festival and is also a supporter of, and regular performer at, the Rachmaninov Estate and Museum of Ivanovka. He performed the composer’s Piano Concerto No.3 at the closing concert of the inaugural Ivanovka Rachmaninov Festival in June 2014 with the Russian National Orchestra and Mikhail Pletnev.

Lugansky studied at Moscow’s Central Music School and the Moscow Conservatoire where his teachers included Tatiana Kestner, Tatiana Nikolayeva and Sergei Dorensky. He was awarded the honour of People’s Artist of Russia in April 2013.

Among others, Lugansky has performed with Joshua Bell. “Lugansky’s career begins with one of those nearly unbelievable wunderkind stories,” according to NPR. “At age 5, while little Nikolai was visiting a neighbor’s dacha, he played a complete Beethoven piano sonata from memory and by ear, as he had not yet learned how to read music.”

(Photo: Nanette Melville)

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