Nikolai Lugansky - piano
The exceptionally gifted Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky was born in 1972 and studied with the well-known pianist and pedago-gue, Tatiana Nikolaeva. He is one of the most remarkable talents to have appeared among the new generation of pianists from the former Soviet-Union. At the age of 14, Nikolai Lugansky won first prize in Tiblisi during a competi-tion for young musicians. In the Netherlands, Nikolai Lugansky made a sensational début performance in May 1990, at the age of 17, as a last-minute replacement for Maria Joao Pires in the large hall of Muziekcentrum Vreden-burg in Utrecht. A few months later, Lugan-sky gave a recital in the large hall of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in the series "Vijf Jonge Russi-sche Top-talenten" (= five of the most talented young Russians). This performance was described unanimously as extraordinarily impressive, and resulted in many further invitations. In Februa-ry 1994, he performed in the series "Meesterpi-anisten" (= master pianists) in the Amster-dam- Concertge-bouw and the Doelen in Rotter-dam. In April 1999, he gave a Chopin recital in the large hall of the Concertgebouw.
Nikolai Lugansky regularly performs with Dutch and Belgian orchestras: during the 2002/2003 season, Nikolai Lugansky toured Japan with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam and its chief conductor Riccardo Chailly, performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5. Furthermore, he performed Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2 in May 2003 in Brussels with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders. Nikolai Lugansky made his orchestral début in the United States with Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra at the Holly-wood Bowl in August 1996. During the past seasons, he has played with the Hous-ton Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. In 2003, he is scheduled to tour Germany with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Further important orchestral engagements include concerts with the Oslo Philharmonic and Mikhail Pletnev, the Toulouse Orchestra and Michel Plasson, the London Philharmonia and Richard Hickox, the Hallé Orches-tra and Kent Nagano, and the Royal Scottish Orchestra and Eri Klas. During the 2002/2003 season, he made his début with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande with Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 1 under conductor Alexander Lazarev. He also made his début at the Saarbrücken Festival in Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No.2 with the Monte Carlo National Orchestra and Marek Janowsky. Furthermore, he gave performances of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Dresden Philharmonic and Marek Janowsky in Dresden, Turin and Verona.
In Russia, Nikolai Lugansky regularly performs with the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra and the famous Russian State Orchestra (both under the former chief conductor, Yevgeny Svetlanov and the present chief conductor, Vassily Sinaisky). In August 2001, he went on tour with the Russian National Orchestra and chief conductor Vladimir Spivakov, performing among other in Amsterdam (the Concertgebouw) and Copenhagen. Nikolai Lugansky is in great demand as a recitalist. During the past years, he has been a regular guest artist at the international piano festival at Roque d'Antheron, and last season he performed at the festivals of Nantes, Biarritz, Perigord, Grange de Meslay, Baden-Baden and Festival Internacional de Musica da Povoa de Varzim in Portugal. This season he is giving recitals in London's Wigmore Hall, the Théâtre du Champs-Elysées in Paris, Brussels, Toulouse, Avignon and Moscow.