Russian Piano Music for Four Hands
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Mikhail Glinka

Russian Piano Music for Four Hands

Cyprien Katsaris / Alexander Ghindin

Label: Piano 21
Format: CD
Barcode: 3760051450540
Catalog number: P21 046
Releasedate: 04-09-15
- these  lesser-known pieces of Russian music for four-hand piano works by Glinka and Tchaikovsky will delight all those who take pleasure in erring from the beaten path
- this highly original programme is delivered in close understanding between two inspired virtuoso pianists: Ghindin and Katsaris
With the collaboration of the Muscovite pianist Alexander Ghindin, Cyprien Katsaris explores lesser-known pieces of Russian music for four-hand piano. Occasional pieces, transcriptions, settings of popular songs or original compositions, these works by Glinka and Tchaikovsky will delight all those who take pleasure in erring from the beaten path. From the famous Fantasy on Two Russian Folk Songs transcribed by Balakirev, reputedly leader of the “Group of Five” to the traditional melodies of slavic folklore in all its abundance, this highly original programme is delivered in close understanding between two inspired virtuoso pianists.

Cyprien Katsaris, the French-Cypriot pianist and composer, was born in Marseilles in 1951. He first began to play the piano in Cameroon where he spent his childhood, at the age of four, with Marie-Gabrielle Louwerse.
A graduate of the Paris Conservatoire where he studied piano with Aline van Barentzen, Monique de la Bruchollerie, and chamber music with René Leroy and Jean Hubeau, he won the International Young Interpreters Rostrum-UNESCO (Bratislava 1977), the First Prize in the International Cziffra Competition (Versailles 1974) and he was the only western-European prize-winner at the 1972 Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Competition.
His major international career includes performances with the world’s greatest orchestras: Berlin Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Philharmonia (London), NHK Symphony Orchestra (Tokyo), Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Beijing Symphony Orchestra ... He has collaborated with conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Masur, Myung Whun Chung, Sir Neville Marriner, Sir Simon Rattle, Antal Doráti, Mstislav Rostropovich, Charles Dutoit, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Christoph von Dohnányi … and Karl Münchinger, who on the festive occasion of his farewell concert in 1986, with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, personally invited Mr. Katsaris to perform the Haydn D major Concerto.
Mr. Katsaris has recorded extensively for Teldec (Grand Prix du Disque Frédéric Chopin, Warsaw 1985; Grand Prix du Disque Franz Liszt, Budapest 1984 and 1989; British Music Retailers Association’s Award 1986; Record of the Year 1984, Germany, for the 9th Symphony of Beethoven/Liszt), Sony Classical, EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, BMG/RCA, Decca, Pavane, and now on his own label, PIANO 21.
In addition to the standard repertory, such as the complete Concertos by Mozart, recorded live and performed in Salzburg and Vienna with Yoon K. Lee and the Salzburger Kammerphilharmonie, he has revived long lost works such as the Liszt/Tchaikovsky’s Concerto in the Hungarian style which he has recorded with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
In 1992, the Japanese NHK TV produced with Cyprien Katsaris a thirteen-program series on Frédéric Chopin which included masterclasses and his own performance. On 17 October 1999, the New York concertgoers offered Mr. Katsaris a standing ovation in Carnegie Hall for his recital dedicated to Frédéric Chopin, performed on the day of his 150th death Anniversary. On 27 January 2006, the day of the 250th Anniversary of Mozart’s birth, he was the soloist at the inaugural concert of the Mozart Orchestra Mannheim founded and conducted by Thomas Fey. In March 2006 Cyprien Katsaris was the first pianist ever to give masterclasses in Franz Liszt’s house in Weimar since Liszt, who taught there for the very last time in 1886, the year of his death. In August 2008, he was invited to give two concerts on the occasion of the Beijing Olympic Games at the National Center for the Performing Arts. In addition to the world premier of a concerto for ten pianos and orchestra – China Jubilee – by the composer Cui Shiguang, he improvised on an ancient Greek melody, and on, inter alia, Chinese melodies, in tribute to the universality of the Olympic Games. On 10 July 2014 Cyprien Katsaris performed in the first concert at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.
He has been a member of the jury of the following International Competitions: Chopin (Warsaw 1990), Liszt (Utrecht 1996), Vendôme Prize (Paris 2000), Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud – Ville de Paris (2001), Beethoven (Bonn 2005), Giorgos Thymis (Thessaloniki 2011) and Scriabin (Moscow 2012). In addition he was appointed Artistic Director of the Echternach International Festival (Luxembourg) from 1977 to 2007.
Cyprien Katsaris is “Artist of UNESCO for Peace” (1997), “Commandeur de l’Ordre de Mérite du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg” (2009) and “Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters” (France 2000). He also received the “Médaille Vermeil de la Ville de Paris” (2001) and the “Nemitsas Prize” (Cyprus, 2011). He is a member of ADAP, the Association of Artists for Peace, and Honorary President of “Lisztomanias International”.


Alexander Ghindin has been unanimously acclaimed by critics and music lovers as one of the most talented and original pianists of the present day. “Alexander Ghindin is not just a virtuoso, of which there are few on the stage today. He is also a true personality, a poet and a singer of the piano, an inspired lyricist and dramatist who has a subtle feel for the music and conveys the composers’ ideas.” (Music Review, 2008.)

He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory. Before entering the Conservatory, at the age of seventeen he became the youngest-ever laureate of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, and quickly established himself as one of the most sought-after pianists of his generation. Later he gained Second Prize at the International Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition in Brussels in 1999. These successes assisted the start of the pianist’s extremely intensive recital activities.
In 2007 Alexander Ghindin was First Prize-winner at the International Piano Competition in Cleveland (USA) and was engaged for over fifty concerts in the USA. According to critics, he “made a staggering impression on the audience, demonstrating such a high level of mastery that makes every one of his performances special and unforgettable.” (Art and Life.) In July 2010 he won First Prize at the International Piano Competition of Santa Catarina (Florianópolis, Brazil).
A. Ghindin is a frequent jury member of competitions, such as the Nutcracker Young Performers’ International TV Competition; First Russian Music Competition; International Piano Competition in Cleveland (USA) and others.

He is Artistic Director of his own concert series, projects and festivals in Russia. To name a few: “Piano Duo Festival”, “Musicians for peace”, “Quartet of Pianos”, where he presented such unique programs as: The recital of Four Pianos, Duo Program for Piano and Organ, American music for Two Pianos, including prepared instruments and others. He is also International Artistic Co-Director of the Swedish Royal Festival.

Alexander Ghindin tours successfully throughout Russia and abroad. He has performed with such major Russian and international orchestras as the Grand Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, the Russian National Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Orchestre National de Belgique, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Rotterdam Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestras of London, Helsinki, Luxemburg, Liège, Monte Carlo and Munich, Japan’s Tokyo Symphony Orchestra to name but a few.

Conductors the pianist has worked with include Vladimir Ashkenazy, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Vladimir Spivakov, Vladimir Minin, Arnold Katz, Dmitry Kitayenko, Saulus Sondeckis, Alan Gilbert, Krzysztof Penderecki, Paavo Järvi and others.

A. Ghindin is a regular participant at international music festivals. He has appeared at the Russian festivals Russian Winter, The Musical Kremlin as well as the Swedish Royal Festival in Stockholm, the Robert Casadesus International Piano Encounters in Lille, the Vladimir Spivakov Festival in Colmar, the Radio France Festival, Folle Journée (France), Bad Kissingen Sommer (Germany), the Ruhr Piano Festival (Germany)…

He wrote an original piano transcription of Maurice Ravel’s orchestral poem La Valse, which was published in Tokyo in 2001 and in St. Petersburg in 2008.
In 2001 Ondine Records released the world première recording of the original version of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concertos nos. 1 and 4 performed by Alexander Ghindin together with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Ashkenazy. 
The musician has made numerous recordings on television and radio in Russia, Belgium, Germany, France, Luxemburg, Poland, US and Japan. He has released 24 CDs with leading recording companies including Decca, Capriccio, Ondine, Tri-M Classics, Russian Season (the Russian partner of Le Chant du Monde), DML, CD Accord and Naxos among others.