Denis Kozhukhin, pianist
“[Kozhukhin’s] dazzling performance … must have lifted Orchestra Hall a few feet off its foundation. It was hard, in fact, to imagine any pianist seizing this formidably difficult concerto in a mightier grip than this Russian firebrand… Even in a day when keyboard virtuosos are thick on the ground, Kozhukhin is special.” Chicago Tribune,
Winner of the First Prize in the 2010 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels at the age of 23, Denis Kozhukhin has established himself as one of the greatest pianists of his generation.
Kozhukhin’s performances have been praised by critics as “spellbinding”, “imperious” and “mesmerizing”. Technically flawless, Kozhukhin combines wisely the brilliance and power of his playing with a masterful sense of form, maturity, and a very unique sensitivity.
Kozhukhin frequently appears with many of the leading international orchestras, such as Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony, Staatskapelle Berlin, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, HR-Sinfonieorchester, NDR Radiophilharmonie, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Bamberg Symphony, Vienna Symphony, Orchestre National de France, Mariinsky Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestra National du Capitole de Toulouse and NHK Symphony, among others. In 2018 he debuted at the BBC Proms, performing Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.2 with the Aurora Orchestra.
The 19/20 season brings the debuts with the Orchestre National de France under C. Meister, Rotterdam Philharmonic with V. Petrenko, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra with J. Martin, Nuremberg Symphony under K. Wong, Würth Phillharmonic under K. Järvi, Kristiansand Symphony and Turku Philharmonic under J. Rachlin. Kozhukhin will return to the National Symphony Orchestra (USA) with G. Gimeno, Oslo Philharmonic with V. Petrenko, Vienna Symphony with R. Trevino, Philharmonia Orchestra with Heras-Casado, RTE National Symphony with J. Martin, BBC Philharmonic, MDR Leipzig and MUPA/Hungarian National Philharmonic.
He will also appear in solo recital at the Boulez Saal, International Piano Series at Southbank Centre, Aix-en-Provence Festival, Lille Piano Festival, Chicago Symphony Hall, and will tour with Janine Jansen, appearing in duo recital at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Wigmore Hall, Tokyo Opera, Seoul Arts Center, Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, Taiwan National Concert Hall, among others venues.
Denis Kozhukhin will be guest artist in such festivals as the Enescu International Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein,Trans-Siberian Arts Festival, Tivoli, Evian, Jurmala, Tsinandali, Lockenhaus, Pietrasanta, Grand Teton and Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival.
His debut recording for the label Pentatone, featuring Grieg Piano Concerto and Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin and Vassily Sinaisky was received with rave reviews, including Gramophone Editor’s Choice and Disc of the month in Fono Forum and Stereophone.
His last solo album, including Mendelssohn’s Songs without words and Grieg’s Lyric Pieces, was released in April 2019, and picked by Gramophone “album of the month”.
An avid chamber musician, Kozhukhin is frequently invited to the most renowned festivals and collaborates with such artists as Janine Jansen, Jörg Widmann, Julian Rachlin, Vadim Repin, Leonidas Kavakos, Michael Barenboim, Vilde Frang, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, the Jerusalem Quartet, the Pavel Haas Quartet, Elena Bashkirova, Radovan Vlatkovic, Emmanuel Pahud, Alisa Weilerstein, Nicolas Alstaedt, Julian Steckel, and Pablo Ferrández, among others.
Born in Nizhni Novgorod, Russia, in 1986 into a family of musicians, Denis Kozhukhin began his piano studies at the age of five with his mother. As a boy, he attended the Balakirev School of Music where he studied under Natalia Fish. From 2000 to 2007, Kozhukhin studied at the Reina Sofía School of Music in Madrid with Dimitri Bashkirov and Claudio Martinez-Mehner.
Kozhukhin completed his studies at the Piano Academy at Lake Como where he received advice from Fou Ts’ong, Stanislav Yudenitch, Peter Frankl, Boris Berman, Charles Rosen and Andreas Staier, and with Kirill Gerstein in Stuttgart.
In recent years he has been mentored by maestro Daniel Barenboim.