Performance Sunday, June 15, 2014 | 8 PM

Denis Matsuev

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Due to illness, Denis Matsuev’s scheduled recital on January 30 has been postponed to Sunday, June 15 at 8 PM. All tickets for the original date will be honored. For further information, please call CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800.

Hailed “as the successor to Russian keyboard lions like Evgeny Kissin, Arcadi Volodos, and … Vladimir Horowitz” (The New York Times), Denis Matsuev has been establishing himself as one of the most sought-after pianists of his generation. Ever since his triumphant victory at the 1998 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, he has been winning acclaim from critics and audiences alike for his combination of stunning virtuosity and clear artistic identity. The dynamic pianist returns to Carnegie Hall for a recital of works by Haydn, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff.


  • Denis Matsuev, Piano


  • HAYDN Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, Hob. XVI: 52
  • SCHUMANN Carnaval, Op. 9
  • RACHMANINOFF Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
  • RACHMANINOFF Prelude in G-sharp Minor, Op. 32, No. 12
  • TCHAIKOVSKY Dumka in C Minor, Op. 59
  • TCHAIKOVSKY Méditation, Op. 72, No. 5
  • RACHMANINOFF Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Minor

  • Encores:
  • TCHAIKOVSKY "May" from The Seasons, Op. 37b, No. 5
  • SIBELIUS "Etude" from Thirteen Pieces, Op. 76, No. 2 in A Minor
  • SCRIABIN Etude in D-sharp Minor, Op. 8, No. 12
  • LIADOV A Musical Snuffbox, Op. 32
  • LISZT Etude d’exécution transcendante No. 10 in F Minor
  • STRAYHORN Take the "A" Train (arr. Matsuev)

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.


  • Denis Matsuev

    Since his triumph in 1998 at the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition, Denis Matsuev has become a virtuoso in the grandest Russian tradition of pianism, and has quickly established himself as one of the most prominent pianists of his generation.

    Mr. Matsuev performs with the world's best-known orchestras, such as the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics; the Chicago, Pittsburgh, and National symphony orchestras; The Philadelphia Orchestra; Berliner Philharmoniker; the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, and Royal Philharmonic orchestras; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne; the BBC Symphony and Philharmonia orchestras; the Verbier and Budapest festival orchestras; Filarmonica della Scala; Maggio Musicale Fiorentino; Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; Orchestre National de France; Orchestre de Paris; Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; NHK Symphony Orchestra; Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra; Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; European Chamber Orchestra; National Orchestra of Belgium; Lucerne Symphony Orchestra; and Baltic Youth Orchestra. He also has ongoing engagements with such legendary Russian orchestras as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariinsky Orchestra, and Russian National Orchestra.

    Upcoming highlights include appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Mariss Jansons, Russian National Orchestra under Mikhail Pletnev, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Zubin Mehta, and Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin. In the US, Mr. Matsuev gives concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under James Conlon and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under Manfred Honeck. His European tour includes concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and Valery Gergiev, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and Zubin Mehta, Orchestre de Paris, and Orchestre National de Lyon under Leonard Slatkin. He also tours Asia with the LSO and Valery Gergiev, and gives concerts in Australia.

    Recital appearances include performances in Boston and Washington, DC; London (Royal Festival Hall); Madrid (Auditorio Nacional de Música); Rome (Sala Santa Cecilia); Amsterdam (Concertgebouw); a tour in Germany that includes concerts in Berlin (Konzerthaus), Munich (Herkulessaal), Frankfurt (Alte Oper), and Düsseldorf (Tonhalle); and Moscow (Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory).

    Mr. Matsuev regularly appears with distinguished conductors that include Valery Gergiev, Yuri Temirkanov, Mariss Jansons, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Paavo Järvi, Antonio Pappano, Charles Dutoit, Alan Gilbert, Leonard Slatkin, Myung-Whun Chung, Semyon Bychkov, Iván Fischer, Adam Fisher, Gianandrea Noseda, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, James Conlon, Vladimir Spivakov, Mikhail Pletnev, Vladimir Fedoseyev, and Yuri Bashmet, among others.

    Mr. Matsuev is a frequent guest at such music festivals as the Verbier, Lucerne, and Montreux festivals in Switzerland; the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International festivals in Great Britain; Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau, and Festspielhaus Baden-Baden in Germany; Les Chorégies d'Orange and Festival de la Rogue d'Anthéron in France; Ravinia and the Hollywood Bowl in the US; Chopin Festival in Poland; Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and Mito Festival in Italy; Enescu Festival in Romania; Baltic Sea Festival in Sweden; and Stars of the White Nights Festival in Russia.

    Mr. Matsuev has hosted an original series, Soloist Denis Matsuev invites … , for eight consecutive years at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Many famous orchestras, prominent conductors, and outstanding soloists have participated in the series. In 2010, Mr. Matsuev performed as soloist at Avery Fisher Hall for the New York Philharmonic's 15,000th concert-a milestone unmatched by any other orchestra. Conducted by Valery Gergiev, the event was highly acclaimed by critics.

    Mr. Matsuev has led numerous musical festivals and educational projects. Since 2004, he has organized Stars on Baikal in Irkutsk, Siberia, and in 2009 he was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Irkutsk. Since 2005, he has been the artistic director of Crescendo, a series of events held in international cities such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Tel Aviv, Kaliningrad, Paris, and New York. In 2010, he became the artistic director of the Annecy Music Festival in Annecy, France; in 2012, he became the artistic director of the first International Astana Piano Passion Festival and Competition; and in 2013, he became the artistic director of the International Festival and Competition Sberbank Debut in Kiev. In addition, Mr. Matsuev is the president of the charitable Russian foundation New Names, which discovers and supports talented children and helps develop music education throughout regions of his native Russia. More than 10,000 children have been given the opportunity to perform on a professional stage through the foundation's support.

    Mr. Matsuev's discography includes Unknown Rachmaninoff, released in 2007 by RCA Red Seal. His Carnegie Hall recital in November 2007 was recorded and released in 2009. Releases on the Mariinsky label include Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3, Shostakovich's concertos nos. 1 and 2, and Rodion Schedrin's Fifth Concerto with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra. Mr. Matsuev's recording of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the New York Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert was released in April 2013. In September 2013, LSO Live released a new disc that features Mr. Matsuev and the LSO under Valery Gergiev in a performance of Szymanowski's Symphonie concertante. Gramophone chose Mr. Matsuev's recording of Tchaikovsky's concertos nos. 1 and 2 as its recording of the month in April 2014.

    At the invitation of Sergei Rachmaninoff's grandson Alexander Rachmaninoff, Mr. Matsuev has collaborated with the Sergei Rachmaninoff Foundation, performing and recording unknown pieces by Rachmaninoff on the composer's own piano at his house in Lucerne, known as Villa Senar. Mr. Matsuev has since become the artistic director of the foundation.

    Mr. Matsuev is the recipient of awards that include the Presidential Council for Culture and Art's Honored Artist of Russia, the prestigious Shostakovich Prize in Music, and the State Prize of Russian Federation in Literature and Arts. He is a People's Artist of Russia and an Honorary Professor of Moscow State University, and was recently appointed head of the Public Council under the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. In February 2014, he performed at the Closing Ceremony of the XXII Winter Olympic games in Sochi. In April 2014, UNESCO designated Denis Matsuev as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

    More Info


Rachmaninoff's Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5
Denis Matsuev, Piano
RCA Red Seal

At a Glance

JOSEPH HAYDN  Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, Hob. XVI:52

Although most concertgoers more readily associate Haydn with symphonies and string quartets than with keyboard music, he wrote dozens of masterful sonatas and other works for both harpsichord and piano. This showpiece, a perennial concert-hall favorite, was probably inspired by the bold sonorities of the Broadwood pianos that Haydn heard in London.

ROBERT SCHUMANN  Carnaval, Op. 9

Like most of Schumann’s solo piano works of the 1830s, Carnaval was in part a musical valentine to his future bride, Clara Wieck. But it also memorializes his first love, a young pianist named Ernestine von Fricken, to whom the composer was briefly engaged. Underlying the score are the contrasting personalities of Schumann’s fictitious alter egos: the stormy, impulsive Florestan and the dreamy, ruminative Eusebius.

SERGEI RACHMANINOFF  Prelude in G Minor, Op. 23, No. 5; Prelude in G-sharp Minor, Op. 32, No. 12; Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Minor, Op. 36

Rachmaninoff’s Op. 23 and Op. 32 preludes display his trademark blend of Russian-flavored lyricism and dazzling virtuosity. Dating from the beginning and end of the first decade of the 20th century, the two sets also reflect his growing mastery of the pianistic idiom, which came to fruition in the monumental but highly concentrated musical language of the Second Piano Sonata.

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY  Dumka in C Minor, Op. 59; Méditation, Op. 72, No. 5

Tchaikovsky was not in Rachmaninoff’s league as a pianist, but his piano concertos, sonatas, and shorter pieces are as challenging in their own way as anything his younger compatriot wrote. These two character pieces were written toward the end of Tchaikovsky’s life and reflect his abiding interest in Slavic themes.  

Program Notes
This performance is part of Keyboard Virtuosos I.