Pushkin House Music Salon: Medtner Society Inaugural Concert

Berlin’s newly established Medtner Society hold their first concert abroad. Internationally renowned musicians Vasily Gvozdetsky and Alexander Karpeyev (piano), Anne Greuner (violin) and Vasily Savenko (baritone) present a mixed programme of Medtner’s best solo piano works, chamber music and songs.

Programme:

Sonata in A minor, Op. 30
Tale in D minor, Op. 51 No. 1
(Vasily Gvozdetsky)

Sonata for violin and piano, Op. 21
(Anne Greuner, Vasily Gvozdetsky)

‘Ya perezhil svoi zhelan′ya’ [Gone are my heart's desires], Op. 3 No. 2
‘Kon′ [The Horse], Op. 29 No. 4
‘Vesenneye uspokoyeniye’ [Spring Solace], Op. 28 No. 5
Aus ‘Claudine von VillaBella’ (Liebliches Kind), Op. 6 No. 5
‘Shopot, robkoye dïkhan′ye’ [Whisp'ring, Nature faintly stirring], Op. 24 No. 7
‘Zaklinaniye’ [The Call, Evocation], Op. 29 No. 7
‘Zimniy vecher’ [Winter Evening], Op. 13 No. 1
(Vasily Savenko, Alexander Karpeyev)

Sonata-Ballade, Op. 27
(Alexander Karpeyev)

Performers:
Anne Greuner, violin
Vasily Gvozdetsky, piano
Alexander Karpeyev, piano
Vaily Savenko, baritone

Anne Friederike Greuner belongs to Germany's new promising generation of violinists.  She graduated with honors from Hamburg's Hochschule für Musik und Theater (class of Prof. Christoph Schickedanz) and currently continues her studies at the Mozarteum Salzburg with Prof. Benjamin Schmid. She regularly appears as a soloist and chamber musician in Europe and has recently participated in Debussy Festival Hamburg and Festival Musical Les Printemps de St Laurent in Belgium. Most recently, she was awarded First Prize and a Gold Medal at the Concours pour Jeunes Soloists competition in Luxembourg and performed as a soloist with the HamburgerCamerata Orchestra. Anne Friederike took part in master-classes with Paul Kantor, Shmuel Ashkenazi, Ingolf Turban and Tanja Becker-Bender. She has scholarships from Karl und Else Wilke Stiftung and Deutschlandstipendium and since 2015 she has been a scholar of the Oscar and Vera Ritter-Stiftung Foundation. 

Vasily Gvozdetsky was born in St. Petersburg and received his first piano lessons at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory's Preparatory School. By the age of ten, he was already performing his first concerts in Russia, Ukraine, France, Germany, Italy, Greece and Finland. In 2006 he became a student at the Latina August Hermann Francke, a secondary school in Halle (Germany). After graduation, he studied piano at the HfMT Hamburg with Lilya Zilberstein and HfM Hanns Eisler in Berlin with Eldar Nebolsin. Additionally he received significant inspiration from taking part in master-classes with Jura Margulis, Brenno Ambrosini, Christian W. Müller, Igor Kamenz, Fabio Bidini and Dmitry Bashkirov. Vasily has received numerous prizes in international competitions, including the Elise-Meyer-competition in Hamburg and the Luciano Luciani-competition in Cosenza (Italy) and has performed as a soloist with Halle State Orchestra. He is currently pursuing postgraduate studies at the music faculty of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittemberg with Prof. Jochen Köhler. Vasily is a co-founder and vice-chairman of the newly-established, Berlin-based Medtner Society.

Russian-born pianist Alexander Karpeyev has been a major prizewinner in international competitions, including 1st prizes at the 2007 Dudley International Piano Competition, the Norah Sande Award 2008 and Oxford Music Festival’s recital competition. He is a graduate of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and City University London, where in 2014 he successfully defended his doctoral thesis on the performance practice in the music of Nikolay Medtner. Alexander has given recitals in major venues in the UK (Purcell Room, the Barbican, Cadogan, Royal Festival, Wigmore and Queen Elizabeth Halls, Kings Place in London; Bridgewater Hall in Manchester). Abroad, he has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in Belgium, Canada, Greece, Japan, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and the USA. His performances have been featured on Sky Television and BBC Radio. In 2008 he was awarded the Worshipful Company of Musicians’ Silver Medal, and in January 2016 he organized the first International Medtner Festival in London. Recently he was appointed Music Curator at Pushkin House, a vibrant centre of Russian culture in London.

 Vasily Savenko was born near Odessa, Ukraine. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Alexei Bolshakov, and later with Mikhail Kiselev. He won both the Mussorgsky and Lysenko Competitions and has sung principal roles for major opera houses in his native Ukraine and in Russia, including the Bolshoi Theatre (Moscow) and the Kirov Opera (St Petersburg). In the early 1990s he moved to Britain where his debut at London’s Wigmore Hall launched the showcase vocal series Russian Images – a kaleidoscope of Russian art songs rarely heard in the West. Further series followed (all premiered at Wigmore Hall): Rachmaninov and MedtnerRussian Horizons and Pushkin in Music. Works from these programmes were subsequently released on three CDs by Hyperion Records.   In 2008 Vasily recorded Medtner’s songs with pianist Boris Berezovsky, together they toured in the UK, Belgium, Russia and Japan. A recording on the French label Mirare features some of this repertoire. 

Vasily’s festival appearances include Cheltenham International Music, Hereford Autumn, Three Choirs, Rimsky- Korsakov, Oxford Lieder and Proms at St Jude’s, Kiev Music Fest, Moscow International Autumn, Second International Medtner Festival (Russia), and Kiev Easter Music Festival. Vasily has premiered Yuri Kasparov’s mono-opera Nevermore (Moscow Autumn Festival), Vadim Kulyov’s Pushkin’s Spring (Wigmore Hall), David Matthew’s Winter Passions with the Nash Ensemble (Cheltenham Festival). He also delivered first UK performances of Alexander Blok’s song cycle Dreams (Wigmore Hall), Boris Lyatoshynsky’s Two Romances (St George’s, Bristol), Edison Denisov’s Merry Time for voice and Trio, Alexander Mosolov’s Three Pushkin Settings (Wigmore Hall) and Sviridov’s Burns Songs (Wigmore Hall). The Scottish premiere of this cycle was given at Balquhidder Summer Music.

Recent highlights of Vasily’s calendar include Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death in Sweden, and Shostakovich’s Ten Songs of the Fool (from King Lear) with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Maida Vale Studios. In opera, Savenko made his UK debut in a Rachmaninov double-bill, interpreting the dual roles of Baron (Miserly Knight) and Lanciotto Malatesta (Francesca da Rimini), both to a great acclaim. He has performed with conductors such as Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Alexander Lazarev, Alexander Annisimov, Nikolai Alexeev, Alberto Hold-Garrido, Alexander Polyanichko and David Lloyd-Jones in principal roles for WNO, Opera Holland Park, Grange Park Opera, Opera Ireland, Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos Lisbon, Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, the State Theatre Klagenfurt (Austria). Vasily’s concert performances include appearances with RSNO, Chelsea Opera and with Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra. In a recent engagement for ROH Covent Garden, he covered the role of Sobakin in a new production of Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride under Mark Elder.  Other highlights include Boris Godunov (the title role) for the State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre (Kiev) and the extensive European tour of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta under Emmanuel Villaume.

‘His fine voice revealed both the depth of its tone and the ringing power of its upper register’ — Opera Now

‘Burns to set the heather afire... an exhilarating experience’ — The Herald

‘Savenko was an excellent choice, tortured and vengeful as Lanciotto Malatesta in Francesca, mean and mad-eyed as the Baron in The Miserly Knight but keeping the histrionics in check’ — Geoffrey Norris, The Daily Telegraph