Prize-winners of multiple international competitions, violinist Francois Pineau-Benois and Pushkin House Music Curator pianist Alexander Karpeyev join forces to present a unique programme featuring Tcherepnin’s rarely performed violin sonata. Known for his sensitive, romantic interpretations, Francois is descendant of the renown Benois family.
Tchaikovsky: Barcarole from ‘Seasons’ Op. 37bis; arr. E. Soré
A. Tcherepnin: Sonata for violin and piano (1922)
Shostakovich/Tsyganov: Four Preludes from Op. 34
Prokofiev: Sonata for violin and piano in D, Op. 94
Vieuxtemps: ‘Le rossingnol’ from 6 Divertissements d'amateurs, Op.24
Saint-Saens: Caprice from 6 Etudes, Op. 52, arr. Ysaÿe
Born in 1994, Pineau-Benois began violin studies at the age of four. He studied at the Bordeaux Conservatoire, then the Versailles Conservatoire and entered the Higher Paris Conservatoire (CNSMDP) at the age of 14. He received his Master Degree in violin performance in 2014 at the age of 19 followed by a Master Degree in Chamber Music obtained in 2017. He continues to perfect his skills with Régis Pasquier at the Ecole Normale de Musique of Paris. His training is completed by masterclasses with Salvatore Accardo, Maxim Vengerov, Rimma Sushanskaya, Felix Andrievsky, Ulf Wallin, Michaela Martin or Constantin Serban.
Pineau-Benois has won the Alexander Glazunov International Violin Competition (2017), got the Prize of City of Ciboure at the International Ravel Academy (2015), the Young Artist Award of Leopold Mozart International Violin Competition (2013), Prizes ‘Musiciens Between War and Peace’ and Rotary/Lion’s of the Ravel Academy (2012, 2013), won Vatelot-Rampal (2006) and UFAM (2005) competitions. He got career grants for participation in festivals ‘Virtuoso Violin’ (GB), ‘Rencontres Musicales Internationales de Graves’ (F), ‘Rencontres Musicales de Noyers’, ‘Les notes Blanches’, the Tcherepnin Society (USA) and the Academy of Music Bad Leonfeld (AU). Pineau-Benois is 2017 laureate of the Banque Populaire Foundation. He is also 2017 laureate of the Safran Foundation for Music. He is also a member of the Live Music Now association.
He performed several times on the France Music radio channel as a soloist or with the Trio ‘Cesar Franck’. As a chamber musician he is invited to festivals ‘Music in Basque Country’, ‘Cellos of Belay’, ‘Ravéliades’, ‘Les Rendez-vous de la Chaize’, ‘Les Hivernales Musicales’, ‘Rencontres Musicales Internationales des Graves’, at IRWC in Stuttgart, in the Theatre Yad Le Banim in Tel-Aviv, in Turkey and in Belgium. Sometimes alongside renown artists such as R. Pidoux, Y. Markovic and T. Deighton.
Pineau-Benois has performed as a soloist with the Toulouse Chamber Orchestra, Festival Orchestra of Stratford-upon-Avon, Festival orchestra of Jerusalem, Irkutsk Philharmonic, Ashdod Philharmonic, St. Petersbourg Taurida Philharmonic. He played under direction of Regis Pasquier, Pierre Cao, Mikhail Golikov, Rimma Sushanskaya, Nicolas Krauze. His musical partners are pianists Guilhem Fabre, Natasha Roqué Alsina, Aurèle Marthan, Yoko Kaneko. He is principal violin of the String Trio Arte.
The Musical Opinion journal (GB, 2012) qualifies his interpretation as outstanding, Sud Ouest (F) stresses his hieratic charisma. He plays the historic violin ‘Le Genève’ of Lucien Durosoir, kindly lent by the Musicians between War and Peace Association. Lucien Durosoir took this violin with him on the First World War Front and played with cellist Maurice Maréchal and composer André Caplet.
‘As the bow bounces on the strings, caresses them, or flies away, his fingers slip, pinch and activate so that the performance confines to perfection.’
L'Echo d'Ancenis, 2017
‘Despite his age, 22 years old French violinist Pineau-Benois shows maturity and understanding of music. His interpretation is brilliant with excellent technique, and despite his young age you may call him an outstanding violinist -bright, noble and emotional.’
Newsru (Israel), 2016
‘Even now it is clear that a new star has appeared on the sky of music, and it shines brighter every year.’
Israel Info (Israel), 2016
‘The 17-year old French youth Pineau-Benois gave the first movement of Franck’s sonata with great maturity and insight, wonderfully phrased and ended with Franz Waxmann’s Carmen Fantasy; one doubts if one could hear this brilliant showpiece played better -technically, musically or with more élan- by any other violinist currently before the public, at any age. It was simply outstanding.’
Recently featured as ‘One to watch’ in International Piano magazine, Alexander Karpeyev i s a Russian pianist resident in the UK, who has performed throughout the UK and Europe and toured in the USA, Canada and Russia as a concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber music collaborator.
Karpeyev trained at the Moscow Conservatory with Vera Gornostayeva and Alexander Mndoyants and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama under Joan Havill. He is the winner of the Dudley International Piano Competition as well as the Norah Sande Award and the holder of a Silver Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. In 2014 he completed a performance practice doctoral degree at the City University, based on the Edna Iles Medtner Collection at the British Library. Karpeyev, himself, is often asked to give masterclasses and also lectures on Medtner’s performing practice. Karpeyev is passionate about communicating his ideas on Romantic 19th and early 20th-century piano repertoire, and in particular exploring the works of virtuoso pianist-composers. A Medtner specialist, he became deeply immersed in Medtner’s music and approach to music-making while working on his doctoral degree, and his contact with unique performing practice evidence informs his own playing. He devotes considerable time to promoting Russian music in London as the Music Curator of the Pushkin House Music Salon in Bloomsbury, where he appears both as a soloist and collaborator with guest artists. He also has a mission to devise and direct music festivals that imaginatively combine performance and scholarship. Building on the success of three recent Medtner festivals in London, Karpeyev aspires to mount a bigger annual Russian Music Festival in London.
As well as performing and speaking about music, Karpeyev is actively engaged in recording projects. The first, entitled ‘Russian Émigré Composers’ (Claudio Records, 2018), commemorates the centenary of the Russian Revolution and, in particular, highlights some of the achievements of the pianist composers who emigrated to Europe and the USA at that time. The second is of Medtner Songs, Opp. 36-7, 45-6, recorded with the Russian soprano Sofia Fomina (2019), offering the first complete version of Opp. 36 and 46, with Russian texts by Pushkin, Tyutchev and Fet, and German texts by Goethe, Eichendorff and Chamisso. His latest project is a recording of ‘Composers at the Savile Club‘ (2019). The recording celebrates the 150th anniversary of the founding of the London club. Among those featured are Elgar, Parry, Stanford, Howells and Walton. In addition to works for solo piano, the recording includes trumpet fanfares by Savile Club recent and current members Sir Malcolm Arnold and Julian Anderson. Karpeyev remains deeply grateful for the support of the Stiftung Lyra (Zürich), Guildhall School Trust, Martin Musical Scholarship Fund, Hattori Foundation, Leverhulme Trust, Craxton Memorial Trust, English Speaking Union, Fidelio Charitable Trust, Solti Foundation, Nicholas Boas Charitable Trust, Jaques Samuel Pianos, his family and numerous anonymous donors.
‘Karpeyev’s artistic maturity was palpable, and it shone through every bar of his closing item – a commanding performance of Liszt’s B minor Sonata.’
The Birmingham Post
‘…it was in epic scores by Medtner (the Sonata-Ballade) and Stravinsky (movements from Petrouchka) that Karpeyev really triumphed, playing them with virtuosity and more: the deep, internalised musicianship of a master.’
‘Brahms Second Piano Concerto played with a rare blend of aristocratic authority and inward expression.’
This was a first-rate recital from a pianist who has not featured nearly enough on our concert platforms.’
Seen and Heard International