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Rarities of Russian Music

An evening of music with Artem Kotov, guest artist from Moscow, for the opening concert of our 2019-2020 Music Salon programme. This evening’s exceptional programme explores early Russian classical music, as well as piano music by rarely heard Russian composers Genishta (1795-1853), Lyadov (1855-1914), Catoire (1861-1926) and Roslavets (1881-1944). Artem Kotov is part of ‘Moscow Soloists’, Russia’s only Grammy award-winning ensemble.

Programme

Khandoshkin: Sonata for violin solo

Genishta: Allegro from Sonata in C

Borodin: Scherzo in A flat

Glazunov: Grand Adagio from ‘Raymonda'; Petit Adagio from ‘Seasons’

Roslavets: Prelude (1915); Sonata for violin and piano, no. 2 (1917)

Catoire: Two pieces from Op. 6; Elegie for violin and piano, Op. 26                                  

Lyadov: Four Russian Folk Songs (arr. Siloti)

Tchaikovsky: Three Chilren’s Songs (arr. by Feinberg)

Mussorgsky: Gopak from ‘La Foir de Sorotchintsi’ (arr. Rachmaninov)

Rachmaninov: Romance for violin and piano           

Wieniawski: Souvenur de Moscow, Op. 6

Artem Kotov, violin

Alexander Karpeyev, piano

Artem Kotov was born in Ekaterinburg (Russia) in 1983 and was six when he started to play the violin at the Ekaterinburg Academy of Music. When he was nine, he performed the Bach E major violin concerto with the academy orchestra. 

Artem followed that with several successful performances at the Ekaterinburg Philharmonic Hall and at the Opera Theater. At the music festival, organised by UNESCO, Artem was awarded the Scholarship of Russian Ministry of Culture. He was 10 when he won the first prize at the Jeunesses Musicales competition in Bucharest and went on to pick up major prizes in Italy and Germany. 

Eight years ago, Artem became laureate of the 5th Uralsk International Violin Competition in Kazakhstan and won the Bach Competition for Strings in London. This exceptional musician has toured Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, Romania and Italy. 

He has also toured South and Central America and stopped off to give a masterclass at the Cuban Institute of Music in Havana. Artem’s repertoire includes the Six Sonatas and Partitas by Bach, Six Sonatas by Ysaye, and 10 violin sonatas by Beethoven. 

In 2005-2009  he has been an artistic director of the Primavera Classica international music festival, which has had big success at Moscow’s best concert halls, featuring some of the finest artists of the younger generation. 

Artem has studied with Igor Frolov at the Moscow State Conservatory. Finishing his degree at the Conservatory he won a scholarship awarded by A.Golubovich. That allowed him to continue study at Trinity College of Music in London, with some of the best London’s musicians, including  Mayumi Fujikawa, Michael Bochmann and Pieter Schoeman. 

After a successful audition for a Sub-Leader position at the London Philharmonic Orchestra, he has been awarded a trial with the LPO. In 2012 Yury Bashmet invited him to join The Moscow Soloists ensemble, also known as the only Russian classical ensemble possessing Grammy award (2008).  

Featured as ‘One to watch’ in International Piano magazine, Alexander Karpeyev is 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 musician.

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 is often asked to give masterclasses and lectures on Russian performing practice.

‘Sasha’ 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 recently gave the Algerian premiere of Chopins’ F minor Concerto with the Algerian National Opera Orchestra under Maestro Amine Kouider.

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 a recording of ‘Composers at the Savile Club‘ (SOMM Recordings, 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.  The recording was at the top of Spotify, Apple Music and Primephonic releases in August 2019. The latest project is a CD 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; it will be released by Chandos in 2021.

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.

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