Alexandre Kantorow victorious at Tchaikovsky Competition
French pianist Alexandre Kantorow has been named the First Prize and Gold Medal winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition 2019, awarded in Moscow on 27 June.
Described at the competition by the Moscow Times as a “pianist of mesmerising talent”, he was the only contestant who chose to play Tchaikovsky’s second piano concerto with the other five opting for the first, and the only one to choose a non-Russian composer for his other concerto: he delivered a performance requiring huge stamina, of Brahms Piano Concerto No.2, playing almost continuously for ninety minutes, with the State Academic Symphony Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko.
"His winning performance of the Tchaikovsky Second in the final demonstrated a musical brilliance and almost relaxed confidence that rendered it less a pitch for a prize, and more simply an enjoyable performance in its own right."
Gramophone, July 2019
Following the prize-winners’ gala concert with the Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, Kantorow was further awarded the coveted Grand Prix, only awarded three times previously in the competition’s history. He was awarded the prize personally by Gergiev.
On 27 September Kantorow performs in the competition’s prize winners’ concert at Carnegie Hall, personally introduced by Valery Gergiev.
Watch his performance of the slow movement of Brahms Piano Concerto No.2 from the Prize Winners’ Gala:
Intermusica signs Tchaikovsky Competition winner Alexandre Kantorow
We are delighted to announce our signing of Alexandre Kantorow, the first French pianist ever to win the Tchaikovsky Competition, for representation in the UK, Ireland, North America and Australasia.
Kantorow received both the Gold Medal and the coveted Grand Prix, only awarded three times previously in the competition's history.
Kantorow impressed the judges particularly with his performance of Brahms' second piano concerto and was the only contestant to choose Tchaikovsky's second concerto over the first (watch the video below).
At the age of 22, he is already a musician and pianist of extraordinary maturity, with powerful, serious playing, a remarkably sure and virtuosic technique but with an appealing subtlety and restraint together with a mellow sound and a broad palette of colours. His abilities in both the German and French repertoire (let alone Russian) belie his years with critics describing him as “Liszt reincarnate...” (Fanfare).
Kantorow already has strong supporters including many conductors and is being invited at a high level worldwide including future appearances with the Minnesota Orchestra and Vänskä; Orchestre de Paris and Kochanovsky; Staatskapelle Berlin and Pappano; and tours with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Fischer, Munich Philharmonic and Mariinsky Orchestra with Gergiev; and Orchestre national du Capitôle de Toulouse and Sokhiev.
"He is the real deal, a fire-breathing virtuoso with a poetic charm and innate stylistic mastery." Gramophone
In recital he appears at top halls and festivals including the Concertgebouw Amsterdam Master Pianists series, Konzerthaus Berlin, Boulezsaal Berlin, Stockholm Konserthuset, La Roque d’Anthéron and Verbier Festival.
He records on the BIS label with existing, critically acclaimed albums of Liszt and Saint-Saëns concerti, and a Russian recital. His next release of Brahms, Bartók and Liszt sonatas and rhapsodies is due for release in March 2020.
This Sunday (27 October) he performs at Carnegie Hall in the Tchaikovsky Competition prize-winners' concert.
Watch Kantorow perform Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 with Vasily Petrenko in the final round of the Tchaikovsky Competition, 2019: