Piano

Yevgeny Sudbin

” … potentially one of the greatest pianists of the 21st century”
The Telegraph

© Peter Rigaud

Introduction

Yevgeny Sudbin has been hailed by The Telegraph as “potentially one of the greatest pianists of the 21st century”.  As BIS Records’ only exclusive artist, all of Yevgeny’s recordings have met with critical acclaim and are regularly featured as CD of the Month by BBC Music Magazine or Editor’s Choice by Gramophone.  His Scriabin recording was awarded CD of the Year by The Telegraph and received the MIDEM Classical Award for Best Solo Instrument Recording at Cannes.  It was described by Gramophone as “a disc in a million” while the International Record Review stated that Yevgeny’s Rachmaninov recording “confirms him as one of the most important pianistic talents of our time”. His 10th anniversary disc of Scarlatti Sonatas was received with equal rapture and not only hit No. 1 in the Classical Music Charts but was also nominated for the Gramophone Classical Music Award. Yevgeny has also been nominated for Gramophone Artist of the Year 2016.

Recent and future engagements include concerts with the Seoul Philharmonic, Aarhus Symphony Orchestra and Macedonia Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as recitals at the Wigmore Hall (London), Serate Musicali (Milan) and Muziekgebouw Amsterdam. In addition, he will be embarking on an extensive European tour with Vadim Gluzman and Johannes Moser in Autumn 2017. This new trio project will kick off its inaugural season with a ten-date tour, including concerts at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Konzerthaus Berlin, Sociedad Filarmonica de Bilbao and Wigmore Hall.


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Performance Schedule

Discography


  • More info  

    “Fin dalle prime note della Sonata n. 32 in si bemolle minore di Haydn, Sudbin ha mostrato ciò che fa di lui un pianista speciale: la qualità del suono.”

    Luca Ciammarughi, Classica Viva, 17 Oct 17

  • 03 Sep 17 Tippet Rise Opus 2016
    CD Review
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    “Yevgeny Sudbin is one of the most interesting pianists around”

    Nicholas Kenyon, The Guardian, 3 Sept 17

  • 04 Sep 17 Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2
    CD
    More info  

    “[Sudbin] injects his personality into the playing and that makes this so engrossing to hear. There always seems to be joy and humour lurking in his phrasing, which he conveys as second nature to his phenomenal technique.”

    Mark Novak, Fanfare, June 17

    “It is impossible to hold back from admiration for Sudbin in whatever he plays, thanks to his brilliance and hallmark exuberance.”

    Stephen Plaistow, Gramophone, May 17

     

  • 16 Jun 17
    Paris
    More info  

    “[Sudbin] illuminates with a scathing light and a fiery dramatic urgency.”

    “The public, enchanted, reserves for this […] an ultimate thunder of well-deserved applause!

    Benedict Hévry, ResMusica, 16 Jun 17

  • 16 Jun 16
    Wigmore Hall
    More info  

    “Yevgeny Sudbin opened his recital with three of Domenico Scarlatti’s keyboard sonatas (he wrote a staggering 555), adding another two when it came to encore time. The young Russian pianist has already established himself as a major interpreter of the composer’s work, and perhaps no one has conveyed its originality and emotional range with such finesse. In the opening set, the spiritual serenity of the D minor Sonata Kk213 offset the festive bravado of Kk159 in C and the whirling, hard-edged Kk9, also in D minor. Both of the encores were in the same key: the wistfully sensual Kk32 and the fiery Kk141, close to perfection in its dazzling elegance.”
    ★★★★ Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 17th June 2016

    “…high seriousness and great sensitivity”
    John Allison, The Telegraph, 17th June 2016

    “Sudbin placed Beethoven’s valedictory Opus 111 sonata in the middle of his programme, rather than letting it have the last word as usual, and his way with it was bracingly fresh. The first movement exuded the imperious impatience one imagines the deaf Beethoven must have felt as he wrote it, but it was very deftly turned. The variations emerged with their structure rigorously preserved intact, their inner voices coming through with tenderness, and their dotted-rhythm sections demonic; the last 10 minutes had breathtaking emotional power. Sudbin’s formidable technique then allowed him to deliver a memorable Gaspard de la nuit (Ravel), climaxing in a “Scarbo” by turns transparent and thunderous.
    ★★★★ Michael Church, The Independent, 20th June 2016

    “…the pianism was peerless…”
    ★★★★ Harriet Smith, The Financial Times, 19th June 2016

    “…a grand display of virtuosity…I’ve rarely been struck as forcibly by the unique exquisiteness of Scarlatti’s idiom, which seems so oddly unbaroque and out of its time — closer to Chopin, say, than to Handel. The creative explosion that is his 555 sonatas surely remains underappreciated: I can think of few more significant instances of the sheer liberation of the human mind. But Sudbin has done more than most to keep them in the forefront of our attention. And what his interpretations lack in authenticity, they make up for twice over in intelligence and captivating immediacy.”
    Paul Driver, The Sunday Times, 26th June 2016

  • 24 Feb 16 SCRIABIN Piano Concerto Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
    More info  

    “[Sudbin’s] performance here, with the BSO under Vedernikov, confirmed … his prodigious talent and empathy and sensitivity to the special Scriabin idiom”
    Ian Lace, Seen and Heard International, 25th February 2016

  • 18 Feb 16 SCARLATTI 18 Sonatas CD Release
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    “…the musicality and peerless pianism with which everything is done makes this a hugely attractive disc”
    ★★★★ Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 30th March 2016

    “[Sudbin] shares with Horowitz an ability to conjure up landscapes and narratives within these sonatas, so vividly and intensely are they etched …. A winner.”
    Harriet Smith, Gramophone Recording of the Month, April 2016

    ” … virtuosity, transparency and beautifully calibrated dynamic range are redolent of the most legendary pianists …. this disc is outstanding”
    Charles Pope Jr, Concertonet, 17th April 2016

    “I initially thought that knowing Gramophone had chosen this as their CD of the month could prejudice my listening, for better or worse. A mere first listening relieves one of all such prejudice, not only because the CD is obviously played well. It is, but what is more, is the personal touch Sudbin brings to these sonatas, in such a manner that the listener is able to contribute to the interpretation process. In other words, this CD is an invitation to Scarlatti, to demonstrate, and what is more, to allow us to enjoy, how variable the composer’s emotional range was …. Of all these […] my favourite is the other-wordly rendition of the beautiful K213 sonata, where each repetition is coloured differently and an inspired, almost live performance is caught on tape. A Scarlatti disc that can match the old masters, worthy of comparison and one to listen to frequently.”
    ★★★★★ Feyzi Erçin, Andante Magazine, 14th April 2016

    Disc of the Day
    Jean-Charles Hoffele, Artalinna, 12th April 2016

    “Gabriele D’Annunzio’s description of Domenico Scarlatti’s sonatas as ‘a soft hail of pearls that rush, gleam, resonate, bounce’ could well have inspired the Russian pianist Yevgeny Sudbin in these sparkling and vivacious accounts. This recording showcases 18 of these gems and Sudbin highlights their endless variety: shimmering studies and stately fuges are laced together with vigorous dances and elegiac reflections …. This is impressive playing, by any standards …. Sudbin’s compatriots Vladimir Horowitz and Mikhail Pletnev are both celebrated Scarlatti exponents, but the younger Russian by no means stands in their shadow.”
    Kate Bolton-Porciatti, BBC Music Magazine, April 2016

    “Here is versatility touched with a touch of pianistic genius (an overworked term, but one that comes irresistibly to mind) on a truly glorious scale. Having described Yevgeny Sudbin’s first Scarlatti album (his opening salvo for BIS) as of a ‘superlative vitality and super-fine sensitivity’, I now find him transcending such quality with an ever more vivid sense of Scarlatti’s infinite variety, his uninhibited exuberance, his cloudy introspection …. As before, he juxtaposes the familiar and unfamiliar from the 555-plus Sonatas though his incandescent response makes everything sound like a discovery. This is Scarlatti as if new-minted, whether raucous (holding his sides, as it were, with laughter) or lost in dreams …. Once more, BIS’s sound and presentation are beyond criticism. I can scarcely wait for more Scarlatti, Medtner and Rachmaninov from this astonishing young pianist. Recreation on his level is rare …”
    Bryce Morrison, International Piano Magazine, March/April 2016

    “Yevgeny Sudbin’s Scarlatti is a thing of wonder, as he shows again – 11 years after his first collection for BIS – in this astute celebration of the composer’s rich fund of fresh, stimulating ideas. Sudbin’s art is to think deeply about the music’s expressive implication and then allow Scarlatti’s imagination to ignite his own. The result is spellbinding.”
    Geoffrey Norris, Gramophone Magazine, December 2016

  • 08 Jan 16 BEETHOVEN Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 Minnesota Orchestra
    More info  

    “Minnesota Orchestra’s Beethoven event makes the routine sublime

    [Sudbin] and Vänskä … share … among other things, a fascination with subtle touches in dynamics, a quality seldom found these days …. Sudbin’s playing in the Concerto No. 1 was sparkling, alive and natural — nimble and witty in the outer movements while superbly inward and reflective in the slow movement, where the notes, so delicately struck, sounded as if they had little sonic halos around them. Sudbin proved once again to be a master of those nearly imperceptible tempo and dynamic adjustments that give life to music. The first movement cadenza, probably the pianist’s own, brought Liszt to mind. For the Concerto No. 2, he used Beethoven’s own cadenza, giving it an appropriately freewheeling, improvisatory air. And here the offbeat accents of the rondo movement were delivered with the breezy drollery of an expert stand-up comedian.”
    Michael Anthony, Star Tribune, 9th January 2016

  • 12 Dec 15 MEDTNER & RACHMANINOV Solo Works CD Release
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    “… a wonderous disc …. [Sudbin has] an exceptional affinity with Medtner’s language …. in all six of these [Rachmaninov] preludes Sudbin deploys a luminous spectrum of timbre, a clear interpretative focus and a finely tuned imagination to encapsulate their very essence.”
    Geoffrey Norris, Gramophone Magazine, January 2016

    ” … [Sudbin is a] consummate musician … so subtle and eloquent”
    Jean-Charles Hoffele, ARTAMAG’, 16th February 2016

    Lebrecht Album of the Week
    “Something clicks in the opening track of this album in a way this listener seldom experiences, in concert or on record …. Sudbin’s concentration is phenomenal; one barely dares breathe for fear of missing an inflection.”
    Norman Lebrecht, La Scena Musicale, 15th February 2016

    ★★★★★ Sophie Bourdais, Télérama, 15th February 2016

    ★★★★★ Gregor Willmes, Stereo Magazine, April 2016,

    ” … a marvel of poetic commitment.”
    Bryce Morrison, International Piano Magazine, May/June 2016

    “…there are truly no weaknesses in these performances. Medtner’s thick textures are remarkably clear and balanced. There is wonderful legato and beauty in the melodies and great excitement in the virtuosic sections….there is no music that Sudbin could record that I would not want to hear.”
    Harrington, American Record Guide, July/August 2016

  • 07 Aug 15 Tivoli Symphony Orchestra
    Tivoli Festival
    More info  

    “Beethovens’s fifth piano concerto is rarely heard as lithe and sumptuous as this….The 35 year old Yevgeny Sudbin is referred to in many international music magazines as one of the greatest talents of our time, and on Friday he lived up to this reputation with splendor.”
    ★★★★ Christine Christiansen, Jyllands Posten, August 2015

    “Pianist Yevgeny Sudbin takes ones breath away compared to most of today’s pianists. On Friday in Tivoli he proved his worth with a powerful yet gentle virtuosity.”
    ★★★★★ Henrik Friis, Politiken, August 2015

  • 14 May 15 International Piano Series
    Queen Elizabeth Hall
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    ★★★★ “[A] blazing display of pianistic and musical mastery”
    Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph

    “This is a pianist who will keep surprising us each and every time, one to follow for life.”
    David Nice, The Arts Desk

  • 09 Apr 15
    Boston Conservatory
    More info  

    “For his local debut at Boston Conservatory’s Piano Masters Series, [Yevgeny Sudbin] performed an ambitious, encyclopedic, and subtly rendered program of works by Haydn, Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, and Saint-Saëns […] A St. Petersburg native now living in London, Sudbin conveys an innate sense of refinement in his deportment and playing.”
    Harlow Robinson, The Boston Globe, 9 April 2015

  • 12 Jan 15 SCRIABIN Piano Concerto & MEDTNER Piano Concerto No. 3 CD Release Bergen Philharmonic / Andrew Litton
    More info  

    Concerto Choice “These are superb performances of two underestimated concertos, of which Scriabin’s is perhaps the best known. […] This is unquestionably an engaging account, Sudbin’s glistening and expressive virtuosity matched by Andrew Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic’s idiomatic playing, with touches of string portamento in the opening movement. Even more revelatory is ther performance of Medtner’s Third Concerto. […] Sudbin seems alert to its every note and creates a compelling journey, shaping every phrase through dynamic shading and contrast as well as rubato and dramatic ritenutos.”
    Daniel Jaffé, BBC Music Magazine, February 2015

    “Sudbin recognises there is something very different about Scriabin even in this fairly early music—a restless, rhythmically free quality which it is unwise to tie down, an evanescence in ideas and shapes that need a lightness of touch. In Litton and the Bergen orchestra, Sudbin has found like-minded partners who are willing to follow him in the music’s liquid flow, and the result is a performance that is an exultantly truthful tribute to Scriabin’s individuality and to the ways in which his harmonic vocabulary already bears signs of the instability that was to become much more pronounced later on. Medtner’s Third Concerto, completed in 1943, ought, as Sudbin says in a booklet note, to sound more modern than the Scriabin, but, as he rightly concludes, it is the Scriabin that is the more experimental and daring. Nevertheless, this fine performance firmly establishes Medtner’s stature and musical personality.”
    ★★★★★  Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph, 18 January 2015

    “In the Scriabin Concerto, Sudbin displays formidable technical virtuosity, in a performance contrasting emotional intensity with melancholy and tranquillity. […]
    Medtner’s Piano Concerto No. 3 was commissioned by Benno Moiseiwitsch, who did much to promote the composer’s work. […] This is a compelling performance with the soloist, conductor and orchestral players having a positive understanding of the structure of this lengthy work, judging the ebb and flow well.  There is drama and passion when called for, with the more lyrical passages eloquently realized. […] On the evidence here, there is no doubt in my mind that Sudbin’s discographical legacy is going from strength to strength.
    Stephen Greenbank, MusicWeb International, February 2015

    “Yevgeny Sudbin has a reputation as a Scriabin player, and his performance of the concerto confirms it. Magisterial and masterly, he lays out the piano part before us in exquisite detail, relishing all those entrancing moments where the composer indulges in Chopinesque keyboard coloring.”
    Phillip Scott, Fanfare, July/August 2015

    “Coupled with a fine performance of Medtner’s No 3, Sudbin’s Scriabin recognises that there is in the Piano Concerto, for all its Romantic legacy, a restless, rhythmically free quality that it is unwise to tie down, an evanescence of ideas and shapes that necessitate a lightness of touch in order to become truly airborne.”
    Gramophone Magazine Critic’s Choice 2015

  • 07 Nov 14 BEETHOVEN Triple Concerto Australian Chamber Orchestra
    More info  

    “In Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in C, Russian pianist Yevgeny Sudbin gave incontrovertible evidence of exceptional ability as he emerged covered in glory, generated by faultless fingers and a perfect understanding of style.”
    Neville Cohn, Capital City Daily (Perth), 31 October 2014

    Beethoven with freshness, clarity and energy
    Extreme delicacy and lithe responsiveness were the hallmarks of the ACO’s interpretation of the Triple Concerto in C major, op.56. Who could resist the invitation of Timo-Veikko Valve’s opening solo celo phrase against the throbbing violas?  With the entry of the solo violin and the eager echoing phrase from Yevgeny Sudbin on piano, the interweaving voices wove a web of intoxicating sound.”
    Jennifer Gall, Canberra Times, 7 November 2014

  • 21 Apr 14 US recital tour
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    Ahead of his return to the Harriman-Jewell Series as part of a recital tour of the US, Yevgeny spoke to the Kansas City Independent.

    Please click the link below to read the full interview.
    Paul Horsley, Kansas City Independent, 11 April 2014

  • 16 Dec 13 BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 & MOZART Piano Concerto No. 24 CD Release Minnesota Orchestra / Osmo Vänskä
    More info  

    “Yevgeny Sudbin is one of the most sensitive pianists of our time and his Mozart Concerto is accordingly moving.  He is not only in a constant dialogue with the orchestra, there seems to be also some inner voice interfering in his playing, so that the performance becomes exciting beyond measure.  Beethoven’s Third Concerto is not less interesting.  We admire especially the vivid and colorful playing of the Minnesota Orchestra.”
    Remy Franck, Pizzicato, 11 January 2014

    “An unmissable, and often startling, recording.”
    Classic FM Featured Albumn, 3 February 2014

    “This new release features more gold-plated music-making and skilful aural engineering.  The programming’s intelligent too, with Beethoven’s Third Concerto in C minor prefaced by Mozart’s No 24 in the same key—a palpable influence on the Beethoven, at least in its opening motif, a terse unison statement. Both works give the Russian marvel Sudbin ample chances to show himself as a pianist of fresh imagination, strength and elegance.”
    ★★★★ Geoff Brown, The Times, 7 February 2014

    “[On Beethoven Piano Concerto no.3]Kurzum: eine Interpretation von höchster Eigenständigkeit, hoher Spielkultur – aufregend und berührend, sozusagen ein „Mitnehmsel“ für die immer wieder ins Kalkül gezogene einsame Insel…”
    Peter Cossé, Klassik Heute, 19 February 2014

    Recording of the Month
    “Sudbin delivers performances of poise, elegance and marked with a sense of style.  There is depth and profundity in his intellectual vision of the music.  He is ably supported by Vanska and his players.  Orchestral playing is crisp and incisive.  The Minnesota players have a lush string tone and mellifluous wind section.  Here is music-making which is alive and vital and underpinned by the finest musicianship.  These are highly polished and well-rehearsed  performances. Mozart’s own cadenzas for K491 have not survived.  In the notes, Sudbin states his delight at being given the opportunity to “get creative” and provide his own cadenzas for movements one and three.  He sees this as a challenge with the composer throwing down the gauntlet, so to speak.  He doesn’t want the cadenza to be a mere imitation of Mozart, but rather to push the boundaries applying his “own brand of mediocrity”.  He certainly applies his own brand with a cadenza showcasing his bravura technique and creative imagination to the full.”
    Stephen Greenbank, MusicWeb International, March 2014

    “The young Russian pianist Yevgeny Sudbin has already shown himself an unusually insightful pianist, an impression reinforced by the eloquent and searching performances captured here. Listen to the sensitivity of his phrasing in his first appearance in the Mozart: each entrance growing softer, more hesitant, as the music strays further from the home key, then darkening as the music is drawn, inexorably, back to the darkness of C minor. Unlike many other Russian pianists of his generation, Sudbin’s playing has lightness, flexibility, and a variance of touch perfect for making Mozart sound fresh. But there’s also no shortage of power when it’s called for, as in the finale of the Mozart and the opening movement of the Beethoven, which is bracing but never heavy. Sudbin even provides his own extroverted cadenzas for the Mozart, and though he writes self-deprecatingly of them in a program note, they are riveting and need no apology.”
    David Weininger, The Boston Globe, 3 May 2014

    “Sudbin has been acknowledged by critics and musicians worldwide for an impeccable and highly developed technique.  He can play the piano with remarkable facility, and while neither of these concertos is of Lisztian difficulty, his technique allows him to phrase and color as he wishes.  Runs are astonishingly even and clear.  No note is underweighted, no note is overemphasized. […] The pearly beauty of tone is particularly effective when he is playing softly in the slow movements of both works.  The decrescendos in the Beethoven cadenza and jaw-droppingly effective. The Beethoven is, as you would expect from both Sudbin and Vänskä, muscular and dramatic, while always retaining great textural clarity.  The rhythmic pulse is rock-solid, the shaping is firm without being too taut, and both soloist and conductor employ a subtle flexibility that prevents the performance from ever sounding stiff. […] The performance has wit, drama, elegance and beauty all in the right proportion.”
    Henry Fogel, Fanfare Magazine, September/October 2014