In the US, not very many people know the name ‘Grigory Sokolov’. They should! Why, you ask? Because he is one of the all time great Russian-trained pianists. I listened again to an old DVD of his concert in Paris, and I was thrilled again!
Grigory Sokolov was born in Leningrad (now St Petersburg) on the 18 th of April 1950. He started to play piano at the age of five and, two years later he began studies with Liya Zelikhman at the Central Special School of the Leningrad Conservatory.
Sokolov’s musical ability was recognized in 1966 when at 16, he became the youngest musician ever to receive the Gold Medal at the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow. Emil Gilels, chairman of the Tchaikovsky Competition jury, subsequently championed Sokolov’s work.
Grigory Sokolov’s amazing artistry creates the concentration necessary for audiences to contemplate even the most familiar compositions from fresh perspectives. In his recitals, he draws listeners into a close relationship with the music, transcending matters of surface display and showmanship to reveal deeper spiritual meaning. Sokolov’s art rests on the rock-solid foundations of his unique personality and his h individual vision of each composition that he performs.
Here is Mr. Sokolov in one of the encores from the Paris concert: