Alexander Knyazev — Classic Winds

Alexander Knyazev Russia

Alexander Knyazev · Classic Winds Jury Member

One of the most powerful and enigmatic cellists, Alexander Knyazev was born in 1961 in Moscow. He started to study cello at the age of six with Alexander Fedorchenko and graduated from the Moscow Conservatoire in 1986.

He was prize-winner of the National Competition (Vilnius), Cassado International Competition (Florence), Chamber Music International Competition in Trapani (Italy, in the ensemble with E. Voskressenskaya), Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, UNISA International Competition in Pretoria (South Africa).

He played with such world-famous conductors as E.Svetlanov, Y.Temirkanov, K.Mazur, M.Rostropovich, V.Fedoseev, M.Pletnev, N.Jarvi, Y.Bashmet, A.Vedernikov, P.Steinberg, M.Gorenstein, S.Denev, Charles Dutoit. He performed with orchestras as London Royal Philharmonic and BBC orchestra (London), Bavarian Radio Symphony orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony orchestra, Baltimore Symphony orchestra, NHK Symphony orchestra and Tokyo Symphony (Japan), Wiener Symphoniker, Resident-orchestra (the Hague), ”Orchestral de Paris” and Orchestra National de France, Theatre Venice orchestra (Venice), Budapest Festival Orchestra (Hungary), State Academic Symphony orchestra of Russia, St.Petersburg Philharmonic orchestra, Tchaikovsky Symphony orchestra, Irish Symphony orchestra, Prague Symphony and Prague Philharmonic orchestra, Luxembourg Symphony orchestra, ”Moscow Soloists” orchestra and many others. His partners are great pianists - E.Kissin, N.Lugansky, B.Berezovsky, E.Leonskaya, D.Matsuev, B.Engerer, M.Voskressensky, V.Afanassiev, P.Mangova; violinists - V.Tretyakov, V.Repin, S.Krylov, V.Spivakov, A.Dumay, D.Makhtin; violist - Y.Bashmet; organists - G.Guillou/France, E.Oganessian/,Prazak Quartet, and many others.

Three times, in 1998, 2002 and 2015 he was member of the Jury at the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow.

Alexander Knyazev’s latest appearance in France at “Festival de Saint Denis”, ”Nuites musicales du Suquet”, La Roque d’Antheron and Sisteron festival, Harrogate festival (UK), Espinio festival (Partugal), ”Folles Journees” festival (Nantes, Bilbao ,Tokyo and Rio-de-Ganeiro), Ruse (Bulgaria), SchlossElmau (Germany), Elba (Italy), Breschia (Italy), Enesku (Bucharest), ”PraqueAutumn”, ”December nights” (Moscow), ”Square of Art” (St.Petersburg), Gschtadt (Switzerland), Verbier (Switzerland), Tanglwood (USA), Salzburg (Austria), Colmar (France), Musika Cello Fest (Belgrade), Naphleon (Greece), were acclaimed by critics and the audience.

The Nantes Music Festivals in 2001 and 2002 became a real triumph by the leading French press Alexander Knyazev was named “One of the three treasures of the Festival”, together with Maestro Eugene Svetlanov and Vadim Repin.

In December 1999 the musician performed all Bach Suites in the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatoire that became an outstanding event in the musical life of Russia and in the same month he received the title “Musician of the Year 1999” in the raiting of the Russian Radio-1 Station.

In May 1999 he performed as an organist ”Die Kunst der Fuge” of J.S.Bach in Moscow. In January 2000 the musician presented his own arrangement of Bach’s Ciaccona and in April of the same year he performed 5 concertos for cello and orchestra, including Simphony Concertante of W.A. Mozart arranged for violin and cello and in December 2002-world premiere of the program “40 Songs of Brams” arranged for cello and piano.

A recording of complete Bach suites at Warner Classic then followed by three concerts in Paris received a high international acclaim from critics and shops, (also awarded Telerama-4).

Alexander Knyazev performed in such world-famous halls as Royal Festival Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris, Louver auditorium and Salle Pleyel (Paris), ”Musikverein” and “Konzerthaus” (Vienna), ”Concertgebouw”

(Amsterdam), ”Mozarteum” in Salzburg, ”Rudolfinum” (Prague), ”Suntory Hall” (Tokyo), ”Auditorium di Milano” (Italy), ”Palais des Beaux Arts” in Brussels.

A.Knyazev regulary gives master-classes (Oviedo, Seoul, Manila, Colmar, Bad-Kissingen, Belgrad and many cites in Russia.

Last great event was triumph debut in Musikverein (Vienna) with Russian Tchaikovsky Orchestra conducted by V.Fedoseev. In 2010 Alexander Knyazev performed in Salle Pleyel with Radio-Philarmonic orchestra and played his debut in Great Hall of Concertgebow.

As organist: in 1991 Alexander Knyazev got a degree at the Nizhny Novgorod Conservatoire where he studied with a well-known Russian organist Professor G. Kozlova. After that his organs concert activity start. He played in such important halls as Great Hall in Moscow, Capella in St.Peterburg and many other organs in Russia. He plays also in France: he was invited to play in famous organ in Saint Eustashe and Cathedrale Notre-Dame. In 2010 he played in very important festival Radio France in Montpellier (integral of Trio-sonates of J.S.Bach). In 2011 year he played debut in Great Hall of St. Petersburg. His repertuare included a lot of works J.S.Bach, Mozart, concerts with orchestra by Handel and Haydn, also romantic music-Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms and Franck. In 2012 A. Knyazev invited as president of Russian Organ Competition in Kaliningrad.

He played in Germany, Japan (Tokyo Casals-Hall), Republic of South Africa (Pretoria), Great Hall of Sofia Philharmonic, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia-famous organ of Riga Cathedral (Dom), where he recorded his first CD (“18 Leipzig Chorals” of J.S. Bach), which was published by Melody in 2015. His last recording is J.S. Bach “Goldberg Variations” (transcription Jean Guillou).

In several of the musician’s extensive discography CD’s are also worth mentioning. They are: -Brahms Double concerto with London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor-Y.Temirkanov, violin - V. Spivakov, ”RCA-VICTOR”.

The 21 century widened the touring geography of Alexander Knyazev. It started with a tour in Japan (both as a cellist and organist), concerts in Luxembourg, Norway and France and the first tours to Israel (a concert with Y. Bashmet) Greece (Megaro Concert Hall in Athens), Australia, Sweden (Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra), Portugal and Ireland.

The musician performed in Paris with Orchestra National de France conducted by Kurt Mazur, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris conducted by John Nelson, Tchaikovsky Simphony orchestra conducted by Vladimir Fedoseev on their European tour and in trio with Vadim Repin and Bruno Canino for Repin’s ”Carte Blanche”.

The musician’s concerts with E. Kissin in Monpellier (Radio France Festival-2004), Verbier (Swiss), ”Suntory Hall” (Tokyo, 2011), Theatre des Champs-Elysees (Paris 2012), as well as performance of the Elgar cello concerto with Maestro Y. Temirkanov in Venice received the highest possible appraisals.

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