Alexander Markowitsch Melnikow

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Alexander Markovich Melnikov, also Melnikov(Russian Александр Маркович Мельников; born February 1, 1973, in Moscow, Soviet Union[1][2]), is a Russian pianist.

Life and work

Alexander Melnikov is the grandson of the Russian-Soviet composer and pianist Sara Levina.[3]
Initially, Melnikov was interested in the brass instrument horn, until his older sister got him interested in the piano.[2] Melnikov went to the Moscow Central Music School at the age of six. He then studied at the Moscow P. I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory under Lev Naumov, graduating in 1997, and then in Munich with Elisso Virsaladze and with Andreas Staier and Karl Ulrich Schnabel at the Fondazione per il Pianoforte in Lago di Como. Already as a student he received prizes at international competitions (see awards).

He began an international career at the age of 15. He has performed at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt and the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. He has performed with almost all of the world’s renowned symphony orchestras, for example together with the Russian National Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and many others.[4][5]

In addition to solo and orchestral performances, chamber music also occupies a significant portion of his artistic activity. He has played with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra under Teodor Currentzis, the violinists Vadim Repin and Isabelle Faust, with whom he is credited with a fruitful collaboration[6][2][7][8]and the cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras. He frequently plays four hands with Andreas Staier, Boris Vadimovich Berezovsky and Alexei Lubimov.

As an artist with Harmonia Mundi, he recorded many CDs as a soloist and chamber musician.[9] Melnikov performs regularly on BBC 3 in solo programmes, chamber orchestras and with the BBC Orchestras, with whom he has also recorded repeatedly.

Since 2002 Alexander Melnikov has been teaching at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England.[2]

A second great passion is flying: Melnikov is an amateur pilot.


Melnikov has been described as a thoughtful artist and “one of the most exciting pianists of his generation”. He is considered a virtuoso interpreter of Shostakovich.[10] “Most subtle touch, absolute technical mastery, but above all … a perfect intellectual penetration” is attested to Melnikov by the critic.[11] He writes informative texts for his CDs himself.[6]

“Must it be? Haven’t Dmitri Shostakovich’s two piano concertos, the virtuosic, sparkling, insouciantly cheeky one of 1933 with the duetting trumpet and the borne serious one of 1955, been recorded often enough? Perhaps. But when Alexander Melnikov plays the first notes, one listens again. How much pleasure, joy of scoring, rhythmic fun is shared there!”[12]


  • Robert Schumann Prize in Zwickau (1989)
  • Concours Musical Reine Elisabeth in Brussels (1991)
  • Named Honoured Artist of Russian Federation (1999)
  • BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist (2000-2002)
  • Triumph (Russia) (2002, 2008)
  • Classics today (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009)
  • Editor’s Choice Gramophone (2006)
  • Diapason d’or (2007)
  • Gramophone Critic’s Choice (2009)
  • BBC Music Choice award (2010)
  • Choix France Musique (2010)
  • German Record Critics’ Award (2010)
  • ECHO Classic (2010)
  • Choc de Classica (2010)
  • Gramophone awards winner (2010)
  • Grammy nomination (2010)
  • BBC Music Magazine Awards (2011)

Individual references

  1. Alexander Markovich Melnikov. at Zinfonia, seen 1 April 2012.
  2. a b c d Deutschlandfunk, on Klassik-Pop-Et Cetera, heard on March 31, 2012.
  3. Biography Alexander Markovich Melnikov on; retrieved 13 April 2018 (Russian)
  4. Alexander Melnikov –, retrieved 14 August 2012.
  5. Biography on the IMG Artists website(Memento of 19 April 2016 in the Internet Archive) (English), retrieved 10 May 2018
  6. a b Oswald Beaujean:Dmitri Shostakovich – Piano Concertos.In: 10 March 2012, archived fromOriginal23 July2012; retrieved 23 April 2016.
  7. Wolfram Goertz “Democratic bipartisanship”, CD review on Die Zeit online, dated September 24, 2009, viewed April 3, 2012
  8. Jörg Königsdorf “Faust and Melnikov play Beethoven”, CD review on DER TAGESSPIEGEL online, dated August 6, 2009, viewed April 3, 2012
  9. (Memento of Originals february 24, 2011 on the Internet Archive) Info:The archive linkwas automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check original and archive link according to instructions and then remove this notice.@1@2Template:Webachiv/IABot/
  10. Elisabeth Richter:Alexander Melnikov plays Shostakovich.Concert review. NDR Kultur, archived on.Original9September 2012; retrieved 23 April 2016.
  11. Clemens Goldberg:Radialsystem V: Alexander Melnikov.Concert review. kulturradio rbb, 19 September 2011, archived from.Original8September 2012; retrieved 23 April 2016.
  12. “Alexander Melnikov: Shostakovich with Schmack”, Die Welt online, 19 June 2012

Web links