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Viktoria Postnikova

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Biography

While she is known to many for her recordings of the complete piano output of Tchaikovsky and all five piano concertos of Prokofiev, Viktoria Postnikova has played a broad range of solo, chamber, and concerto repertory, from J.S. Bach and Haydn to Chopin, Rachmaninov, and Shostakovich. In addition, Postnikova has played less traditional fare by Busoni, Ives, and Janácek, and contemporary works by Schnittke and Boris Tishchenko. But it is not only her eclectic repertory that sets Postnikova apart from most other pianists, it is also the individuality of her interpretations, which often involve daringly slow tempos, as in her recordings of the Busoni Concerto and Tchaikovsky First. Postnikova has toured throughout Europe, the Americas, Japan, and elsewhere, and appeared with the major orchestras of New York, Boston, Chicago, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Moscow. She often collaborated with violinist Yehudi Menuhin in sonatas by Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven. Postnikova has made numerous recordings for such labels as Melodiya, Decca, Erato, and Chandos. Viktoria Postnikova was born in Moscow, Russia, on January 12, 1944. A child prodigy, she began studies at six at the Moscow Central Music School with Eleonora Musaelian. She debuted at seven with a Mozart piano concerto. Postnikova's advanced studies were at the Moscow Conservatory, where Jakov Flier was her most important teacher. Postnikova was a prizewinner at the 1965 Chopin International Competition in Warsaw, and she captured second prize at the 1966 Leeds Competition. In 1967 she debuted at London's Royal Albert Hall at a Proms concert with the Chopin First Concerto. The following year she captured first prize at the Lisbon-based Vianna da Motta Competition. In 1969 she married famed conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky, and the following year won third prize at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Postnikova's recordings soon drew notice: her 1972 Schumann Kreisleriana, on Melodiya, was critically acclaimed in Gramophone and other important music magazines. For the remainder of that decade and into the next she made a string of popular and highly praised recordings, chief among them her 1982 Decca set of the three Tchaikovsky piano concertos. Postnikova regularly appeared at music festivals, including at Tanglewood in 1987, with the Boston Symphony under Rozhdestvensky, and at the Florida International Festival in 1993. She remained very active throughout the 1990s and in 2004 was given the People's Artist Award in Russia. Among her acclaimed later recordings is the live performance of the Tishchenko Concerto for violin and piano (2006), on Fuga Libera, issued in 2008.

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