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Valery Afanassiev

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This extraordinary pianist studied the piano at the Moscow Conservatory with Emil Gilels and Yakov Zak. After winning the 1970 Reine Elisabeth (Queen Elizabeth) piano competition in Brussels, Afanassiev's international career took off. While touring Belgium, he made the difficult decision to seek political asylum, eventually becoming a Belgian citizen. Afanassiev's chief repertoire is primarily based around the Romantics. His recordings contain music by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Mussorgsky, Chopin, and others. He also performs in chamber music groups and has played with Gidon Kremer and Mischa Maisky. Afanassiev has also tried his hand at conducting and has modeled his performances around the great conductors Wilhelm Furtwängler, Willem Mengelberg, Otto Klemperer, Bruno Walter, and Hans Knappertsbusch. Afanassiev has a second career as a writer, with a number of novels published and plays based on Modest Mussorgsky's piano cycle Pictures at an Exhibition and Robert Schumann's Kreisleriana to his name. Afanassiev resides in Versailles and concertizes worldwide. Afanassiev writes his own liner notes, to give listeners a greater understanding of his interpretations. His recordings are found primarily on Denon and ECM, and include a complete cycle of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier (1996) and Schubert's Moments Musicaux (2012).

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08 September 1947 in Moscow, Russia

Years Active:

'70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s