Nikolai Lugansky is a Russian pianist, widely known for his insightful performances of Romantic music. A native of Moscow, he was born to a couple of research scientists. At the age of 5, he taught himself to play a Beethoven sonata by ear, and this led to taking lessons from his neighbor, composer and pianist Sergei Ipatov. Later, he attended the Moscow Central Music School and the Moscow Conservatory, studying piano with Tatiana Kestner, Tatiana Nikolaeva, and Sergei Dorensky. An active competitor, he won first prize at the All-Union Competition in Tbilisi and the silver medal at the 8th International Bach Competition in Leipzig, both in 1988, and won the second prize at the Rachmaninov Competition in Moscow in 1990. Lugansky was named best pianist in 1992 at the International Summer Academy Mozarteum in Salzburg. After recovering from foot and back injuries in 1993, he won the 1994 Tchaikovsky Piano Competition. As a concerto soloist, Lugansky has performed with Riccardo Chailly, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Valery Gergiev, Kurt Masur, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Edo de Waart, Leonard Slatkin, and many other conductors. In addition to his busy concert schedule, he is an accompanist for many musicians, including Anna Netrebko, Joshua Bell, Mischa Maisky, Yuri Bashmet, Vadim Repin, and others. Lugansky began recording with Melodiya and Vanguard Classics, beginning a fruitful recording career over the years with Warner Classics, PentaTone, Erato, Deutsche Grammophon, and Naïve.