Boy wonder – Alexander Malofeev

Feted in Russia by Valery Gergiev and Vladimir Spivakov, Alexander Malofeev is a shining young piano talent

For a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, one of the most Russian of all concertos, the choice of a Russian soloist makes perfect sense, and there can be few Russian pianists who have shown as much promise at such a young age as Alexander Malofeev. At just 15 years old, Moscow-born Alexander already has a glittering record of achievement as a soloist. A multiple prize winner at international competitions, he has performed with Russia’s leading orchestras under conductors such as Valery Gergiev and Vladimir Spivakov, and has played at prestigious venues around the world, from La Scala, Milan, to the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

International stardom may soon beckon, but Alexander is not about to get ahead of himself. The level-headed teenager believes he still has much to learn. ‘I try not to think what I’ve achieved,’ he says. ‘I still want to continue my studies at the Gnessin School of Music in Moscow, where my teacher Elena Beryozkina and I have a lot of creative plans. I certainly want to collaborate with different orchestras and conductors, but I know that I have to study hard in order to achieve my goal.’

Alexander is already a seasoned touring artist, but ‘Baltic Folk’ will be his first ever visit to Sweden, and he is excited about performing with young musicians from across the Nordic region. ‘It must be breathtaking to be in the middle of such a cultural mix,’ he says. ‘The Baltic Sea Philharmonic players’ youthfulness should help us collaborate more easily. I hope it will be a good creative union.’

Alexander has strong feelings about the concerto he’ll be performing. ‘Rachmaninoff is one of my favourite composers and the Second Piano Concerto expresses his Russian soul,’ he says. ‘Performing it is easy and hard at the same time: easy, because I’ve been dreaming of playing this music for a long time, and hard in the sense that it’s one of the most frequently performed concertos, so it can seem impossible to express something new in a performance. Above all, I will strive to express the universality of the music, and do that sincerely and artistically, while conveying the composer’s conception as closely as possible.’

Alexander Malofeev was born in Moscow in 2001. He is a student at the Gnessin Middle Special School of Music in Moscow, where his teacher is Elena Beryozkina.

In 2014 he won first prize and the Gold Medal at the International Tchaikovsky Youth Competition in Moscow. In 2016 he took the Grand Prix at the International Grand Piano Competition for young pianists in Moscow. He is also a prize winner at numerous other international competitions, among them the Vladimir Krainev Moscow International Piano Competition (2015), the Youth Delphic Games of Russia (Gold Medal, 2012 and 2015) and the International Rachmaninoff Young Pianists’ Competition in Novgorod (Grand Prix and special prize for the best performance of works by Bach, 2014).

Alexander has appeared at such prestigious concert venues as the Bolshoi Theatre, the Great, Small and Rachmaninoff Halls of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire, the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and the Rachmaninoff Concert Hall of the Moscow State Philharmonic, the Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Centre, the Mariinsky Theatre, the Kaufman Music Center in New York, and the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. He has toured to Azerbaijan, Finland, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, China, Japan, Australia and the USA.

As a soloist Alexander has collaborated with orchestras including the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra under Kazuki Yamada, the Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra under both Vladimir Spivakov and Dmitry Liss, the ‘Moscow Virtuosi’ State Chamber Orchestra under Vladimir Spivakov, and the ‘New Russia’ State Symphony Orchestra under Yuri Tkachenko.

Alexander has participated in numerous festivals, including Stars of the White Nights, the International Piano Festival at the Mariinsky Theatre, the Chopin Festival in Paris, the International Mstislav Rostropovich Festival in Moscow, and festivals in La Roque d’Anthéron, Mikkeli, Sintra and Annecy.

In July 2016 the Master Performers label released Alexander’s debut DVD, recorded at the Queensland Conservatorium Theatre in Brisbane, Australia.

Alexander holds a scholarship of the Vladimir Spivakov Charity Foundation, and also the ‘New Names’ Charity Foundation and the Mstislav Rostropovich Foundation.