Igor Lazko

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Igor Lazko (Russian: Игорь Лазько, Russian pronunciation: [ˈiɡər ˈlasʲkə]), (b. St Petersburg, 1949), is a Russian classical pianist who has made a distinguished international career as performer, recording artist and teacher of other pianists.

Early career in Russia[edit]

Igor Lazko is descended from a family renowned for its musicians through several generations. When he was six years old he was admitted to the special school for young musicians in the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory, where his professors were Pavel Serebryakov[1] and Sophia Lekhovitskaya.[2] He was profoundly affected by the example of Glenn Gould's playing during his tour in the Soviet Union in 1957, and from this and from Gould's recordings he drew a wealth of inspiration: the pianist describes this in a published article.[3]

At a very young age he displayed exceptional gifts and when only 14 he became the youngest laureate in the history of the Johann Sebastian Bach International Music Competition at Leipzig, receiving from them the Bronze Medal.[4] Soon afterwards (in 1965) he recorded the Two- and Three-Part Inventions for the Russian Melodiya record label,[5] the disc which launched his recording career.

His hard work and his exceptional talent opened for him the very finest teaching that Russia had to offer. He perfected himself at the higher Tchaikowsky Conservatory in Moscow in the class of Jakov Zak,[6] successor of the master Heinrich Neuhaus, and took the First Prize in all his paths of study. From 1974 to 1977 he pursued a career as soloist and chamber musician in the Soviet Union, and was soloist with the Leningrad Philharmonic. In the USSR he performed in duo with the cellist Alexey Lazko (appearing before the Leningrad Philharmonic Society in 1965), and in trio with Mirra Lvovna Furer-Lazko.[7]


From 1978 to 1992 he was professor at the University of Belgrade. In this period he recorded the six Partitas and the Goldberg Variations of J.S. Bach, as well as works of Tchaikovsky and of other composers.[8] The concert which he dedicated to the memory of the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould was proclaimed 'the best interpretation of the 1982-1983 season' in Belgrade. Intensively engaged in the musical life of the country, his Belgrade Festival recital of 1987 consisted entirely of Serbian composers,[9] while his 1989 recital was a Russian programme of Moussorgsky, Tchaikowsky ('The Seasons' op. 37, which he also recorded in Belgrade) and Rachmaninoff.[10] His 1987 recital with violinist Črtomir Šišković[11] also combined Bach, Mozart and Tchaikowsky.[12] After winning the 1981 Contemporary Music Congress at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, his career also began to develop further in France. In 1985 at the 'Music Like Bach' Festival of Nanterre, he performed practically the complete klavier works of J.S. Bach.[13]


Igor Lazko has worked with such orchestral directors as Yuri Temirkanov, Mariss Jansons, Vladislav Chernushenko and Valery Gergiev, with the Philharmonic Orchestras of Leningrad and Moscow, the National Chamber Orchestra of Canada,[14] and with many European ensembles. Based in Paris since 1992, he continues to perform and teaches at the Schola Cantorum, at the National School of Music of Fresnes[15] and in particular at the Russian Conservatory Alexandre Scriabin[16] in Paris.

He is President Director of the Nikolai Rubinstein International Piano Concours (founded 1996)[17] and is the Founder and President of the International Concours of the Conservatoire Russe Alexandre Scriabine (2001), in Paris.[18] He is also associated with the Jūrmala (Latvia) International Academic Music Competition for pianists, which reached its 11th Season in 2010.[19]

Igor Lazko has given innumerable tours in France, Russia, Switzerland, Germany, Yugoslavia, Italy, Greece and the United States. Also he gives very numerous demonstrations and Master-classes across the whole of Europe (Italy, Switzerland, Germany, etc.) and in the United States.

He is pianist of the Trio Mendelssohn,[20] with violinist Alexandre Stajic[21] and 'cellist Dorel Fodoreanu.[22]


Igor Lazko is a pure artist and an authentic pianist. He is also an outstanding chamber-musician. He possesses to the very highest degree that art of 'speaking' through the piano which is the mark of the greatest interpreters. He has the resources of an infallible technique (perhaps owing to his regular practice of the work of J.S. Bach). The refined lyricism of his playing and his symphonic projection of sound, allied to the spiritual power of his discourse give a great authenticity to his interpretations, 'a feast of sound of a very great beauty: with him the music becomes again what it was at its origin, limpid, simple and pure.' (A.M.M.).[23]

Recordings mentioned[edit]

  • Two- and Three-Part Inventions (J S Bach). (Melodiya 10" 33D 19399/400)
  • Concerto for piano and orchestra in F minor (J S Bach) with Leningrad Chamber Orchestra conducted by Yuri Temirkanov (1968).[24]
  • w. Alexey Lazko (cello): Works for piano and cello by Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, Brahms, Rachmananinoff, etc. 'Cellist's Golden Repertoire (2 CDs, published 2009). Kompozitor SPb CD 75.[25]
  • Goldberg Variations, Bach (Belgrade): PGP - Produkcija Gramofonskih Ploċa Radio-Televisije Beograd, SOKOJ RTB 2330172 (Sleevenotes April 1985, Issued 1987).
  • Partitas, Bach (Belgrade): PGP RTB 3130096 (Issued 17 January 1985[26])
  • The Seasons (Tchaikowsky), op 37a. PGP RTB 2130513.
  • w. Črtomir Šiškovič (violin): Sonata in G minor 'Didone abbandonata' (Tartini) op. 1 no. 10; Suite no 1 (Švara Danilo); Sonatina in G major op. 100 (Antonín Dvořák). PGP RTB 230049; Jugoton LSY-66243.[27]
  • w. Alexandre Brussilovsky (violin): Sonata for violin and piano in A major (César Franck); Sonata for violin and piano in E flat major (Richard Strauss). Suoni e colori, ORCD 6712 (August 2000).
  • w. A Brussilovsky (violin), Nathanaelle Marie, works by Khandoshkin, Afanassiev, Cui, Balakirev, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Taneyev, Arensky, Rachmaninoff, Efrem Zimbalist. Suoni e colori, 53005.
  • w. A Brussilovsky (violin), Amaury Wallez (bassoon), Michel Lethiec (clar.), Glinka: Trio Pathetique in D min. Suoni e colori 53004.

Sources and references[edit]

  1. ^ Biography in the Paris Conservatoire-russe website.
  2. ^ Concert Programme of Igor Lazko with pianist Jovanka Višekruna Jancović, French Ambassadorial Residence in Serbia, 6 March 2013, Biographical note (rs.ambafrance pdf download) revised for the performer (in French).
  3. ^ Guertain 1988.
  4. ^ Conservatoire-russe biography (cited above).
  5. ^ BWV 772-86, Melodiya 33D 19399/400.
  6. ^ Conservatoire-russe biography (cited above).
  7. ^ Sleevenotes to 'Cellist's Golden Repertoire' (see Recording listings).
  8. ^ Conservatoire-russe biography (cited above).
  9. ^ Belgrade Music Festival, Recital of 7 October 1987 including works by Mirjana Živković, Rajko Maksimović, Berislav Popović, Vlastimir Trajković, Ivan Jevtić and Milorad Kuzmanović, Beograd Bemus archive 1987. (listing download)
  10. ^ Belgrade Music Festival, Recital 16 October 1989, Belgrade BEMUS archive 1989. (listing download)
  11. ^ for whom see Šiškovič website here
  12. ^ Timeline: major Serbian events in the period 1977-1989.
  13. ^ Conservatoire-russe biography (cited above).
  14. ^ The Canadian Encyclopedia: National Chamber Orchestra
  15. ^ i.e., the Ecole Nationale de Musique, or Conservatoire à Rayonnement Départemental de Val de Bièvre.
  16. ^ Russian Conservatory Alexandre Scriabin home webpage.
  17. ^ 8th International Nikolai Rubinstein Piano Contest, 2006, at the Slavic Academy of Music Archived 2012-07-14 at Archive.is.
  18. ^ The Scriabine Conservatory's Tenth Concours, 22-26 February 2010, Paris, details and results (in French - no translation available).
  19. ^ See Biographical notice of Lazko in the 7th International Festival.
  20. ^ Trio Mendelssohn: not to be confused with the Mendelssohn Piano Trio of Ya-Ting Chang, Peter Sirotin and Fiona Thompson.
  21. ^ Stajic is a pupil of Kogan and Oistrakh, and is Artistic Director of la Compagnie 'Petit Théâtre et Opéra'.
  22. ^ Fodoreanu is founder and cellist of the Enesco Quartet, which had a privileged relationship with Sandor Vegh, Norbert Brainin and Sergiu Celibidache.
  23. ^ Translated from French Wikipedia.
  24. ^ Петербгская Студия Грамзаписи: PRS Recordings, see their catalogue site in Russian
  25. ^ See Ruslania site for listing
  26. ^ details on Discogs site
  27. ^ See here for listings.
  • Ghyslaine Guertin (Ed), Glenn Gould, Pluriel: Texts collected and presented by G. Guertin (at Conferences at Universities of Quebec and Montreal, 13–15 October 1987), including an article by Igor Lazko on Gould's 1957 Soviet tour. (Louise Courteau: Verdun, Quebec, 1988). ISBN 2-89239-063-X
  • 2007 Forest Hill Musical Days programme note biography of Lazko