This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (January 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Nikolai Girshevich Kapustin
|Other names||Николай Гиршевич Капустин|
|Citizenship||Soviet Union → Russia|
|Alma mater||Moscow Conservatory|
Kapustin studied piano with Avrelian Rubakh (a pupil of Felix Blumenfeld, who also taught Simon Barere and Vladimir Horowitz) and subsequently with Alexander Goldenweiser at the Moscow Conservatory. During the 1950s he acquired a reputation as a jazz pianist, arranger and composer. Thus he is steeped in the traditions of both classical virtuoso pianism and improvisational jazz.
He fuses these influences in his compositions, using jazz idioms in formal classical structures. An example of this is his Suite in the Old Style, Op. 28, written in 1977, which inhabits the sound world of jazz improvisation but is modelled on baroque suites such as the keyboard partitas composed by J. S. Bach, each movement being a stylised dance or a pair of dances in strict binary form. Other examples of this fusion are his set of 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 82, written in 1997, and the Op. 100 Sonatina.
Kapustin regards himself as a composer rather than a jazz musician. He has said, "I was never a jazz musician. I never tried to be a real jazz pianist, but I had to do it because of the composing. I'm not interested in improvisation – and what is a jazz musician without improvisation? All my improvisation is written, of course, and they became much better; it improved them."
Russian and Japanese record labels have released several recordings of the composer playing his own music. He has also been championed by a number of prominent pianists, including Steven Osborne, Marc-André Hamelin, Ludmil Angelov and Masahiro Kawakami, who has released CDs devoted to Kapustin.
Daniele Trucco, Nikolai Kapustin: metrica barbara, in «Amadeus», n. 292, marzo 2014, pp. 46–47.
- Nikolai Kapustin, Internet edition compiled by Onno van Rijen (archived)
- Official Home of Nikolai Kapustin: nikolai-kapustin.info.
- MusT, publishers of Nikolai Kapustin's music
- Nikolai Kapustin's orchestral works from 60's and 70's, compiled by Anton Kapustin
- Paper on classical and jazz influences in Kapustin's Twenty-four Preludes Op. 53 by Randy Creighton
- Paper on Kapustin's symbiotic music by Jonathan Edward Mann
- Nikolai Kapustin, Piano Music, Vol. 1, liner notes