Vladimir Feltsman

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Vladimir Feltsman
Birth name Vladimir Oskarovich Feltsman
Born (1952-01-08) 8 January 1952 (age 65)
Moscow, Russia
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Pianist
Website www.feltsman.com

Vladimir Oskarovich Feltsman (Russian: Владимир Оскарович Фельцман, Vladimir Oskarovič Feltsman; born in Moscow on 8 January 1952) is a Russian American classical pianist.

Feltsman debuted with the Moscow Philharmonic at age 11. He studied at the Moscow Tchaikovsky, Moscow, and Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) Conservatories and went on to win the Grand Prix at the Marguerite Long International Piano Competition in Paris.

In 1979, because of his growing discontent with the official Soviet ideology and rigid governmental control of the arts, Feltsman applied for an exit visa from the Soviet Union. In response, he was immediately banned from performing in public. After eight years of struggle and virtual artistic exile, he was finally granted permission to leave the Soviet Union.

Upon his arrival in the United States in 1987, Vladimir Feltsman was warmly greeted at the White House, where he performed his very first concert in North America. That same year his debut at Carnegie Hall established him as a major pianist on the American scene. During his early years in the West, he was promoted as a Russian Romantic firebrand, yet his debut recital consisted of works by Schubert, Schumann and Messiaen. Five years later he devoted himself to Bach, offering expressively shaped and thoughtfully ornamented performances on a modern piano. Then he returned to the standard repertory — Haydn, Beethoven, Mussorgsky — in the big-toned, blockbuster style that many had anticipated when he first arrived in the USA. He has been described by music critics as a master of reinventing himself.

Feltsman teaches at the Mannes College The New School for Music and the State University of New York New Paltz, where he is the founder and Artistic Director of the International Festival-Institute Piano Summer. Feltsman, who became a U.S. citizen in 1995, lives in upstate New York.

Vladimir Feltsman has turned to performances on the fortepiano; he has notably performed all of the Mozart's piano sonatas on a fortepiano, as well as Beethoven's Emperor Concerto and Mozart's Concerto K595, No. 27. As his contribution to the Mozart anniversary year, he commissioned the keyboard builder PaulMcNulty to construct a fortepiano modeled after an Anton Walter instrument from Mozart’s time.

His discography includes six albums of clavier works of J.S. Bach, recordings of Beethoven's last five piano sonatas, solo piano works of Franz Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, Olivier Messiaen, and Valentyn Sylvestrov, as well as concerti by Bach, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninov, and Sergei Prokofiev.

His father, the composer Oscar Feltsman, was known in the Soviet Union for popular songs and musical comedies.

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