Nikita Lukinov at St Mary’s a masterly warrior with canons covered in flowers

Tuesday 12 April 3.00 pm

Tchaikovsky: 7 excerpts from ’18 pieces’ Op 72
Impromptu / Berceuse / Tendres reproches / Méditation /
Valse / Dialogue / Scherzo

The last piano pieces written by Tchaikowsky -An Impromptu showing immediately a sense of style with a rhythmic energy ‘joie de vivre’-Sumptuous sounds in the Berceuse with the same nostalgic yearning that was to be so characteristic later of Rachmaninov.A meditation of ravishing beauty with such sense of weight which gave such solidity and richness of texture before disappearing in a stream of magic trills.A playful zest to the Valse just answered by the technical prowess of the Scherzo

Scriabin: Valse Op 38

A kaleidoscope of subtle sounds from Nikita’s truly magic hands.A delicious irresistible sense of style of a work that merits to be heard more often in the concert hall- if you can throw off it’s transcendental difficulties with the ease and charm of Nikita!

Prokofiev: 2 pieces from ‘Cinderella’ Op 102

Playing the last two of the six pieces from Cinderella -Pas de Chale was played with all the tongue in cheek that was intended but also a great sense of fun with transcendental excitement at the end.There was sumptuous beauty in the last of the six pieces :’Amoroso’as it builds to a ravishing climax and glissandi thrown off with such ease creating a magic finale.

Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody no 2 in C sharp minor

A superb sense of balance allowed us to hear the majestic opening as Liszt must have contemplated.Playing of such style restoring this much maligned masterpiece to its original glory with transcendental technical command and artistry.The outlandish Rachmaninov cadenza was very interesting to hear but I do not think even Rachmaninov played it on his historic recording!

Dr Hugh Mather hit the nail on the head when he described Nikita Lukinov’s recital as masterly.But it was not only for the pyrotechnics,that were certainly not missing,but it was indeed the canons covered in flowers.
It was such an effortless mastery that any technical difficulties were just incidental to the musical message that was foremost in this young artists hands.A sumptuous sense of colour and style turned these baubles into gems.
I hope Nikita will forgive me for describing them as baubles as he is obviously in love with them.To describe them other than salon pieces would be to misjudge their qualities as pleasing works for an elite audience looking for instant gratification.
Apart from the famous Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody we were treated to a series of miniatures from the Russian repertoire of Tchaikowsky,Scriabin and Prokofiev.
But even in the Hungarian Rhapsody he could not resist adding Rachmaninov’s outsize cadenza.
Russian repertoire ?
But Prokofiev was born in the Ukraine.And so this terrible tragedy that we are living daily,blow by terrible blow,becomes ever more the ‘big end and little end’ tragedy inflicted on his people by a despot fighting for his own supremacy and survival.

Nikita fresh from his sold out recital in Shrewsbury that raised £4000 for the Ukraine relief fund

Not many know that Nikita was in Shrewsbury two days ago where he gave his services for the Ukraine relief fund explaining the unfathomable tragedy that is being enacted in his homeland.
With daily news directly from their relations who are living and suffering in a unwarranted war zone.

Shrewsbury St Alkmunds Church where Nikita gave his services free for Ukraine relief fund

His efforts were awarded by a sold out concert and he was treated like a hero by a generous public that were only too pleased to donate 4000 pounds to the relief effort that our young warrior was outlining in heartfelt words but more eloquently with his music.
Justly proud of his heritage in presenting a programme from his homeland in their hour of such suffering.
But Nikita is not only a master pianist but also a master musician.
We could catch glimpses of it in these miniatures but it was from his hands that we had heard recently one of the most musicianly performances of the much maligned Sonata by Liszt.
A musician who delves deep into the score and looks with fresh eyes at exactly what the composer wrote rather than relying on a tradition.
A tradition that has led to such distortion where to look at what the composer actually wrote can come as a shock.

It is these shock tactics that both Leslie Howard and I received regularly from Guido Agosti in his studio in Siena.
A disciple of Busoni ,a student of Liszt whose teacher Czerny had been a disciple of Beethoven.
It is the same shock tactic that has us searching the scores as we listen to Murray Perahia or Krystian Zimerman.It is no surprise to learn that the former was mentored by Horowitz and the latter by Rubinstein.
These are all thoughts that come to mind as I think in retrospect of the performances that we were treated to today by this young artist.
His innocence and simplicity are expressed in his humility and modesty as his performances are received with ever more superlatives by consummate musicians.

Nikita Lukinov was born in Russia in 1998. In 2005 Nikita started studying at Voronezh Central Music School with Svetlana Semenkova, an alumna of Dmitry Bashkirov. Nikita’s first success was a Grand-Prix at the 2010 International Shostakovich Piano Competition for Youth (Moscow). Nikita’s debut with a symphonic orchestra was at the age of 11. Other achievements include 1st place in the Inter-Russian piano competition for young pianists, Finalist of an International television competition for young musicians “Nutcracker”, 1st place in the Inter-Russian Concerto competition, where he performed a Chopin piano Concerto No1 op.11 with on orchestra at the age of 14. Nikita’s most recent awards include 1st place in the Inter-Russian Competition “Music Talents of Russia” (Russia, 2020), 2nd place at the Franz Liszt Center International Piano Competition (Spain, 2021). 

After studying in Russia, Nikita won a full scholarship to continue his studies in London at Purcell School for Young Musicians, the oldest and one of the most prestigious specialist music school in the UK. His musicianship was cultivated by Professor Tatiana Sarkissova, a Dmitry Bashkirov’s alumna. While studying at the Purcell School Nikita had his Kings Place and Wigmore Hall debuts, he also won The Purcell School Concerto Competition. He performed Prokofiev Concerto 1 op.10 and Mozart Concerto 15 K.450 with the Purcell School Orchestra at the age of 15. Since September 2017, Nikita continues his education at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on a full scholarship with Professor Petras Geniušas. 

Nikita has been fortunate to gain numerous concert opportunities at prestigious venues across the UK and outside, such as St. Martin in the Fields, Wigmore Hall (London), Kings Place (London), Fazioli Hall (Italy), Vaduz Rathaussaal (Liechtenstein), The Small Hall of Moscow Conservatory, St. Petersburg Music House. He is the recipient of a personal scholarship from Voronezh’s State Government “For Outstanding Cultural Achievements”, “Russian Children’s Foundation” and an international charity foundation “New Names”, personal scholarship from the National Artist of Russia V. Ovchinnikov, scholarship from the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein, where he participated in the Intensive Music Weeks and activities offered by the Academy in 2020. In 2020 Nikita was appointed as “Emissary of the Muses of San Antonio, Texas”. Nikita is one of the musicians at the Talent Unlimited scheme (London). 2021 highlights should include participation at the “Verbier Music Festival”, “Art of the Piano” Festival in the USA and a debut recital at the Steinway Hall in London.

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