Mikhail Pletnev

Voice/Instrument: Pianoforte


 Mikhail Vasilievich Pletnev (born 14 April 1957) is a Russian pianist, conductor, and composer.

He was born to a very musical family in Arkhangelsk, then part of the Soviet Union; his father played and taught accordion, his mother piano. He entered the Central School of Music at the age of 13 and, in 1974, entered the Moscow Conservatory, under the instruction of Yakov Flier and Lev Vlasenko. Aged 21, he won the Gold Medal of the VI International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1978, which earned him international recognition and drew great attention worldwide. The next year he made his debut in the United States. He also taught at the Moscow Conservatory.

In 1988, he was invited to perform at the superpower conference in Washington, D.C. At this conference, he met and befriended Mikhail Gorbachev. Because of this friendship, he gained the support to found two years later the Russian National Orchestra in 1990, the first non-government-supported orchestra in Russia since 1917, and was its first principal conductor.He stepped down as Principal Conductor in the late 1990s, but he is now the orchestra's artistic director.[3] Mikhail Pletnev has been named first guest conductor of the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland starting September 2008.

Pletnev's recordings are mostly of Russian works, though he has recently recorded the complete Beethoven symphonies for the Deutsche Grammophon label. The first works he recorded were for orchestra, including Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty, his Pathetique Symphony and Manfred Symphony, and Rachmaninoff's Second and Third Symphonies. His piano repertoire is extensive and includes The Seasons, many Scarlatti sonatas, Pictures at an Exhibition as well as his own transcriptions of suites from The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty.

Pletnev has held an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon since 1996.

Pletnev, who has a dwelling in Thailand, was questioned on 6 July 2010, for alleged participation in a child prostitution ring. According to some news sources, he was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old male in Pattaya. Pletnev, who was released on bail, denied the charges.In a press release, the Russian National Orchestra stated that Pletnev was not formally charged but was merely "accused".The pianist cancelled appearances at the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh International Festival in order to prepare his defence. The charges were dropped on 28 September, and he resumed his career two months later.

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Composers' compositions