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Classicsonline Home » Artists » » Pletnev, Mikhail

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Mikhail Pletnev (b1957)


Mikhail Pletnev’s mother was a pianist and his father an accordion teacher who had a diploma in conducting from the Gnessin Institute of Music in Moscow. Pletnev’s early years were spent in Kazan where he learnt to play many instruments, and at the age of thirteen he went to the Central Music School in Moscow where he studied piano with Yevgeny Timakin. At seventeen Pletnev continued his studies at the Moscow Conservatory with Yakov Flier and, from 1977, with Lev Vlasenko. Pletnev’s first award was received in Paris, where at sixteen he won the Grand Prix at the International Jeunesses Musicales Competition. Four years later he won a gold medal at the All-Union Competition. When he was twenty-one Pletnev won first prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and was thus able to perform and tour outside of the USSR, to Europe, Japan, the United States and Israel.

In 1980 Pletnev made his debut as a conductor, and as a guest conductor has worked with many orchestras including the Philharmonia, London Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic. With private funding Pletnev was able to found the Russian National Orchestra made up of players from former state-subsidised ensembles. In 1999 Vladimir Spivakov took over, but his tenure was short-lived as Pletnev returned in 2002.

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