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Musical World

Evgeni Koroliov

  • Pianist


Besides classical, romantic and contemporary repertoire Evgeni Koroliov has always been particularly interested in the work of J.S. Bach. At the age of seventeen he gave a recital in Moscow of the entire Welltempered Clavier. Since that time he gave numerous concerts, notably cycles with the Goldberg Variations (BWV 988), "The Art of Fugue" (BWV 1080) and the Welltempered Clavier.

Evgeni Koroliov played in important festivals such as Ludwigsburger Festspiele, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Festival Montreux, Kuhmo Festival/Finnland, Internationale Bachtage Stuttgart, Glenn Gould Festival Groningen, Chopin Festival Duschniki/Poland, Budapest Spring Festival and Settembre Musica in Torino, and in important venues as Große Musikhalle Hamburg, Kölner Philharmonie, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Konzerthaus Berlin, Herkulessaal Munich, Societa dei Concerti Milan and many others in a lot of countries. As a chamber musician he has been partner of Natalia Gutman, Mischa Maisky and others.

It is no surprise that his first CD was "The Art of Fugue" (BWV 1080) (Tacet label) in 1990 which is estimated as an important document. The composer György Ligeti said about this recording: "If I am to be allowed only one musical work on a desert island, then I should choose Koroliov's Bach, because forsaken, starving and dying of thirst, I would listen to it right up to my last breath." In Gramophone January 2000 issue the CD has been elected as 'Editors choice'. Two more records with Tchaikovsky's Seasons and works of Prokofieff have followed in 1992. A CD with works by Schubert has been released in 1995.

In 1999 Bach's Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) have been released, followed by the Clavierübung part II and III and the Inventions (or Symphonies). During the Bach-Year his interpretation of the Well Tempered Clavier part I has been published. They all got enthusiastic reviews in the weekly magazine Der Spiegel, Piano News and in Le Monde de la Musique. The Goldberg Variations got a Diapason d'or, first place in the month of November 1999. Many critics attest Koroliovs Bach records not only having an absolutely outstanding position among all new releases of the Bach-Year but belonging to the most important Bach-recordings of record- and CD-history ever. In autumn 2002 The Well Tempered Clavier part II (BWV 870-893) - has been released by tacet. Besides Koroliov recorded two CDs with the Hessischer Rundfunk: one with Variations by Beethoven, Anton Webern and Georg Frideric Handel, and one with Sonatas by Prokofiev. The next CD will be Schubert's Grand Duo C Major, together with Ljupka Hadzigeorgieva for tacet again.