The highly acclaimed Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky in concert from Barcelona this week. In a broadcast by Spanish Radio network RNE and their Radio Clasica channel from May 9, 2010, Lugansky along with Orquesta Sinfonia de Barcelona y Nacional de Cataluña and conducted by Ernest Martinez in a program of music by Ives, Guinjoan and Rachmaninov.
Starting with Ives’ The Unanswered Question, followed by Catalonian composer Joan Guinjoan and his Soncrotro-Alba (Symphony Number 3) – Guinjoan died in January of this year. And ending the official portion of the concert with a performance of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto Number 2 featuring Nikolai Lugansky. Quickly followed by a number of encores and a very enthusiastic audience.
A bit about Joan Guinjoan via his website:
Born on November 28th 1931 in Riudoms (Tarragona, Spain), Joan Guinjoan studied piano at the Conservatori del Liceu, Barcelona and the École Normale de Musique (Paris). He later studied composition with Taltabull (Barcelona) and at the Schola Cantorum (Paris).
After a brief but intense career as a pianist, from 1960 onwards he devoted himself to both composition and the dissemination of contemporary music. He founded the chamber group Diabolus in Musica together with Juli Panyella. With this formation, which he directed until 1986, he premiered many of his own works and those of other Spanish and international composers, and also offered a traditional 20th century repertoire including works by Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Webern, to mention but a few.
Since 1986, Joan Guinjoan has dedicated his career to composition. His catalogue contains over a hundred scores, including work for piano, chamber, orchestra, concerti for soloists and orchestra, vocal pieces, etc. His music has been performed in the five continents. Guinjoan has also received numerous composition prizes (Reina Sofía, National Music Prize, City of Barcelona, Koussevitsky Prize from the IRCA of New York and finalist in the Premio Mundial del Disco). There are six books dedicated to the analysis of his music, of which Testimonio de un músico by J.L. García del Busto is an outstanding example.
Joan Guinjoan has participated in many activities related to contemporary music (international composition competition juries, guest composer in the U.S.A., Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Russia, France, Cuba, etc., director of the Spanish National Television program Pentagrama siglo XX, director of the International Festival of Contemporary Music of Barcelona 1994, founder of the international composition competition Ciutat de Tarragona, etc.). He has also received various distinctions (the Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts, the Cross of Sant Jordi, Doctor Honoris Causa of the Rovira i Virgili University of Tarragona, Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres). He is a member of the Barraquer Foundation, the Royal Catalan Academy of Fine Arts of Sant Jordi and the Board of Directors of the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE). During his long artistic trajectory he has received numerous commissions from both Spain and abroad.
Among the most recent activities related with the composer, we must mention the Prize Daniel Montorio by the opera Gaudí and, the Premio Iberoamericano de Musica Tomás Luis de Victoria 2004, considered the Prize Cervantes of the music. Besides he premiered the composition of the work Arrels – for the Cobla Sant Jordi, under the conduction of Josep Pons, premiered in the Palau de la Música in 2008–, and Sonidos de la Tierra by Iñaki. Guinjoan passed away on January 1, 2019.
Highly acclaimed by the press, Nikolai Lugansky is a pianist of extraordinary depth and versatility.
He regularly works with top level conductors such as Osmo Vänskä, Yuri Temirkanov, Mikhail Pletnev and Gianandrea Noseda. Concerto highlights for the 2018/19 season include performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Russian National Orchestra, Orquesta Nacional de España, Iceland and Bamberg symphonies. A tour with Orchestre National de France takes him to China and then onto Taipei and Japan with St Petersburg Philharmonic.
A regular recitalist the world over, upcoming performances include the International Piano Series in London, Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw, Paris’ Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and a residency at Flagey in Brussels. He has made a number of award-winning recordings and will release a new solo disc of Debussy for harmonia mundi later this year.
So now you know. Sit down, relax and hit the play button and come back in about 90 minutes.