Nikolai Demidenko, piano – Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi And Orchestre National de France – May 3, 2012 – Radio France Musique –
Covering familiar territory this weekend with Russian pianist Nikolai Demidenko and Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi leading Orchestre National de France in music of Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovksy. Broadcast live by Radio France Musique on May 3, 2012.
The concert starts with the 2nd Piano Concerto of Rachmaninoff and concludes with Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.
Nikolai Demidenko studied at the Gnessin State Musical College with Anna Kantor and at the Moscow Conservatoire under Dmitri Bashkirov. He was a finalist at the 1976 Montreal International Piano Competition and the 1978 Tchaikovsky International Competition. He taught at the Yehudi Menuhin School in the UK, where he has been a resident since 1990. He was granted British citizenship in 1995 and currently holds a visiting professorship at the University of Surrey. In addition to a vast amount of the standard Germanic and Russian repertory, he is a specialist of Frédéric Chopin and a noted champion of the works of neglected composers such as Muzio Clementi, Carl Maria von Weber, Jan Václav Voříšek, and Nikolai Medtner, as well as neglected works of well-known composers such as Domenico Scarlatti, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, and Robert Schumann, and transcriptions by Ferruccio Busoni. Demidenko won a Gramophone Award in 1992 in the concerto category for his recording of the Medtner Piano Concertos No. 2 and 3.
Born in Iwaki, Fukushima, Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi’s father was a high school music teacher, and mother was a primary school teacher. Kobayashi started composing music at the age of 11, studied composition and conducting under Mareo Ishiketa (composition), Kazuo Yamada (conducting), and Akeo Watanabe (conducting) at Tokyo University of the Arts.
Kobayashi won the 1st prize and the special award at the International Conductors Competition on Hungarian television in 1974. He has led orchestras in Germany, Austria, Britain, and Netherlands. Kobayashi has been resident conductor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and Kyoto Symphony Orchestra. Kobayashi was appointed to the principal conductor of Japan Philharmonic Orchestra (1988–90), chief conductor (1990–94, 1997–2004), music director (2004–07) and conductor laureate since 2010.
Kobayashi served the principal guest conductor of the Kansai and Kyushu orchestras. He was general music director of Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra from 1998 to 2001, music director from 2001 to 2003, is now appointed to the conductor laureate since 2003. Kobayashi was appointed to the special guest conductor of Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in August 2011, appointed to the music director of Tokyo Bunka Kaikan in June 2012.
In Europe, Kobayashi served the principal conductor of Hungarian State Symphony (now Hungarian National Philharmonic) from 1987–97, and is now conductor laureate of the orchestra. Kobayashi was the first Asian conductor who had conducted Czech Philharmonic at the Prague Spring International Music Festival in 2002. He has held the regular guest conductorship with Czech Philharmonic. He was one of three conductors who primarily led the orchestra after the resignation of Gerd Albrecht from the chief conductorship orchestra in 1996 and before advent of Vladimir Ashkenazy in 1998.
Hit the play button, relax and stay safe.