Russian “Wonderpianist" Igor Kamenz Makes His Long-awaited New York Debut

On September 30th, Naïve Classique will release Igor Kamenz Plays Scarlatti. The album will feature recordings by the prize-winning Russian pianist of 18 of Domenico Scarlatti’s harpsichord sonatas played on piano. This summer also brings Igor Kamenz’s long-awaited New York debut, playing Beethoven and Liszt in two solo pre-concert recitals on August 19th and 20th in New York City as part of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival.

“Wonders take some time” was the headline of an outstanding recent review Helmut Mauró wrote in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, which couldn’t have better described the incredible life path of “wonderpianist” Igor Kamenz. Kamenz was born in 1968 in the Far East of Russia on the river Amur close to the Chinese border. At age 7, he gave his debut as conductor of the Novosibirsk Philharmonia, which was followed by a series of concerts as piano soloist and conductor all before his 10^t^h birthday. Kamenz gave his first concert at the Kremlin as conductor of the Bolshoi Orchestra in October 1977. A student of Vitaly Margulis and Sergiu Celibidache, Kamenz has since been awarded 18 first prizes in international piano competitions and has played solo recitals and concerts with orchestras around the world. Called “a giant of the keyboard” by International Piano, Kamenz is poised to become a household name among A-list pianists on North American shores with his “almost incomprehensible virtuosity” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) and “extraterrestrial musicality” (FAZ).

“It is clear that Igor Kamenz is a formidable pianist: technically secure, musically thoughtful, and a strongly committed artist,” wrote Fanfare of Kamenz’s Beethoven Piano Sonatas recording released on Oehms Classics in 2008. Welcomed enthusiastically by the critics, the album was described as “an absolute must” by Crescendo. For Igor Kamenz Plays Scarlatti, Kamenz chose 18 of Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti’s 555 harpsichord sonatas, organizing them into what he calls a “suite in eighteen movements,” ordering them according to dramaturgy, key, and content. These sonatas present a wide range of characters, from mournful nocturnes and meditative chorales to virtuosic and flamenco-influenced dances. The album was recorded last fall at the SUNY Purchase Performing Arts Center in New York by GRAMMY-winning producer and sound engineer Adam Abeshouse.

Igor Kamenz will play two solo recitals on August 19th and 20th in advance of performances by Joshua Bell and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall as part of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival. His programs will include Beethoven’s Sonata No. 7 in D major, Liszt’s Dante Sonata, and Liszt’s piano transcription of Isolde’s Liebestod.

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Igor Kamenz Mostly Mozart Pre-Concert Recital Information August 19-20, 2014, 7 p.m. Lincoln Center, Avery Fisher Hall, New York, NY


August 19th-Beethoven: Sonata No. 7 in D major August 20th-Liszt: Dante Sonata, Wagner (trans. Liszt): Isolde’s Liebestod