April 27th, 2012
“It has been a triumphal innings for Denis Kozhukhin in Glasgow, where over the last few months he has played all of Prokofiev’s piano concertos with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. The first marked the 26-year-old’s UK professional debut; at this final concert, the sold-out City Halls cheered him with the fondness they would a local lad.
He saved the mighty fifth concerto until last, tackling it with the same blithe bravura as he had the other four. Even having to learn three of the concertos from scratch did not phase Kozhukhin, who always seems to be enjoying himself. His cheerful assurance never comes across as hubris, though: he is attentive and gracious with the orchestra, and technically breezy, fingers buoyant on the keys no matter how dense Prokofiev’s writing. His sound is percussive but not harsh, forceful but never overwhelming, cheeky but not mean or sarcastic. He breathed gentle space into the Larghetto and easy swing into the Moderato’s opening offbeats. This was a young man’s Prokofiev, sincere and quirky and inquisitive.”
The Guardian, April 2012
“The night belonged to the sensational young Russian pianist Denis Kozhukhin, completing his survey of Prokofiev’s Piano Concertos with a spectacularly mind-boggling performance of the brilliant Fifth Concerto.
His nimble, flying virtuosity is a mix of weightless, supple, acrobatic display and power with a steel core; but his witty characterisations, from the quirky second movement to the madcap antics of the finale, were genius in action. Glorious.”
The Herald Scotland, April 2012