“[Kozhukhin’s] dazzling performance … must have lifted Orchestra Hall a few feet off its foundation. It was hard, in fact, to imagine any pianist seizing this formidably difficult concerto in a mightier grip than this Russian firebrand… Even in a day when keyboard virtuosos are thick on the ground, Kozhukhin is special.”
— Chicago Tribune
Winner of the First Prize in the 2010 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, Belgian pianist Denis Kozhukhin has established himself as one of the greatest pianists of his generation.
Kozhukhin’s performances have been praised by critics as “spellbinding”, “imperious” and “mesmerizing”. Technically flawless, Kozhukhin combines wisely the brilliance and power of his playing with a masterful sense of form and a very unique artistic approach.
Kozhukhin frequently appears with many of the leading international orchestras, such as Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony, Staatskapelle Berlin, Israel Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, among others. He is also frequently invited in such Festivals as Verbier, Gstaadt, Grafenegg, Dresden, Tivoli, Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival, Intonations, Tsinandali and BBC Proms.
The 21/22 season has brought the return to the BBC Proms performing Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2, as well as appearances with Philharmonia Orchestra on tour, Israel Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, NDR Radiophilharmonie, WDR Sinfonieorchester, MDR Sinfonieorchester, RTE National Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, and a residency with the Barcelona Symphony performing the four Rachmaninov Piano Concertos. Kozhukhin has also appeared in solo recital at the Chicago Symphony Hall, Boulez Saal, and on tour in duo with Jörg Widmann, Vilde Frang and Janine Jansen, appearing at Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Musikverein, Berlin Philharmonie, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Zurich Tonhalle and Bozar.
Highlights of his 22/23 season include collaborations with the Danish National Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie, HR-Sinfonieorchester, Vienna Radio Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Belgium National Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony and Borusan Philharmonic, among others. He will also appear at the Tsinandali Festival, Schloss-Elmau, and in recital at the Carnegie Hall, Cadogan Hall, De Singel, Megaron, and at Lille Piano Festival.
His most recent recording, of César Franck’s Symphonic Variations with the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestravunder Gustavo Gimeno, was released in 2020, joining earlier albums of Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words with Grieg’s Lyric Pieces (nominated for an Opus Klassik Award), and discs of Haydn, Brahms and Prokofiev, as well as concertos by Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Ravel and Gershwin.
An avid chamber musician, Kozhukhin collaborates with such artists as Janine Jansen, Jörg Widmann, Julian Rachlin, Vadim Repin, Leonidas Kavakos, Michael Barenboim, Vilde Frang, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Elena Bashkirova, Radovan Vlatkovic, Emmanuel Pahud, Alisa Weilerstein, Nicolas Alstaedt, Julian Steckel, Pablo Ferrández and Alexandra Conunova, among others.
Kozhukhin studied at the Reina Sofía School of Music in Madrid with Dmitri Bashkirov and Claudio Martinez-Mehner, and later completed his studies at the Piano Academy at Lake Como where he received advice from Fou Ts’ong, Stanislav Yudenitch, Peter Frankl, Boris Berman, Charles Rosen and Andreas Staier, and with Kirill Gerstein in Stuttgart.
In recent years he has been mentored by maestro Daniel Barenboim.