Dec 29 2022
Denis Kozhukhin, Russian pianist: “I understand that everything that sounds Russian is interpreted in a negative light, it’s a normal reaction”
“The young musician, who is performing with the Barenboim-Said Foundation in two concerts for Ukrainian refugees, warns against the danger of labelling his country’s culture with Putin’s regime.”
May 24 2022
“For me, the piano is an instrument with infinite possibility, sound, force, colors, imitation. It’s all about imagination, so all the ideas are first born in your head, in your ears.”
“We work all our lives, and we study like crazy for perfection. But what is perfection in music? What is perfection in life? Of course, you can play a concert without hitting a single wrong note, and I really admire people who can do that. It’s an achievement, of course, and this is what we all aim for. Obviously, if you have too many wrong notes, it can kind of destroy the whole picture. You can go to concerts and sit there for two hours and not hear a wrong note, but it can be boring and empty. So, this thing of playing wrong notes, it’s really overjudged sometimes, and it shouldn’t become an obsession.”
Mar 04 2022
Mar 01 2022
“I grew up with Rakhmaninov’s music, perhaps the first melodies I remember hearing.”
“The important thing is to accumulate experience. And in the end many things happen by a stroke of luck, they don’t depend directly on you, no matter how hard you try. Sometimes your career path changes because you meet a certain person or because you were in the right place at the right time. The important thing is to be prepared for when destiny calls. And in the meantime, work calmly and understand that a musician is not formed in fifteen or twenty years. Every day we see younger and younger virtuoso musicians, incredible children with amazing technical abilities. But it is not just about playing the right notes as fast as possible. Music is made of life, and it takes time, even time to get it wrong.”
Jun 07 2018
NDR Kultur recently review Denis Kozhukhin’s new album “Ravel & Gershwin Concertos” as follows:
“Kozhukhin and the orchestra create […] a delightful liveliness“
“Unbelievable how that works“
„[…] playful, humerous, fanciful and unrestrainedly solemn“
„The Old and the New World around 1930: stylistically confidently captured – virtuosically performed!”
The full review can be accessed here (in German).
Feb 02 2015
Denis Kozhukhin makes his debut in Portland Sunday and Monday, January 25-26, as part of Portland Piano International’s 2014-2015 season. He talked with ArtsWatch about how he searches for good sounds, how Prokofiev relates to Haydn, and how pianists enter into the struggle of Prokofiev’s war sonatas.
On the piano it’s very much just imagining what you want. The problem is knowing exactly what you want. The piano is a percussive instrument: the hammer hits the strings. But the piano is also a magic instrument. When one knows what one can get from the piano, the piano has absolutely no limits whatsoever. This is what a real musician, a real piano master, does in his own life: he’s always searching for this better sound. And sound is a really relative thing. While it takes years of practice and good teachers, the piano has everything to do with imagination. It would be nice if one note in and of itself meant something, but it’s imagining how the notes fit together into one cohesive line. And then also the pedal, which is the lungs of the piano helping the music to breathe.
Nov 21 2014
Career paths are different for every pianist. Some focus on giving recitals while others eschew chamber music altogether for the spectacle of the concert hall, the sound of an orchestra enveloping their playing of a concerto.
But for pianist Denis Kozhukhin, they are all just different but equally important parts in a single multifaceted career.
“I have to say that the aspects of my playing, the chamber music, solo recital, and concertos with orchestras are at the same level of importance to me,” the Russian pianist said from his home in Berlin. “I am trying to combine them in such a way that there is a higher kind of harmony.”