The Art of the Piano Duo | Concert 2 | Alexander Rudin & Ekaterina Derzhavina


Greater Boston brims with top-quality classical music performances, yet world-class piano duo concerts rarely occur. In response, the Boston-based non-profit 𝐒𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝 𝐖𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐀𝐫𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐏𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐨 𝐃𝐮𝐨, its inaugural piano duo concert series, comprised of two evening concerts taking place on two Saturdays in June 2024. Under the leadership of Artistic Advisor Dr. Elena Sorokina, Professor Emeritus of the Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory and preeminent expert of the piano duo genre, this two-concert event features international performers presenting repertoire from the 18th through 20th centuries.

𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐧 𝐚𝐭 𝟖:𝟎𝟎 𝐩.𝐦. and end by 10:00 p.m. in the sanctuary of 𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭 𝐂𝐡𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐡 𝐁𝐨𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐧, acoustically very fitting for chamber music, at 𝟔𝟔 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐥𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐒𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐭. General admission tickets are $40, available online via HERE and at the door.

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐉𝐮𝐧𝐞 𝟏𝟓 concert focuses on the music of Franz Schubert, highlighting works for piano four hands as well as cello and piano.

Esteemed cellist/pianist/conductor 𝐀𝐥𝐞𝐱𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐑𝐮𝐝𝐢𝐧 teams up with pianist 𝐄𝐤𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐚 𝐃𝐞𝐫𝐳𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐚 to deliver a rare program exploring the connections between Schubert’s piano duets and his music for string instrument and piano.

Beginning with the Eight Variations on a French Song for piano four hands, Rudin then takes up his cello to perform the Sonatina in G minor in partnership with Derzhavina on the piano. The first half concludes with a Characteristic March for piano four hands. The second half begins with the Rondo in D major for piano duet and climaxes with the richly composed Grand Duo, with Rudin playing cello.

About the Performers:

Alexander Rudin is an internationally acclaimed cellist, conductor, pianist, harpsichordist, and professor at the Moscow Conservatoire. He is a People’s Artist of Russia, a recipient of the State Prize of Russia and the City of Moscow Government Prize.

His cello repertoire includes compositions spanning four centuries – both well-known and obscure pieces. Owing to his attention to forgotten episodes in the history of music, music-lovers throughout the world have heard many works for the first time, among them, Mikhail Vielgorsky’s Theme and Variations for cello and orchestra, cello concerti by Antonín Kraft, Jean Balthazar Trickler, Johann Heinrich Facius and Robert Volkmann, to name a few. He also performs works by contemporary composers such as Valentin Silvestrov, Vyacheslav Artyomov, Edison Denisov and Andrei Golovin.

Since 1988, Rudin has been Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Musica Viva Moscow chamber orchestra. In Moscow, he has conducted the Russian premieres of the oratorio Juditha Triumphans by Vivaldi and an original version of Degtyarev’s oratorio Minin and Pozharsky, or the Liberation of Moscow as well as many other works. As a guest conductor, Rudin appears with acclaimed orchestras across Russia and abroad. He also takes part in international festivals and performs recitals and presents master classes worldwide.

His discography encompasses more than thirty discs released on Russian and international labels. Particularly well received were his recordings of six suites by Bach (Naxos), cello concerti by Trickler, Myaskovsky’s Cello Concerto, a Grieg Album, works by Alexander Alyabiev and Alexander Cherepnin, and more.

Rudin graduated from the State Gnessin Musical Education Institute in 1983 (cello class of Lev Yevgrafov and piano class of Yuri Ponizovkin). In 1989 he completed his studies at the Moscow State Conservatoire (conducting class of Dmitri Kitaenko). While a student, he was a prize-winner at the Bach Competition in Leipzig (1976), the Cassado Competition in Florence (1979) and the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1978, 1982).

Ekaterina Derzhavina was born in Moscow and started playing the piano at the age of 6. Studies were first at the Specialized Gnessins Moscow Music school and then at the Gnessins Russian Music Academy, where she also finished the post-graduate course. Her professors included Yuri Polunin, Valeria Polunina and Vladimir Tropp. In 1992, she won the First Prize at the "J.S. Bach" International Piano Competition in Germany.

From 1993 to 2006 she taught in the piano department of the Gnessins Russian Music Academy. Since 2003, she has been a Professor at the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory. She has also given master-classes in Germany, Russia, the USA, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, and New Zealand.

She has presented concerts worldwide in prestigious concert venues such as the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and Place des Arts in Montreal as well as taken part in many international festivals. Her performances have been recorded on the radio of Moscow, Cologne (WDR), Saarbrücken (SR), Berlin (Deutschland Radio), and Montreal (Radio Canada).

Among her many recordings, in 1996, Arte Nova Classics released her disc with the Goldberg Variations by Bach, which received the 1999 "Choc du Monde de la Musique" award in Paris. Her 2CD-set with the piano works by Nikolai Medtner (Phoenix Edition) received the French Diapason d'or award in 2009. In 2013 the German label "Profil" released her 9CD-set of the complete Piano Sonatas by Josef Haydn. This edition was nominated for ICMA in 2014 and has received "Choc de Classica" in 2016.