Nikolaï Lugansky, already a major artist, has been hailed as the "next" in a line of great Russian pianists by his former teacher, the renowned pedagogue, Tatiana Nikolaeva. He has been described as "a pianistic phenomenon of exceptional class" by the Netherlands' NRC Handelsblad and as "riveting" and "stand out" by London's Telegraph.
Known for his superb interpretations of Rachmaninoff, Mr. Lugansky has been a prizewinner in several international competitions, including the International Bach Competition in Leipzig in 1988, the All-Union Rachmaninoff Competition in 1990 and the Tchaïkovsky International Competition in 1994. He made his American debut at the Hollywood Bowl in 1996 as a part of a tour with the Kirov Orchestra and Valery Gergiev.
Mr. Lugansky has appeared with major symphony orchestras worldwide, including the Orchestre National de France; the Orchestre de Paris; the Philharmonia, Cincinnati, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, and Russian National orchestras; the Berlin, Milan, City of Birmingham, and San Francisco symphony orchestras; the Monte Carlo, Dresden, Los Angeles, Munich, Rotterdam, and Tokyo philharmonics; and the Royal Concertgebouw. The list of distinguished conductors he has worked with includes Paavo Berglund, Riccardo Chailly, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Marek Janowski, Neeme Järvi, Vladimir Jurovsky, Emmanuel Krivine, Sir Charles Mackerras, Kurt Masur, Kent Nagano, Sakari Oramo, Mikhail Pletnev, Jukka Pekka Saraste, and Yuri Temirkanov.
In the 2007-08 season, Mr. Lugansky will appear with the Pittsburgh Symphony under Marek Janowski both in Pittsburgh and on tour in Europe. He also performs with the San Francisco Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in both Cincinnati and on tour in Europe, as well as in solo recital in the United States and Canada.
Last season, Mr. Lugansky appeared with the Orchestre National de France under Kurt Masur for the opening of "Tchaïkovsky Season" at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. He also made appearances as soloist with the Gewandhaus Orchestra under Riccardy Chailly in Leipzig, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Sir Roger Norrington, the Radio Symphony under Marek Janowski in Berlin, the Munich Philharmonic, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Sakari Oramo. In the United States, he appeared with the Russian National Orchestra under Mikhail Pletnev and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. He appeared in recital at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the Tonhalle Zurich, the Palais des Beaux Arts Brussels, the Concertgebouw, the Barbican Centre, the BBC Proms, and in a tour of Spain.
During the 2005-2006 season, Mr. Lugansky performed the Ravel Piano Concerto in G major with the Rotterdam Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev in Japan. Following his successful collaboration with violinist Vadim Repin and cellist Mischa Maisky at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, where they performed trios by Schubert and Tchaikovsky, Mr. Lugansky embarked with Mr. Repin on a duo recital tour of Europe in February 2006 and of the United States in Spring 2006. Recent highlights of the 2004-05 season include tours with the Orchestre National de France under Kurt Masur to Paris, Vienna, Frankfurt, and Athens, and with the Royal Concertebegouw under Riccardo Chailly to Japan.
An acclaimed recording artist on the Warner Classics label, Mr. Lugansky won the Diapason d'Or for his recording of the complete Chopin Etudes in 2000. His next discs of Rachmaninoff Preludes and Moments Musicaux and Chopin Preludes won him a Diapason d'Or in 2001 and 2002 as well. He was awarded the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik and the Echo Klassik 2005 for his recording of Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos 1 & 3, and his recording of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 for Pentatone Classics won Gramophone Editor's Choice (February 2004). His other releases include a disc of Prokofiev Sonatas 4 & 6 and selections from Romeo and Juliet, a disc of Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo coupled with "Variations on a theme by Corelli," and "Variations on a theme by Chopin," and Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos 2 & 4. In Fall 2005, Warner Classics released his first disc of Beethoven Sonatas that includes the "Moonlight" and "Appassionata" sonatas.
Mr. Lugansky studied at the Central School of Music in Moscow, where his principal teachers included the renowned pianist and teacher Tatiana Nikolaeva, and the current director of the Tchaïkovsky School of Music in Moscow, Sergueï Dorensky.