Alexander Melnikov graduated from the Moscow Conservatory under Lev Naumov. His most formative musical moments in Moscow include an early encounter with Svjatoslav Richter, who thereafter regularly invited him to festivals in Russia and France. He was awarded important prizes at eminent competitions such as the International Robert Schumann Competition in Zwickau (1989) and the Concours Musical Reine Elisabeth in Brussels (1991).
Known for his often-unusual musical and programmatic decisions, Alexander Melnikov discovered a career-long interest in historically-informed performance practice at an early age. His major influences in this field include Andreas Staier and Alexei Lubimov. Melnikov performs regularly with distinguished period ensembles including the Freiburger Barockorchester, Musica Aeterna and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.
As a soloist, Alexander Melnikov has performed with orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Philadelphia Orchestra, NDR Sinfonieorchester, HR-Sinfonieorchester, Russian National Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées and the NHK Symphony, under conductors such as Mikhail Pletnev, Teodor Currentzis, Charles Dutoit, Paavo Järvi and Valery Gergiev.
Alexander Melnikov’s association with the label harmonia mundi arose through his regular recital partner, violinist Isabelle Faust, and in 2010 their complete recording of the Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano won both a Gramophone Award and Germany’s ECHO Klassik Prize. This album, which has become a landmark recording for these works, was also nominated for a Grammy. Their most recent release features the Brahms sonatas for violin and piano.
Melnikov’s recording of the Preludes and Fugues by Shostakovich was awarded the BBC Music Magazine Award, Choc de classica and the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. In 2011, it was also named by the BBC Music Magazine as one of the “50 Greatest Recordings of All Time.” Additionally, his discography features works by Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich and Scriabin. Along with Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Pablo Heras-Casado and the Freiburger Barockorchester, Melnikov recorded a trilogy of albums featuring the Schumann Concertos and Trios; the second installment, featuring the Piano Concerto and the Piano Trio No. 2, was released in September 2015. Other releases include a November 2016 recording featuring works of Prokofiev and his most recent release in June includes Chausson and Franck repertoire.
In the 2017/18 season Alexander Melnikov will tour his project “The Man with the Many Pianos”, where he performs a solo recital on three different instruments reflecting the periods in which the works were written. Next to concerts with Musica Aeterna, Ensemble Resonanz and Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale Rai he continues his collaboration with Camerata Salzburg and as an Artistic partner with Tapiola Sinfonietta.
Further highlights include recitals at Cité de la Musique Paris, Muziekgebouw aan’t Ij Amsterdam, de Singel Antwerpen, the Kölner Philharmonie and the Chamber Music Hall of the Berliner Philharmonie as well as being an artist in residence at London Wigmore Hall in the 2018/19 season.
One of the world’s most prominent performers, Andreas Staier’s indisputable musical mastery has made its mark on the interpretation of baroque, classical and romantic repertoire for period instruments. Acknowledged by his peers and a wider audience, Andreas continues to defend intellectual and artistic standards in both known and neglected works for the keyboard.
Born in Göttingen in 1955, Andreas studied modern piano and harpsichord in Hannover and Amsterdam. For three years, he was the harpsichordist of Musica Antiqua Köln with whom he toured and recorded extensively. As a soloist, Andreas Staier performs throughout Europe, the United States and Asia with orchestras such as Concerto Köln, Freiburger Barockorchester, the Akademie für alte Musik Berlin and the Orchestre des Champs - Elysées Paris.
Andreas has been invited to leading international festivals including the Festival de La Roque d’Anthéron, Festival de Saintes, Festival de Montreux, Edinburgh International Festival, York Early Music Festival, Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music, Styriarte Graz, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Schlweswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Bach-Fest Leipzig, Bachtage Berlin, Bachwoche Ansbach and Kissinger Sommer. He has also performed in major venues: Konzerthaus, Wien; Konzerthaus, Philharmonie, Berlin; Kölner Philharmonie; Gewandhaus Leipzig; Alte Oper Frankfurt; Tonhalle Düsseldorf; Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, London; deSingel Antwerp; Concertgebouw Amsterdam; Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels; Tonhalle Zürich; Cité de la Musique, Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Ircam, Théâtre des Champs – Elysées, Paris; Teatro della Pergola, Florence; Sala Filarmonica, Roma; Toppan Hall, Suntory Hall, Tokyo; Carnegie Hall, Frick Collection, New York; and is regularly invited as a guest soloist by the BBC.
As a chamber musician Andreas is performing regularly with pianists Alexander Melnikov, Christine Schornsheim and Tobias Koch, violinists Isabelle Faust and Petra Müllejans, and in piano trio with violinist Daniel Sepec and cellist Roel Dieltiens. He has also worked with the actresses Senta Berger and Vanessa Redgrave as well as Anne Sophie von Otter, Alexei Lubimov and Pedro Memelsdorff, and his musical partnership with the tenor Christoph Prégardien produced numerous lieder recordings (Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Brahms), all highly acclaimed by international critics.