The Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival is preparing to receive a veritable piano star at the Opera de Monte-Carlo.
A worthy successor to Emil Gilels and educated at the great schools of Russia, Denis Matsuev is a classical piano virtuoso. Yes, you read that right: Classical piano. After winning a first prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition at 23, the Colossus of Irkutsk won the world over with his athletic performances of Rachmaninoff and Shostakovitch. With an imperial, naturally confounding presence, he gives 150 concerts a year in the most prestigious venues under the direction of the greatest conductors. Denis Matsuev will be accompanied by Alexander Zinger on drums, Andrey Ivanov on double bass, Aidar Gaynullin on accordion and Sofia Turina on saxophone. We are eager to see what this prodigious musician has in store for us – when he is not playing piano, he manages seven festivals (including one in Annecy, France) and a foundation that supports and brings young musicians to the fore.
Matsuev is accustomed to encores, sometimes surprising his music-loving audiences with jazz improvisations to which only he holds the secret: “Jazz is my second passion”, he explains. It’s what drove the Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival to call him in for an exceptional concert, with a top-secret repertoire, on the Opéra de Monte-Carlo’s stage on November 18.