"Alexander Romanovsky is special, not just an extraordinary technician with a flair for color and fantasy, but also a sensitive musician and lucid interpreter."
The New York Times
"the latest pianist to be hailed as the true heir to the great Russian tradition"
"a dramatist and poet of lyrical charm"
"Romanovsky can produce the thunderous sound and sharp-edged, ringing bass that sends a tingle down the spine"
Described by Carlo Maria Giulini as “extraordinarily gifted,” pianist Alexander Romanovsky is a riveting, distinct and subtle performer with an utterly engaging voice.
Born in Ukraine in 1984, Alexander studied with his mentor Leonid Margarius at the Imola Piano Academy for fifteen years before continuing his studies at the Royal College of Music (London) with Dmitry Alexeev. At the age of seventeen, he won First Prize at the prestigious Busoni Competition in Italy.
Praised by The New York Times as “special, not just an extraordinary technician with a flair for colour and fantasy, but also a sensitive musician and lucid interpreter,” Alexander graces many of the world’s most prestigious stages in recital. Recent highlights include the complete Chopin Études in the Main hall of Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw; the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow and the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire; Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Teatro Olimpico in Rome; Tokyo’s Asahi and Kioi halls; Chile’s Teatro Municipal; and Sala Verdi at Milan’s Conservatorio; as well as a performance with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Valery Gergiev.
Romanovsky regularly performs with major orchestras throughout Europe, Asia and The Americas including the UK’s Royal Philharmonic, English Chamber, Hallé and Bournemouth Symphony orchestras; Italy’s Orchestra dell’Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome and Milan’s Filarmonica della Scala; Russia’s Mariinsky and Russian National orchestras and St. Petersburg and National philharmonics; Japan’s Tokyo and NHK symphony orchestras; Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival; Pacific and Santa Barbara symphony orchestras; Costa Rica Symphony; and with the New York Philharmonic, under Alan Gilbert, at the Bravo! Vail Festival. He collaborates at a very high level with conductors such as Vladimir Spivakov, Valery Gergiev, Michael Pletnev, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Sir Antonio Pappano, Gianandrea Noseda and James Conlon.
Recent highlights include Brahms No. 1 at the Brescia and Bergamo International Piano Festival; Shostakovich No. 2 with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Victor Aviat; Liszt No. 1 with the Moscow Philharmonic and Yuri Simonov; Tchaikovsky No. 1 at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires; Prokofiev No. 3 with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León under Andrew Gourlay; Rachmaninov No. 3 with the Filarmonica della Scala and Myung-whun Chung; Beethoven No. 5 under Vladimir Spivakov; and his debut at the Royal Albert Hall, London playing Beethoven No. 5 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Recent recitals include Teatro Manzoni in Bologna; Istituzione Universitaria dei Concerti in Rome; Musica Insieme Bologna, Amici della Musica di Padova; Unione Musicale Torino; Freiburg International Piano Series; and Fondazione Accademia Musicale Chigiana.
In 2020/21 Alexander returns to perform Rachmaninov No. 3 with the Janáčkova filharmonie Ostrava and Petr Popelka; Mozart K. 467 with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra and Yuri Simonov; Prokofiev No. 2 with the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan and Carl St Clair; and Beethoven Nos. 4 and 5 with the National Philharmonic of Russia and Vladimir Spivakov. Recitals in 20/21 include Casa da Musica in Porto, Fondation Louis Vuitton Paris, Teatro Galli in Rimini; and duo recitals in Kortrijk and Amsterdam with cellist Ella van Poucke.
Alexander performs extensively throughout Italy, where he has lived since early childhood. In 2007, he was invited to give a concert at the Papal Residence in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI in celebration of the 110th Anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s birth.
Since 2007, he has released five critically acclaimed albums on Decca: Beethoven: Diabelli Variations, Brahms/Schumann, Rachmaninov: Etudes-Tableaux and Corelli Variations, Rachmaninov: Piano Sonatas, and more recently Childhood Memories. Alexander Romanovsky has held the post of Artistic Director of the Vladimir Krainev Moscow International Piano Competition since 2014.
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Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3 / Filarmonica della Scala (tour) / Myung-Whun Chung
Alexander Romanovsky seems younger than his 35 years. At least until he sits at the piano. Then he enchants the public with energy and navigated mastery, as he did at the Arcimboldi theater, where he performed with the Filarmonica della Scala conducted by Myung-Whun Chung.
Equipped with a formidable technique that allows him total control of this, almost unattainable score, his interpretation has been appreciated even more for its depth, with phrasing, dynamics and agogic gradation that gives meaning to every passage, with no note being ancillary. With a wonderful use of the pedal and the Romanovsky touch he created a round and deep sound (with the relaxed weight of the body, not with the strength of the arm), giving us some of the most evocative ‘pianissimo’ ever heard, to the other extreme of reaching the power of an orchestra.
Elena Biggi Parodi, L’Arena
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam (October 2018)
And so he went on, in a fantastic variety of extremely fast and moderate tempos, without being disturbed by the specific technical problems of each Etude separately. Heroic passages alternated with disarmingly tender lyricism. Because of his holistic approach to the score, Romanovsky put all the notes together in a coherent, free and forward movement, as natural as the seamlessly expanding and shrinking flight pattern of a flock of starlings. As a courtly knight, he went in a horizontal and vertical direction searching for the holy grail, concentrating not on instrumental perfection, but on the magical essence. Obviously extremely well prepared, Romanovsky let himself be carried away by the music as a born romantic, and he in turn thrilled the audience.
Annemiek Kool, Die Niewe Muze
Les grandes voix recital with Daniel Lozakovich
Salle Gaveau, Paris (March 2018)
Both artists fully explored this [homogeneous] unity in the Schubert: natural sentences of the melody, tempi corresponding to Schubert's emotional writing, and a gracious tone. Together, Daniel Lozakovich and Alexander Romanovsky explored with a great elegance all the joyful sides of Schubert, sometimes showing a little bit of meditative melancholy
Toute La Culture
The encounter of two soloists of an exceptional talent is always a magical moment. The union of Daniel Lozakovich and Alexander Romanovsky for this programme was actually one of these moments of excellence...
Alexander Romanovsky at the piano is no less prodigious, and perfect in his personal, musical universe. His flawless interpretation delivers a music of great poetry and is sophisticated and moving. The instrument transforms itself under his fingers and becomes majestic and complex, where each note is voluptuous, each movement is an invitation to a rare musical journey. His understanding of the three pieces is incredibly beautiful and rare, as well as the glaring equilibrium he manages to create with his partner.
In this concert they managed to give the audience a glance of how humanity can be pure and magical.
Jean-Paul Bottemanne, Lex News
CD [Decca] - Rachmaninov: ‘Études-Tableaux’ (Op. 39); Corelli ‘Variations’ (Op. 42) ; Schumann ‘Symphonic Etudes’; Brahms ‘Paganini Variations’
Alexander Romanovsky is special, not just an extraordinary technician with a flair for color and fantasy, but also a sensitive musician and lucid interpreter… Mr. Romanovsky’s effortless ability to dispatch swirling streams of agitated passagework and myriad colorings comes through excitingly. Yet for all the fireworks there is wondrous clarity and grace in the playing.
Anthony Thommasini, The New York Times
Alexander Romanovsky’s second CD for Decca really marks out this 24-year-old as something special. His playing has you continuously at the edge of your seat… he sounds a lot like Rachmaninov himself, and there can hardly be higher praise. The Corelli Variations, too, are superbly done, as though conceived in a single breath…I think I would place Romanovsky as the most outstanding of contemporary versions. A truly remarkable disc.
Calum MacDonald, BBC Music Magazine
Alexander Romanovsky is the latest pianist to be hailed as the true heir to the great Russian tradition… The nine Etudes-Tableaux all have a wonderful sense of poise and poetic integrity, whatever technical demands they make, while the Corelli Variations are sustained in a single sweep. This is very controlled, impressive piano playing.
Andrew Clements, The Guardian
Romanovsky can produce the thunderous sound and sharp-edged, ringing bass that sends a tingle down the spine.
the Ukrainian Alexander Romanovsky, imbuing the étude with light and energy…A compelling combination of faithfulness to the score and a sense of fantasy in Alexander Romanovsky’s reading, made for Decca when he was just 21. I like the way his repeats in the fifth etude are never carbon copies and the fact he phrases the left hand slightly differently from the right so the canon never becomes heavy or predictable. Schumann once wrote to Clara ‘I frequently discover in my compositions many things which I cannot explain. It’s most extraordinary how I write nearly everything in canon and then only detect the imitation later.’ That apparent lack of intent is quite beautifully conveyed by Romanovsky. He follows the fifth étude with the second of the posthumous variations…But one artist who has consistently dazzled and charmed me is the youngest in today’s survey Alexander Romanovsky. He has virtuosity in spades but isn’t afraid to put his stamp on the music, though never to the detriment of Schumann himself. He has power, yes, and beauty of tone, but boy can he dance too
Harriet Smith, BBC Radio 3 CD Review
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3 / Tchaikovsky Concert Hall / Yuri Simonov
Romanovsky shows himself more mature, relaxed and self-assured than in 2014. There are good reasons for this. His phrases are more closed. He also plays the Allegro molto section in the cadenza more fluidly and contingently than before. Playing this composer so compellingly is very difficult and only a few pianists succeed…In the second movement, the young pianist presents all his strength as a lyricist. His performance is a musical masterpiece in terms of dynamics, agogics and coloration, and atmosphere. Here, in the foreground is a poetic animation with passionate emotion…Romanovsky reaped raging enthusiasm among the Moscow public. This is not to be seen every day in the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, where the world’s best pianists perform.
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 1 / Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Aleksander Marković
After a declamatory opening, with echoes of Grieg, Romanovsky laid bare an astonishing technique allied to interpretative insight. He sailed effortlessly through the first movement’s formidable demands and brought to it elemental power, precision and poetic expression, notably in a melting dialogue for piano and cellos. Thundering octave scales were dashed down with total assurance, his flair never obscured by flamboyance. For the Andante, Romanovsky forged phrases of limpid beauty and judged to perfection the calibration of each note, partnered by orchestral playing of sustained eloquence. By contrast the finale has a glittering solo part and performed here with transparent ease. Now the piano’s upper register shone and iron-clad bass notes were added to Romanovsky’s tonal palette; the whole propelled by an energising Marković with tremendous gusto, soloist and players evidently enjoying themselves.
David Truslove, Bachtrack
Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 4 / City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Andrew Gourlay
It was also a kiss (on the hand!) that stood at the end the performance of the second piece this afternoon – a superbly played Fourth Piano Concerto by Rachmaninov at the hands of Alexander Romanovsky...played flowingly, coherently, effortlessly in the highly virtuoso passages, yet retaining a pithy sound. Romanovsky revelled in the jazzy opening of the middle movement as the orchestra revelled in its dreamy three-note-motif as if there was nothing musically more important to say. It was a thing of beauty, as was the third movement, played at breakneck speed, yet utterly focussed and with great accuracy.
Hedy Mühleck, Bachtrack
Romanovsky concentrated on the music’s remarkable cogency, bringing a strong rhythmic impulse and a mercurial pianism redolent of Rachmaninov himself. His Chopin Nocturne encore was a perfect choice, rich-toned and warmly pedalled.
Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post