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Viktoria Postnikova

Piano

  • Postnikova’s…interpretation was beautiful, with soft and refined gestures and poetically shaped phrasing.
    Morgunbladid
  • Prokofiev's monstrous Second Piano Concerto...is atrociously difficult...Most pianists thump it out, yet with Postnikova, one was aware of just how elegant it can be.
    The Guardian
  • Viktoria Postnikova was born in Moscow of musical parents and began to study the piano at the age of three. Four years later she made her public debut playing Mozart’s A Major Piano Concerto.

    Between 1962 and 1967 she studies at the Moscow Conservatory, where her teachers included Yakov Fliyer.

    After winning an impressive series of international prizes at the Warsaw International Chopin Competition, the Leeds Piano Competition, Lisbon International Vianna da Motta Competition and the Tchaikovsky Competition, Viktoria Postnikova appeared in all the world’s leading concert halls, performing and making recordings with the most prestigious orchestras and ensembles. In Europe she has given concerts with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre de Paris, to name only the most important. In America she has appeared with the New York Philharmonic and the Orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Cleveland and Philadelphia. Among the conductors with whom she has worked are Sir John Barbirolli, Sir Adrian Boult, Sir Colin Davis, Kurt Masur, Yuri Temirkanov, Kyrill Kondrashin and Lord Yehudi Menuhin, together with her husband, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, with whom she has also appeared on occasion playing piano duets.

    In addition to numerous tours in Europe and Japan with the Soviet Philharmonic Orchestra, Viktoria Postnikova has also appeared with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Australia and the Far East and with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra on South America.

    In 2004 Viktoria Postnikova was awarded the “Peoples Artist Award”.

    Among her numerous recordings are the complete piano works by Tchaikovsky made for Erato, complete Mussorgsky piano works, all Prokofiev’s piano concertos and Mendelssohn’s complete Songs Without Words.

    • “La reine Viktoria au piano”: l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice
      (February 2011)

      Ce chef qu’on a vu entrer, vendredi soir, d’un pas mesuré, sur la scène du conservatoire, est un phénomène de la musique. A 80 ans, Guennady Rojdestvinsky fait partie de la légende des grands chefs d’orchestre russes. Durant les deux dernières semaines à Nice, il a enchaîné, soir après soir, les repetitions et representations de “Boris Godounov” à l’opéra et du concert au conservatoire. Entraîné par ses gestes amples et calmes, l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice lui a obéi au doigt et à l’oeil. Le public lui a reserve une standing ovation à l’issue de la V symphonie de Tchaïkovsky. Dans le romantique concerto de Rimsky-Korsakov, il eut pour soliste sa propre femme, la pianiste Viktoria Postnikova. On la vit arriver avec son allure altière, couronnée de tresses, dans une longue robe rose: la reine Viktoria en personne! Le dialogue des deux époux, I’une à son clavier, l’autre à la tête de l’orchestre, émeut les publics du monde depuis trente-cinq ans. Mais force est de constater que, chez les Rojdestvinsky, c’est le mari qui mène la femme à la baguette!
      Nice Matin
    • Philharmonia Orchestra/Yuri Temirkanov: Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2
      (June 2010)

      Prokofiev's monstrous Second Piano Concerto followed, with Viktoria Postnikova as soloist, a last minute replacement for Boris Berezovsky. The piece is atrociously difficult, even for someone as familiar with it as she...Most pianists thump it out, yet with Postnikova, one was aware of just how elegant it can be.
      The Guardian
      Viktoria Postnikova, replacing Boris Berezovsky at short notice, began Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto in nonchalant fashion...her playing was free, expansive, and enveloped Prokofiev’s grand vision. She displayed her inimitable way with the music: the stretching of tempos and volumes, and her duels with the orchestra, gave this account an improvisatory feel.
      classicalsource.com
    • Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
      (January 2010)

      La pianista Viktoria Postnikova e il direttore d’orchestra Gennadi Rozdestvenskij, che sono moglie e marito, hanno eseguito a Santa Cecilia due composizioni tra le meno usurate di Piotr Ilic Ciaikovskij. Lei, Viktoria, è una matrioska dalla treccia appuntata a coroncina attorno alla testa, come le contadine slave d’altri tempi…ma è anche l’ultimo esemplare della prestigiosa scuola pianistica russa del passato. Lui, Gennadi, è il più grande interprete della musica di Ciaikovskij, ed è anche l’unico capace di aggirare la privacy del compositore, la sua vis ipocondriaco-sentimentale. Perché racconto queste cose? Perchè il secondo Concerto in sol maggiore per pianoforte e orchestra di Piotr Ilic (40 minuti di musica) e il “Manfred”, un grande affresco in quattro quadri (55 minuti di musica) erano una sorta di “unicum”, quindi prenotatevi all’ultima replica di oggi, un’occasione sorprendente d’ascolto della musica di Ciaikovskij quale dev’essere stata all’origine – Ciaikovskij per così dire nudo e crudo – chi altri oserà mai sbrinarlo dal ciarpame kitsch, che il demi-monde gli ha surgelato addosso nei decenni, se non Gennadi? Disponeva oltretutto di una splendida spalla, Gregory Ahss, affiancato nel Concerto per violino dal violoncellista Luigi Piovano. Ma è ora di approfondire le ragioni della intrigante signora Postnikova. Ascoltandola veniva fatto di pensare a quella che forse è stata la sua scuola. La pretigiosa scuola del pianista russo Lescitizki, che suonando faceva “partire” il peso delle dita dal gomito, anziché dalla spalla. Di qui la postura ravvicinata alla tastiera della Postnikova. Di qui le dita arrotondate e, di conseguenza, la tecnica “sgranata”, piuttosto che “spolverata” scorrevole sui tasti. Di qui infine la qualità degli accordi decisamente percussiva, anziché morbida e piena (come detta il pianismo aggiornato). Eppure, il brano che la Postnikova ha poi elargito piano, pianissimo, fuori programma (uno dei tanti piccoli brani per pianoforte di Ciaikovskij), ha rivelato il talento di una Matrioska diversa, segreta e discreta. A scegliere quel nonnulla sospiroso dev’essere stata la più piccola della serie di bambole inserite l’una nell’altra. Chi domerà mai la Matrioska Postnikova?
      Corriere Della Sera
    • “A Legend at the Arts Festival”: Iceland Symphony Orchestra [5 stars]
      (May 2009)

      It isn´t often that true legends occupy the stage of Háskólabíó. But the conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky is certainly among the few. He has been one of Russia´s leading musicians for decades. Composers have dedicated their works to him and he has given the premiéres of some great works of the 20th century. Yet despite his undeniable stature, Rozhdestvensky conducts with small gestures. The earlier work on the concert, piano concerto no. 24 by Mozart, one hardly noticed him. His wife, Viktoria Postnikova, was the soloist. Her interpretation was beautiful, with soft and refined gestures and poetically shaped phrasing. It is a known fact that Mozart´s music is extremely delicate in performance. It is so pure that the slightest mishaps can be clearly heard and disturb the overall effect. This sometimes leads performers to being overly precise and mechanical, which stifles the music-making, makes it boring and mechanical. But Postnikova played Mozart freely, at times almost romantically, yet never crossed the line. On the contrary, her interpretation was honest and gentle. The outcome as a whole was a rare delight. The same can be said for the massive Leningrad-symphony by Shostakovich. Despite the immense struggle depicted in the work, Rodestvensky was a relaxed figure on the podium, his movements were precise and to the point, with no unneccessary movements. And the Iceland Symphony Orchestra played like a major-league orchestra. The percussionists, led by Steef van Ousterhout on the snare drum, were completely in command. The giant brass section had a tight and impressive sound, and the woodwinds were also excellent, including some very beautiful flute solos. The strings had a beautiful texture, but were also threatening when the music required. Threat is a big element in this work, regardless of the precise meaning of the music. Shostakovich composed the work in 1941 as Nazi troops began surrounding the city of Leningrad. Yet during this performance, it was the music itself that spoke to the audience, making any additional commentary unneccessary. In such a breathtaking performance, the music was all that mattered. I think it is safe to say that this concert was one of the most important the Iceland Symphony Orchestra has given in its 60-year history.
      Morgunbladid
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