Johannes Brahms was just 19 years old in 1852-53 when he wrote the first two piano sonatas he deemed worthy of publication. In these extended 4-movement compositions he built on the heritage of Beethoven.
The fact that Brahms had produced a pair of masterpieces was immediately recognised by his mentor Robert Schumann, who eased his young colleague’s way into the future with his celebrated article ‘New Paths’ of 1853.
Alexander Melnikov was born in Moscow in 1973 and began his music studies at the age of six, at Moscow’s Central Music School, then continued at the city’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory from which he graduated in 1997 (class of Lev Naumov). Regularly invited by Sviatoslav Richter, he participated in his festivals in Moscow (December Nights), and his chamber music festival at La Grange de Meslay (Tours, France). He completed his postgraduate studies with Elisso Virssaladze in Munich. From 2000 to 2002 he was a BBC New Generation Artist.
Alexander Melnikov appears regularly in recital at the world’s leading concert halls with major orchestras. Besides his well-established duo with Isabelle Faust his partners include Vadim Repin, Natalia Gutman, Yuri Bashmet, Alexander Roudine, Pieter Wispelwey, Jean-Guihen Queyras, and many others. In piano duo repertoire he appears regularly with Andreas Staier, Boris Berezovsky, and Alexei Lubimov. He also regularly performs on the fortepiano with Concerto Köln.
He has recorded several CDs on harmonia mundi, as a soloist (Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich) or as a chamber musician (Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Teunis van der Zwart). His recording of the Shostakovich Preludes & Fugues was a Gramophone Critics’ Choice 2010.