NIKOLAI KAPUSTIN Nikolai   Kapustin   is   a   Russian   composer   and   pianist.   He   was   born   on   November   22,   1937   in Gorlovka Ukraine.   At   age   of   14   he   moved   to   Moscow   and   started   lessons   with   Avrelian   Rubakh,   himself   a   pupil of   Felix   Blumenfeld   who   also   taught   Simon   Barere   and   Vladimir   Horowitz.   Later   he   studied with   pedagogue   professor   Alexander   Goldenweiser   at   the   Moscow   Conservatory,   who   also told   him   about   Rachmaninov,   Medtner,   Scriabin   and   Tchaikovsky   whom   Goldenweiser   knew personally.   Nikolai   Kapustin   is   an   autodidact   on   composing;   he   made   his   first   attempt   to   compose   a piano   sonata   at   age   of   13.   During   his   conservatory   time   he   composed   and   played   his   Op.   1;   a Concertino   for   piano   and   orchestra.   The   Op.1   was   a   jazz   piece   and   turned   out   to   be   his   first work   performed   publicly   (1957).   He   also   had   his   own   quintet   and   was   a   member   of   Yuri Saulsky’s Big Band.    After   graduating   in   1961   at   the   Moscow   Conservatory,   he   became   a   member   of   the   Oleg Lundstrem   Big   Band.   Several   works   of   his   are   performed   by   Oleg   Lundstrem,   this   with   Nikolai Kapustin   himself   on   piano.   Around   1972   he   stopped   working   with   them   and   started   working with   the   radio   orchestra   (5   years),   then   with   the   cinema   orchestra   (7   years).   Early   80’s   he started fulltime as composer.   Nikolai   Kapustin   turned   out   to   be   a   classical   composer   who   happens   to   work   in   a   jazz   idiom. He   fuses   these   influences   in   his   compositions,   using   jazz   idioms   in   formal   classical   structures. An   example   of   this   is   his   Suite   in   the   Old   Style,   Op.   28,   written   in   1977,   which   inhabits   the sound    world    of    jazz    but    is    modelled    on    baroque    suites    such    as    the    keyboard    partitas composed   by   J.   S.   Bach,   each   movement   being   a   stylized   dance   or   a   pair   of   dances   in   strict binary   form.   Other   examples   of   this   fusion   are   his   set   of   24   Preludes   and   Fugues,   Op.   82, written in 1997, and the Op. 100 Sonatina.   Several   of   his   works   are   released   on   the   Russian   Melodiya   label   and   the   Japanese   Triton   label, this   with   Nikolai   Kapustin   on   piano.   Several   other   recordings   exist   of   Nikolai   Kapustin,   these are unreleased, but ‘rescued’ by his son, theoretical physicist Anton Kapustin. His   music   is   performed   by   leading   pianists   like   Marc-André   Hamelin,   Steven   Osborne,   Ludmil Angelov,   Masahiro   Kawakami,   Nikolai   Petrov   and   Vadim   Rudenko;   as   well   by   cellists   Eckard Runge   and   Enrico   Dindo.   Other   performers   are   the   Ahn   Trio,   Trio   Arbós,   Artemis   Quartet   and the New Russian Quartet.   Among   his   works,   160   compositions   to   date,   are   20   piano   sonatas,   six   piano   concertos,   piano works   for   solo   piano   and   for   4   hands,   as   well   for   2   pianos,   a   violin   concerto,   two   cello concertos,   piano   trios,   string   quartets,   a   piano   quintet   and   a   significant   number   of   other chamber works, as well as compositions for orchestra and big band.
Photo credits: Peter Andersson @ Schott Music
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nikolai.kapustin
pianist & composer