“[Kozhukhin’s] dazzling performance … must have lifted Orchestra Hall a few feet off its foundation. It was hard, in fact, to imagine any pianist seizing this formidably difficult concerto in a mightier grip than this Russian firebrand… Even in a day when keyboard virtuosos are thick on the ground, Kozhukhin is special.” - Chicago Tribune.
Winner of the First Prize in the 2010 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels at the age of 23, Denis Kozhukhin has established himself as one of the greatest pianists of his generation. Kozhukhin’s performances have been praised by critics as “spellbinding”, “imperious”, and “mesmerizing”.Technically flawless, Kozhukhin combines wisely the brilliance and power of his playing with a masterful sense of form, maturity, and a very unique sensitivity.
Highlights of his 2016/17 season include engagements with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra / van Zweden, Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Krivine, Philharmonia Orchestra / Temirkanov, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin / Poga, Philadelphia Orchestra / Denève, Mahler Chamber Orchestra / Payare, San Francisco Symphony / Orozco-Estrada, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra / Orozco-Estrada, Czech Philharmonic / Weilerstein, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra / Weilerstein, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra / Vasily Petrenko, Toronto Symphony Orchestra / Kristjan Järvi and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande / K. Yamada.
As a recitalist, recent and upcoming highlights include returns to the Concertgebouw’s Master Pianists Series, Vienna Konzerthaus, Cologne Philharmonie, Wigmore Hall, Verbier Festival, London’s International Piano Series, and the participation in the opening of the Boulez Saal in Berlin alongside Maestro D. Barenboim.
His debut recording for the label Pentatone, featuring Grieg Piano Concerto and Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin and Vassily Sinaisky was received with rave reviews, including Gramophone Editor’s Choice and Disc of the month in Fono Forum and Stereophone.His second album, including solo works by Brahms, was released in January 2017.
Past seasons have seen Kozhukhin appear with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra / G. Noseda, Orchestre National de France / K. Yamada, Vienna Symphony / M. Alsop, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra / V. Petrenko, BBC Symphony Orchestra / S. Oramo, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra / T. Dausgaard, St. Petersburg Philharmonic / Y. Temirkanov, Houston Symphony / J. Hrůša, Seattle Symphony / L. Morlot, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart / A. Shokhakimov, Progetto Martha Argerich and at the most renowned concert halls, including Berliner Philharmonie, Kölner Philharmonie, Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Carnegie Hall, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Herkulessaal, Rotterdam De Doelen, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Auditorio Nacional de Madrid, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Théâtre du Châtelet.
An avid chamber musician, Kozhukhin is frequently invited to international festivals such as Verbier Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, Intonations Festival, Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival, and has collaborated with such artists as Leonidas Kavakos, Michael Barenboim, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Janine Jansen, Vadim Repin, Julian Rachlin, the Jerusalem Quartet, the Pavel Haas Quartet, Radovan Vlatkovic, Jörg Widmann, Emmanuel Pahud and Alisa Weilerstein, amongst others.
Born in Nizhni Novgorod, Russia, in 1986 into a family of musicians, Denis Kozhukhin began his piano studies at the age of five with his mother. As a boy, he attended the Balakirev School of Music where he studied under Natalia Fish. From 2000 to 2007, Kozhukhin studied at the Reina Sofía School of Music in Madrid with Dimitri Bashkirov and Claudio Martinez-Mehner.
Kozhukhin completed his studies at the Piano Academy at Lake Como where he received advice from Fou Ts’ong, Stanislav Yudenitch, Peter Frankl, Boris Berman, Charles Rosen and Andreas Staier, and with Kirill Gerstein in Stuttgart. In recent years he has been mentored by maestro D. Barenboim.