The rest of the programme will be announced.
This is the third time that the Firkušný festival will host bard of the piano Grigory Sokolov, one of the most distinctive living representatives of the great Russian piano school tradition. He is able to conjure up an exceptional range of tone colour on the instrument, while every keystroke brings a different dynamic shade. He generally performs his concerts in subdued lighting to aid concentration, which evokes a sense of mystical ceremony. Sokolov prepares for his appearances with meticulous care. Each season he withdraws from the public eye for several months in order to focus on a single new programme. Before the concert he acquaints himself with the piano, studying and examining it in great detail like a scientist in a laboratory. In his mind the instruments have their own souls and he needs to see inside them so that their mutual partnership is as productive as possible. The audience is then given something extraordinary. He only performs solo recitals and doesn’t appear with chamber musicians or with orchestras. “I very much like the fact that everything I make depends only on me. With a hundred people it’s almost impossible. You don’t have the responsibility,” he stated in an interview with journalist Jessica Duchen.
Sokolov also adopts a specific approach to recordings. He has never made a studio recording in the course of his career and his fans have to wait a long time for recordings of his live performances. When he signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon in 2014 and agreed to record again after a period of almost twenty years, it was a truly special occasion for his devotees. To date he has made five recordings for the yellow label; the most recent was released this April. It captures a concert from 2018 performed in the Haydn Hall of the Esterházy Palace in Eisenstadt, where his programme featured music by Joseph Haydn and Franz Schubert. Sokolov’s repertoire contains not only Classical-Romantic works and Bach, but also Renaissance and Baroque masters of the keyboard, such as William Byrd, François Couperin and Johann Jakob Froberger.