Grigory Sokolov is recognized as one of today’s greatest pianists, an artist universally admired for his visionary insight, spellbinding spontaneity and uncompromising devotion to music. His recital programmes span everything from transcriptions of medieval sacred polyphony and keyboard works by Byrd, Couperin, Rameau, Froberger, to the music of Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Brahms and landmark twentieth-century compositions by Prokofiev, Ravel, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, Schoenberg and Stravinsky.
Grigory Sokolov was born in Leningrad (now St Petersburg) on 18 April 1950. He started to play the piano at the age of five and, two years later, began studies with Liya Zelikhman at the Central Special Music School of the Leningrad Conservatory. He went on to receive lessons from Moisey Khalfin at the Leningrad Conservatory, and gave his debut recital in Leningrad in 1962. Sokolov’s prodigious talent was recognized in 1966 when at 16, he became the youngest musician ever to receive the Gold Medal at the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Sokolov performed extensively as concerto soloist with orchestras of the highest calibre, working among others with the New York Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, the Philharmonia London, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and the Munich Philharmonic, before deciding to focus exclusively on giving solo recitals. Sokolov performs around 70 concerts each season, immersing himself fully in a single programme and touring extensively throughout Europe.