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‘Purely Chopin’: Vladimir Mogilevsky to Mesmerize Berlin Twice

Berliners have two opportunities to witness none other than Vladimir Mogilevsky interpreting Frédéric Chopin at the Phiharmonie. These concerts were announced for September and December. Most critics agree that nobody plays like Mogislevsky.

Vladimir Mogilevsky is being drowned in praise. The pianist was “Liszt’s true successor”, the ‘Europa Express’ wrote. Other dailies and magazines accurately call him a “congenial interpreter” or a “virtuoso and real musician”. Some publications use the very same words when describing him. This has to do with the fact that there simply are no words for this kind of amazing sound.

What does the Composer Want to Say?

Mogilevsky himself delivers the most convincing description of his magic piano performance. He does not use words, but rather 88 piano keys on the concert grand. In other words: Critics can use the words ‘virtuoso’ and ‘genius’ a million times. They do have a point, but only listening to the master will really show what the man can do.

Compassion and perfection are more words often used in one sentence with his name. Vladimir Mogilevski himself has said the question what the composer wanted to tell the audience was crucial. “In most cases, you cannot ask them anymore”, the 49-year-old states, but he does provide excellent answers with his fingers on the keys, and he has done so for a very long time.

Mogilevsky was born in Moscow in 1970, when it was capital of the Soviet Union. His unbelievable gift was discovered when he was only 5 years old. In 1994, at age 24, he completed his studies at the renown Gnessin Musical Academy, with the highest evaluation possible, and moved to Germany in 1995. In the past decades, he received countless deserved prizes.

There is Only One Vladimir Mogilevsky

Both his audiences and critics appreciate Mogilevsky’s individuality and his “fresh” interpretations. Many say he had the ability to equal absolutely nobody. And they are right.

His repertoire includes a wide range of compositions from Bach to contemporary pieces. It is not all classical music. Vladimir Mogilevsky does not have a problem playing Gershwin either. His incredible memory makes sure he is always ready to play anything, even at a moment’s notice.

So he switches back and forth between composers all the time. After playing Tchaikovsky, he would interpret Milhaud, Hindemith, Strauss, Liszt or Chopin. The latter is what he will do in Berlin twice before this year ends.

Apart from performing in Germany and Russia a lot, Mogilevsky does hit stages in more exotic countries too, including Israel, Turkey, China, South Africa and Mexico. He spends a lot of time in VIP lounges at the world’s airports, in hotel suites and, fortunately, on stages, behind well tuned concert grands.

Liszt’s Old Piano

Besides, he does very special gigs too: In 2002, the Liszt Festival in Bonn booked Vladimir Mogilevsky. On that occasion, he did not perform on stage, but in Franz Liszt’s house, playing the late composer’s actual concert grand manufactured by Bechstein. He also played on instruments which were used by other big composers, including Beethoven’s piano.

In 2004, Mogilevsky’s debut concert in Berlin took place. Since, the promoters in the German capital have been booking him like crazy. This year is no exception.

There is one aspect which leads to confusion. In Berlin, two ‘Chopin pur’ (‘Purely Chopin’) concerts were announced, on Sunday, September 29th and on Sunday, December 29th, 2019, at Philharmonie Berlin. The entire city was plastered with posters for the September concert. But when this article was written on July 28th, Mogilevsky’s official website announced ‘The Best of Peter Tchaikovsky’ for September 29th and “compositions by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt, Chopin, Debussy, Alyabyev, Rubinstein, Scriabin, Rachmaninov and Gershwin” for December 29th.

Well, they will figure it out.

Tickets for Vladimir Mogilevsky’s Chopin concerts in Berlin are available here.