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Konstantin Shamray Records Tchaikovsky for Naxos

March 31, 2010

For three days, from 14–16 January 2010, in Wyastone Hall, Monmouth, UK, Konstantin Shamray recorded Tchaikovsky’s 18 Pieces, Op 72 for release on Naxos 8.572225.

Photo courtesy of David Anderson

‘These sessions went very well. Konstantin is a 25 year old Russian pianist who was born in Siberia. He has won many piano competitions, including the 2008 Sydney International Piano Competition for which one of the prizes was this recording for Naxos. From the list of repertoire Naxos proposed, he chose this late composition by Tchaikovsky. Naturally, Konstantin is virtuoso who has an affinity with Russian music. It will be a very fine disc. There are eighteen descriptive pieces to enjoy.’ – Michael Ponder

‘The organisation was perfect, as was sound engineer Michael Ponder. I love this set of eighteen pieces by Tchaikovsky and was so glad to be able to record them for Naxos. We worked about eight hours a day, spending the last day listening to the takes and re-recording anything we were not happy with.’ – Konstantin Shamray

In August 2008, The Australian newspaper reported that ‘Konstantin Shamray, the 23-year-old from Moscow, was the standout performer at the Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia. His talent was undeniable, he tackled tough pieces with ease, and he didn’t jump around theatrically at the piano like some of the others.’

In this article, Gerard Willems, chairman of keyboard studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, said that Shamray ‘showed great musical, intellectual and technical control.

‘He also said there were also no “external distractions” during Shamray’s performances, concentrating attention on the music itself.

‘“He sits as still as a rock,” Willems said. “People now are a lot more visually inclined. They want to see people emoting at the keyboard.

‘“But with him, there was very little external demonstration of what he was going through. It reminds me of some of the greatest of the artists. This is why I was so incredibly thrilled with the outcome of the competition.”’


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