The Russian-born pianist, Vladimir Feltsman, debuted with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra at age 11. In 1969, he entered the Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory of Music to study piano under the guidance of Professor Yakov Flier. He also studied conducting at both the Moscow and the Leningrad (now St Petersburg) Conservatories. In 1971, he won the Grand Prix at the Marguerite Long International Piano Competition in Paris; this was followed by intensive concert tours throughout the former Soviet Union, Europe and Japan.
In 1979, because of his growing discontent with the official Soviet ideology and rigid governmental control of the arts, Vladimir Feltsman made his intention to emigrate from the Soviet Union clear by applying for an exit visa. In reply, he was immediately banned from performing in public. After eight years of struggle and virtual artistic exile, he was finally granted permission to leave the Soviet Union. Upon his arrival in the USA in 1987, Vladimir Feltsman was warmly greeted at the White House, where he performed his very first concert in North America. That same year, his debut at Carnegie Hall immediately established his as a major pianist on the America scene.
An artist of immense range and insight, Vladimir Feltsman is recognized as one of the most imaginative and constantly interesting musicians of our time. His vast repertoire encompasses music from the Baroque to 20th Century composers. He expressed his lifelong devotion to the music of J.S. Bach in a cycle of concerts which included major clavier works of the composer and spanned four consecutive seasons, 1992-1996, at the Tisch Center for Performing Arts at the 92nd Street Y in New York. His most recent project, Masterpieces of the Russian Underground, will unfold a panorama of Russian contemporary music through the unprecedented survey of piano and chamber works of fourteen different composers from Dmitri Shostakovich to the present day.
A regular guest soloist with every leading orchestra in the USA, Vladimir Feltsman appears on the most prestigious concert series and music festivals all over the world. The summer of 2000 finds him returning to the Sintra Festival in Portugal performing two all-Bach recitals: the Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 (BWV 846-869), and the Goldberg Variations (BWV 988). He repeats the Well-Tempered Clavier program at the Aspen Festival in Colorado, and performs a second all-Schumann recital there as well (Arabesque, Op 18, Kreisleriana, and Carnaval). Also this summer, he returns to the Raviana Festival to play and conduct Bach, appears at the White Nights Festival in St Petersburg, Russia, performs with the Vermeer Quartet in Johannes Brahmsí F minor Quintet at the Caramoor Festival in New York, and plays and conducts during Piano Summer at the New Paltz.
Orchestral engagements for Vladimir Feltsman in the 2000-2001 season included appearances with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra (Sergei Rachmaninov's Paganini Variations with Robert Abbado), Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (Ravel Concerto for the left hand), Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (S. Rachmaninov Paganini Variations), Kirov Orchestra with Valery Gergiev in Costa Mesa, CA, Orchestra of St Lukeís at Carnegie Hall (L.v. Beethoven Choral Fantasy), and the Indianapolis Symphony (L.v. Beethoven Piano Concerto nį5 with Pavel Kogan). He also played recitals in New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, and La Jolla, CA.
Vladimir Feltsman's 2005-2006 seasons includes returns to Carnegie Hall and to the Van Cliburn Foundation Piano Series in recital, a tour of the southeastern USA with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Valery Gergiev conducting. Playing and conducting with Seattle Symphony Orchestra and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, concerts with London Symphony Orchestra and Michael Tilson Thomas in London. Feltsman made his 12th consecutive appearance at the Aspen Music Festival in the summer of 2005 and returned to the Ravinia Festival for his fourth appearance in five years. In the Fall of 2006 Feltsman will perform a cycle of complete Mozart Sonatas on original Walter fortepiano in New York City. In December 2006 he will conduct Mozartís Cosi Fan Tutte at Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg. Among his 2006-2007 engagements are concerts in Singapore and Korea with St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Yuri Temirkanov, concerts with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, tour in Japan, recitals in Philadelphia, Kansas City, San Juan and La Jolla. He will perform Ravelís Concerto for left hand at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Sharing the great tradition of piano playing has become increasingly important to Vladimir Feltsman, who holds the Distinguished Chair of Professor of Piano at the State University of New York, New Paltz and teaches at the Mannes College of Music in New York City. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the International Festival-Institute Piano Summer at New Paltz, a comprehensive, month-long training program for advanced pianostudents which offers a unique, multifaceted approach to all aspects of piano performance and attracts musicians from all over the world..
Vladimir Feltsmanís extensive discography is released on Sony Classical, Music Masters, Music heritage Society, Camerata Tokyo and Melodiya labels, and includes six albums of clavier works of J.S. Bach, recordings of L.v. Beethovenís last five piano sonatas, solo piano works of Schubert, Chopin, Franz Liszt, J. Brahms, and Messiaen, as well as concerti by J.S. Bach, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, S. Rachmaninov and Prokofiev.
Vladimir Feltsman, who became a USA citizen in 1995, lives in upstate New York.