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Ekaterina Mechetina (Piano)

Born: September 16, 1978 - Moscow, Russia

The Russian pianist, Ekaterina Mechetina, was born into a family of musicians, and very early it became clear that she had inherited the inclinations and gifts of her parents. Her flair for music became evident when she was a young girl and, in fitting with her talents, she became a pupil of the Central School of Music for the Moscow State Conservatory - probably the most renowned school for gifted children in the world where many of today’s world-famous musicians began their first musical steps. After finishing her schooling, where she was taught by T.L. Koloss, she began her studies at the Moscow Conservatory under the tuition of V.P. Ovtchinnikov. For her postgraduate studies, she was taught by the famous Sergey Leonidovich Dorensky. Dorensky’s students have collectively won over one hundred prizes in competitions across three continents - probably a world record! Mechetina’s prize at the Cincinnati Piano Competition was the hundredth…

Ekaterina Mechetina’s first landmark in her early career was the Young Musicians Competion in Verona (1989, Grand prix), the Mozart Prize, which she won at the age of 10, and for which she received a piano, and the Young Pianists Competion of a name of F. Shopena in Moscow (1992, II premium and a special prize). A few years later, a more serious test awaited her - the International Busoni Piano Competittion in Bolzano (1995) - one of the most difficult competitions on the circuit. At the time, one ecstatic Italian critic wrote, “Young Ekaterina already now is on the peak of world pianism”. Of course, this was an exaggeration; she still had a lot to learn, and luckily both she and her tutor knew that. Mechetina’s immunity to celebrity status was and is part of her character, and this has enabled her to continue growing in artistic mastery without distraction. Over the next few years, she gave many concerts, toured many countries, and took part in various international competitions. She became the prize-winner at Apinal Competition (1999, II premium), Viotti Competition in Vercelli (2002, II premium), Queen Elizabeth Competition in Belgium (2003), Pinerolo Competition (2003) and at a triumphant performance in Cincinnati (2004). By this time, her concert activities were well beyond the prodigy child stage, and had grown very much in scope. Her playing was drawing the attention of the musical public mainly due to the fact that her virtuosity did not drown her musicality. It is a fact of today’s technology that many can play quickly and accurately. But it is only the elite that can render the sincere emotion and deep feelings of the composers. Katia belongs to this elite.

Actually, Ekaterina Mechetina’s success owes itself as much to her meetings with some of the great musicians of our time, as to her competition success. In December 2002, when Russia was celebrating the 70-year anniversary of the outstanding composer Rodion Shchedrin, one of the festival concerts devoted to him was on the verge of failure (the German pianist invited by R. Shchedrin was unable to come to Moscow). Sergey Dorensky managed to convince the composer - who always demanded absolute perfection from his performers - to entrust his music to a student of his. Mechetina had already played a lot of R. Shchedrin's music, and the fact that she learnt his new most difficult works at such speed won the heart of the exacting composer. The concert was a great success and R. Shchedrin was so much enamoured by the pianist that he now entrusts Mechetina with the performance of his new piano works – including his Piano Concerto No. 6, whose premiere she performed at the legendary Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Another crucial encounter was with the outstanding and wise Vladimir Spivakov, which resulted in her becoming one of the most often-invited guest soloists of the Maestro’s two orchestras - the National Symphony of Russia and Moscow Virtuosi. Also, the incomparable Mstislav Rostropovich, who became a guardian angel for Katia: it was Rostropovich who, having credited her years before, invited her to perfume in his concerts in Taiwan, and then allotted her a scholarship in his foundation, which gave her the chance to take classes in France. These meetings, Katia admits “changed my attitude to the profession, and each concert of this kind was for me an unforgettable event”.

Since 1986 Ekaterina Mechetina gives concerts in the best stages in Moscow and other Russian cities, as well as abroad, including in many countries of the Europe, Northern and South America, Japan. She has performed on such world famous stages, as Concertgebow (Amsterdam), Yamaha H Ð H Ð all, Casals Hall in Tokyo, Schauspielhaus in Berlin, Salle Gaveaue in Paris, the Great Hall of the Milan Conservatory and Auditorium in Milan, France, Azolo (Italy), Tallinn (Estonia), Berlin Classic Oper Air (Germany) and others participated in the international festivals in Round. Her repertoire is enriched with new compositions, and her interpretations have become more refined and well thought-out. She leads an intensive concert schedule - around 80 concerts each year, and increasing. She performs with first-rate orchestras. Today, she is a mature, highly experienced artist, and her latest CD, “Rachmaninov”, has just been recorded for the Fuga Libera label.

Even before her Cincinnati success, Ekaterina Mechetina had played in Brazil and had had a debut in the USA with an orchestra in Boston. “This highest-class Russian pianist Ekaterina Mechetina strikes the public by her debut in the US” read the Boston Globe’s headline. Her achievements have been marked with one of the most prestigious awards of Russia - the Youth Prize “Triumph”. But the main thing about Mechetina is that the artist understands there is no limit to perfection, as she purposefully continues her ascent as a musician.

«She is a miracle! Sensation!» - Rodion Shchedrin
«Mechetina is a marvelous pianist, whose playing is bold and self-assured, very much after the Russian model.» - The Boston Globe, USA
«Ekaterina Mechetina has recently been recognized as the most talented and most beautiful woman pianist». - Moscow News, Russia

Source: Ekaterina Mechetina Website; Bits & pieces from other sources
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (September 2011)

Ekaterina Mechetina: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Ekaterina Mechetina, piano (Official Website)
Ekaterina Mechetina (Katerina Artists)
St.Petersburg Music House: Ekaterina Mechetina

Ekaterina Mechetina (Virtus Artis)
Мечетина, Екатерина Васильевна (Wikipedia) [Russian]

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Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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