The Russian born pianist, Boris Petrushansky, started his piano studies at the age of 5, supported by a strong musical family. At 15 (1964) he met the eminent pianist and teacher Heinrich Neuhaus, who then took young Boris on as a student. Heinrich Neuhaus died later that same year (October), but left a lasting impression on Petrushansky, who would shortly go on to achieve success in two competitions: Leeds in 1969 and Munich in 1971.
1975 was the breakthrough year in Boris Petrushansky's career: he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory (having completed his piano studies under Neuhaus-protégée Lev Naumov), then won first prize at the Alessandro Casagrande Competition in Terni, Italy. The, in the summer of 1975, e gave two unforgettable recitals at the Festival dei due Mondi at Spoleto and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Festival (substituting Sviatoslav Richter), and scored a great triumph with critics and audiences alike. Since then, Petrushansky has not looked back. His highly original creativity and vivacious personality have earned him wide recognition as a concert pianist.
Though his career had been on the ascent in the Soviet Union and abroad in the early 1970’s, Boris Petrushansky had become an international figure in the musical world after 1975, with a heavy concert schedule throughout Europe (Finland, Sweden, Great Britain, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, Czecoslovakia, Hungary), the Soviet Union, USA, Japan, Israel, Egypt, Mexico, Taiwan, Australia, etc. Petrushansky continued to concertize as well as record in the 1980’s, but left the Soviet Union later in the decade and took up residency in Italy in 1990.
Boris Petrushansky has played with many orchestras, including: the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, State Symphony Orchestra of Russia, Moscow Philarmonic, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin, Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Festival Orchestra, Helsinki Philarmonic, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, New European Strings, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, etc. He has played with many renowned conductors, such as J. Ferencik, E. Bour, V. Fedoseev, Esa-Pekka Salonen, V. Gergiev, Alexander Lazarev, P. Bellugi, Dmitri Kitaenko, Saulius Sondeckis, R. Abbado, M. Shostakovich, Lu Jia, Vladimir Jurowski and P. Kogan. His partners, to name but a few, have been the legendary Leonid Kogan, Igor Oistrakh, Mischa Maisky, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Valery Afanassiev and Cecilia Gasdia.
Boris Petrushansky is one of the most respected Russian pianists of his generation, though his career has in part been overlooked by the concert-going public, not least because of a focus on older iconic keyboard figures from the former Soviet Union, like Sviatoslav Richter and Emil Gilels, and younger ones like Vladimir Ashkenazy and Mikhail Pletnev. Petrushansky's repertorire is broad, encompassing Johannes Brahms, Schubert, Chopin, Franz Liszt, Prokofiev, and Dmitri Shostakovich, as well as modern composers.
Boris Petrushansky has various recordings with Melodyia (Russia), Art & Electronics (Russia - USA), and since the migration to the West, with Symposium (UK), Fone, Agora and Dynamic (Italy). He has made a number of critically praised recordings. Among his more important earlier efforts was a 1994 three-disc set of the 24 Preludes and Fugues of Dmitri Shostakovich on the Dynamic label. Other releases appearing later on, all on the Agora label, included works by Chopin (Three Impromptus, Four Mazurkas, Four Ballades), Schumann (Fantasia, Op. 17, and Sonata No. 1), and Franz Liszt (Années de pèlerinage - Second Year, et. al.).
Boris Petrushansky serves as member of the jury of many international competitions such as "F.Busoni" (Bolzano), "D. B. Viotti" (Vercelli), "A.Casagrande" (Terni) etc. In addition to his concert life, Boris Petrushansky has an active teaching career: from 1975 to 1979 he taught at the Moscow Conservatory and now gives regular master-classes at the Royal Accademy of Dublin, the Purcell School of London, the Rowan University in New Jersey, and in many cities in Italy. He now resides in Italy where, since 1990 (or 1991) has held a position at the Accademia Pianistica "Incontri col Maestro" in Imola and, from 1992 also at the Accademia Ducale in Genoa.