The Russian pianist, Konstantin Scherbakov, was a child prodigy, first playing the piano at 5 and then making his debut with an orchestra at 11 in a performance of the L.v. Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto. He later moved to Moscow for studies at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory where he was mentored by his chief teacher the legendary teacher Lev Naumov, whose assistant he later became. Scherbakov won the 1983 (first) Rachmaninov Competition and followed that victory with winning an array of prizes at prestigious international competitions in Montreal, Bolzano, Rome and Zürich in Europe.
Konstantin Scherbakov built his career steadily in the former Soviet Union, where he has performed with all the leading orchestras and played recitals in more than a hundred cities. Hailed by critics at the Lucerne Festival as a modern Rachmaninov, he launched his international career in 1990 at the 20th Chamber Music Festival of Asolo in Italy, where he performed the complete Sergei Rachmaninov works for piano solo in four recitals, to the manifest approval of Sviatoslav Richter, who listened to his performance. In 1992 he and his family relocated to Switzerland and thereafter his career had a rather meteoric rise.
Konstantin Scherbakov is among the most ubiquitous and often-recorded pianists before the public today. The range of his repertory is vast and demanding, both technically and interpretively: he has recorded (or is in the process of recording) the complete solo piano outputs of Leopold Godowsky, Dmitri Shostakovich and Ottorino Respighi; the complete piano/orchestral works of Medtner, O. Respighi and Scriabin; and he is involved in other large projects including the complete Franz Liszt piano transcriptions of the L.v. Beethoven symphonies. His repertory also includes such disparate composers as Domenico Scarlatti, Liapunov and Franck. In addition to recitals, orchestral performances and tours all over the world, and televised and broadcast performances throughout Europe, his concert activity has brought participation in major festivals, such as Frankfurt, Bregenz, Bodensee, Luzern, Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Bad Kissingen, Schubertiade Feldkirch and Salzburg, among others. In August 2005 he played the cycle of 24 Preludes and Fugues of D. Shostakovich in two recitals at the Salzburg Festival to a very enthusiastic critical acclaim.
Amid a heavy concert and recording schedule Konstantin Scherbakov joined the faculty at the Hochschule für Musik Winterthur-Zurich in 1998. He also began regularly conducting master-classes in pianism and appearing as a jury member for various prestigious piano competitions. In 2003 Scherbakov marked the 20th anniversary of his victory in the Rachmaninov Competition by giving four recitals that once more covered the composer's complete solo output. He also appeared with several orchestras (the Russian State Philharmonic, the Singapore Symphony, the Haifa Symphony Orchestra and others) performing the composer's four concertos.
Konstantin Scherbakov has made numerous recordings since 1992. EMI introduced him via its Debut Series in a disc of Johann Strauss II waltz paraphrases by Max Reger, Carl Tausig, Rosental, György Cziffra and others. Naxos signed him and his first recording, the Transcendental Etudes by Liapunov, was released in 1994 on that label's sister enterprise Marco Polo. Boasting a phenomenal repertoire of some fifty concertos and a similar number of recital programmes, he has recorded music from J.S. Bach to Strauss and Scriabin and from L.v. Beethoven to Medtner and Ottorino Respighi, with a current commitment to record for Marco Polo the complete piano music of Leopold Godowsky. His acclaimed contribution to the Naxos Franz Liszt piano music series includes critically acclaimed performances of F. Liszt’s transcriptions of L.v. Beethoven’s Symphonies, of which the Ninth Symphony was awarded the German Critics’ Prize 2005, as well as his recording of L. Godowsky’s Sonata in E minor for Marco Polo, which was awarded the German Critics’ Prize in December 2001. Scherbakov’s recording of the 24 Preludes and Fugues of D. Shostakovich for Naxos received the Classical Award 2001 at Cannes. Among his most recent recordings is his 2006 Naxos CD of the D. Shostakovich Piano Sonata No. 2 and other D. Shostakovich works.