The Russian pianist and composer, Sergei Dreznin, is a graduate of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow (as a composer) and the Russian Academy of Music (as a pianist), he has been awarded the honorary diploma of the All-Russia Piano Competition (1977) and the first prize at the All-Union Composers Competition (1985).
Sergei Dreznin has become well-known through his collaboration with violinist Gidon Kremer, his unusual interpretations and new version of classic piano works, and his own highly original approach to music theater with 14 shows produced, ranging from musicals on original Shakespeare texts to revival of Cabaret from Ghetto Terezin.
Sergei Dreznin played over two hundred concerts a year before moving to Vienna in 1987. While in Vienna, he had several of his music theater pieces produced, performed at the Salzburg Festival and all across Europe, including Sarajevo, Berlin, and his native Moscow on the eve of Perestroika.
Based in New York between 1998 and 2004, Sergei Dreznin has performed and composed extensively, including all-Liszt and all-Stravinsky recitals, in such venues as Merkin Hall, Casa Italiana and Elibash Hall, as well as the Skriabin Gala in 2003 at the Steinway Hall. He performed his own compositions at the Vienna New York Chamber Series. In May 2002, Dreznin performed his piece Circus Fantasy (in a duo with a cellist Borislav Strulev) for celebrities including Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev and Bono (U2) and for the audience of three thousand at the Millennium Theater in Brooklyn.
New York audience may also know Sergei Dreznin from his piece For Whom the Bell Tolls: In Memoriam September 11 which had it's world premiere at the Merkin Hall in March of 2002 with Dreznin conducting the Bachanalia Orchestra. On September 11, 2002, Dreznin commemorated the anniversary of the attack with the world premiere of his music theater piece Wien New York Retour which is centered on these tragic events and their aftermath. Coverage of this event appeared in The Washington Post, and on the web sites of the USA newspapers including Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun, Newsday and USA Today, as well as CNN, BBC Shanghai Press, Hindustan Times and Indonesian TV. It also made the front page of the Moscow Times. The English version of this production titled 9.11 – the Witness was performed in New York on September 10, 2003. Other New York composition credits include Circus Fantasy at Lincoln Center, performed by Gidon Kremer who also performs Dreznin's Dante Concerto (after Franz Liszt) around the globe, Just As If -- Life and Cabaret from Paradise Ghetto Theresienstadt at the 78th Street Theater Lab in Manhattan, and Roses in December starring James Naughton at the Urban Stages. Dreznin's versions of Polka by Alfred Schnittke (performed by Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica) and of Dmitri Shostakovich's song cycle From the Jewish Folk Poetry (performed by the violinist Levon Ambarstumyan) have enjoyed their premieres at the Carnegie Hall. In 2003-2004 Dreznin has been working on a film score for Ari Taub’s World War II epic The Fallen (“Letters From the Dead”).
Since June 2005 Sergei Dreznin is based in Paris. His most ambitious project to the date, Catherine the Great – musical epic of the Empire was scheduled to open in Moscow in Spring 2006.