Representing the grand tradition of the Russian piano school Nelly Akopian-Tamarina is a connoisseur’s artist from a bygone era, a musician of discernment excelling in repertory for which she has received the highest international recognition.
Born in Moscow, Nelly Akopian-Tamarina studied with Anaida Sumbatyan at the Moscow Central Music School. At the Moscow Conservatory she was one of the last students of the legendary Alexander Goldenweiser – friend of Scriabin, Rachmaninov and Medtner – continuing later with Dmitri Bashkirov. Through her teachers she carries on an illustrious branch of Russian Romanticism, reaching back to Anton Rubinstein and Liszt.
As a student Nelly Akopian-Tamarina won the Gold Medal at the 1963 Robert Schumann International Competition in Zwickau, and in 1974, succeeding Richter, Nikolayeva and Gilels, was awarded the Robert Schumann Prize. Formerly Soloist of the Moscow State Philharmonie, her early Soviet recordings for Melodiya – including Chopin’s Preludes Op 28 and the Schumann Piano Concerto with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra – have become collectors’ items. Removed subsequently from public life and prevented from giving concerts, she turned to painting for her artistic self-expression, her watercolours being displayed in Moscow.
Nelly Akopian-Tamarina made her London début at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1983. In 1997, marking the Brahms centenary year, she appeared to outstanding acclaim at the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum, opening both the international piano series of the Prague Symphony Orchestra, and the chamber season of the Czech Philharmonic.
In January 2008 she chose the Wigmore Hall for a critically admired all-Brahms recital, followed in 2009 by a programme of Schubert, Janáček and Chopin, and in 2010 a Schumann bi-centenary celebration.
Her accounts of the Schumann Fantasy and Arabesque are available in Brilliant Classics' Legendary Russian Pianists collection.
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