Evgeni Koroliov

Piano Duo Koroliov

Evgeni Koroliov
photo: Barbara Frommachn

Concert dates see Evgeni Koroliov

Special project with concerts in Germany, Italy, France, South Korea

Bach: concerti for 1, 2, 3 pianos
Evgeni Koroliov, Ljupka Hadzigeorgieva, Anna Vinnitskaya, various ensembles

previous duo recitals

Staatstheater Oldenburg
Klavierfestival Klavierissimo, Wetzikon
NDR Rolf-Liebermann-Studio, Hamburg
Herkulessaal, München
Festival Soli Deo Gloria, Braunschweig
De Singel, Antwerpen

Piano Duo Koroliov

Ljupka Hadzigeorgieva and Evgeni Koroliov met in Moscow, where they were both studying at the renowned Tchaikovsky Conservatorium; her teachers were W.M. Choroshina, L.N. Naumov and A.N. Ljubimov, his were A.D. Artobolevskaya, L.N. Naumov and L.N. Oborin. Evgeni Koroliov, who was born in Moscow, had previously attended Moscow Central Music School; Ljupka Hadzigeorgieva, who was born in Bogdanci,/Macedonia, began her studies in Skopje and Zagreb and was, at the age of 16, the youngest person to receive a state scholarship to go to Moscow. Even during their studies, both won numerous national and international prizes as soloists and were also admired as teachers. Ljupka Hadzigeorgieva taught at two Music Academies in Yugoslavia; Evgeni Koroliov first taught at the Moscow Conservatorium, then in Yugoslavia, and finally took up a professorship at the Music Academy in Hamburg in 1978.

In 1976, the two young pianists founded the Koroliov duo and, already in the subsequent year, won the "Jeunesse musicale" prize 1977 in Belgrade. Some years later, they performed at the International Duo Festival in Leningrad, where they won the first prize of the critics, the first prize of the audience, and two special prizes. In 2000, at the International Duo Festival in Jekaterinburg/Russia, they won the prize of the Russian Composers Association for the best interpretation of 20th century music.

They have produced numerous CD, radio and television recordings. In June 2006, their acclaimed recording of works by Schubert won the “Choc” of “Le monde de la musique”. In 2011 there will be released a CD with works of Bach arranged by György Kurtág.

Their recital activity, as soloists, as a duo or as part of a chamber music ensemble, has taken them to Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland, Norway, the USA and Canada. The duo also performed at numerous international festivals, e.g. Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Ohrid Summer, MDR Musical Summer, Musikfest Stuttgart, Hitzacker Summer Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, Ludwigsburger Festspiele and Elba - isola musicale dEuropa.

In addition to the established classics, their repertoire also comprises a great number of works by important authors of the 20th century, e.g. Stravinskys "Le sacre du printemps", the "Sonata for two pianos and percussion" by B. Bartok, "Les visions de lAmen" by Olivier Messiaen, as well as works by Gyorgy Ligeti and Gyorgy Kurtag. In addition to that, the duos artistic brilliance has also inspired some composers to new pieces that were then given their first performance by the Duo Koroliov. Among these are: "Kompozicija I" by I. Jevtic, "Musandra 7" by T. Prosev, "Sonata for two pianos" by R. Avramovski, "Sonata for two pianos" by T. Zografski, as well as a number of works by Wolfgang Plagge, including "Music for two pianos", "Die Woche", "Quintet for two pianos, two celli and horn", "Piano Concerto for two pianos and orchestra" and "Concerto grosso II for two pianos, wind quintet, and timpani".


CD-Review - Schubert: Fantasia in F minor D 940 & Sonata "Gran Duo" D 812, Label: tacet

Tacet has devoted a series to the excellent pianist Evgeny Koroliov (born in Moscow in 1949), issuing major sets devoted to Bach (Goldberg Variations, The Art of Fugue) and many other composers. The present disc, labeled Volume 8, includes his wife as partner in two of Schubert’s most glorious examples of music for piano four hands.

This is not my first encounter with Koroliov; I raved about his Schubert (the B♭ Sonata, D 960, and the Moments musicaux, D 780) in a 1995 volume of Fanfare (19:4), citing his “self-effacing musicianship and sensitivity.” Of course, there are two pianists to consider here, and it is impossible to distinguish the primo from the secundo without knowing which of them is playing which part—nor should one wish to! As one expects with any duo, the playing of the partners is blended, and with this husband-and-wife pair, the unity and smoothness of execution is faultless. A significant aid is the piano, which is uniform in sonority from bottom to top.

The two pianists offer a technically strong and consistently sensitive reading of the Fantasy, slipping convincingly from the exquisite melancholy of the opening section through the bright contrasting sections that follow, and finally back to the music of the opening. The "Grand Duo" is equally convincing in its contrasts between tumultuous drama and ineffable sweetness in the lengthy first movement. Koroliov and Hadžigeorgieva play brilliantly throughout, ever alert to the subtleties of Schubert’s affective changes in harmony and mood, and their performance leaves a powerful impression.

Inevitably one is brought back to the duo of Yaara Tal and Andreas Groethuysen, who recorded the complete Schubert four-hand repertoire on Sony in the 1990s in four volumes. Theirs was playing of rare perfection, enhanced by their choice of piano, the oversized Fazioli grand. (Their CDs are still available through various sellers on Amazon.) But I strongly recommend the Koroliov duo, especially to have these two great examples of Schubert’s art on one CD.

Fanfare Magazine, Susan Kagan. January 2007

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