“[Kozhukhin’s] dazzling performance … must have lifted Orchestra Hall a few feet off its foundation. It was hard, in fact, to imagine any pianist seizing this formidably difficult concerto in a mightier grip than this Russian firebrand… Even in a day when keyboard virtuosos are thick on the ground, Kozhukhin is special.”
Winner of the First Prize in the 2010 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels at the age of 23, Denis Kozhukhin has established himself as one of the greatest pianists of his generation.
Kozhukhin’s performances have been praised by critics as “spellbinding”, “imperious” and “mesmerizing”. Technically flawless, Kozhukhin combines wisely the brilliance and power of his playing with a masterful sense of form and a very unique artistic approach.
Kozhukhin frequently appears with many of the leading international orchestras, such as Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony, Staatskapelle Berlin, Israel Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, among others. He is also frequently invited in such Festivals as Verbier, Gstaadt, Grafenegg, Dresden, Tivoli, Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival, Intonations, Tsinandali and BBC Proms.
The 21/22 season brings returns with Philharmonia Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, NDR Radiophilharmonie, RTE National Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, and a residency with the Barcelona Symphony performing Rachmaninov Piano Concerti. Kozhukhin will appear in solo recital at the Chicago Symphony Hall, Boulez Saal, perform with Jörg Widmann at the Dresden Festival, Koln Philharmonie and Frankfurt Alte Oper, and tour alongside Janine Jansen in Europe.
His most recent recording featuring C. Franck’s Symphonic Variations with the Luxembourg Philharmonic under Gustavo Gimeno was released by Pentatone in 2020, obtaining rave reviews. His last solo album, including Mendelssohn’s Songs without words and Grieg’s Lyric Pieces, was picked by Gramophone as “album of the month” as well as nominated to the Opus Klassik Awards in the categories of Solo recording and Instrumentalist of the year.
An avid chamber musician, Kozhukhin he collaborates with such artists as Janine Jansen, Jörg Widmann, Julian Rachlin, Vadim Repin, Leonidas Kavakos, Michael Barenboim, Vilde Frang, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Elena Bashkirova, Radovan Vlatkovic, Emmanuel Pahud, Alisa Weilerstein, Nicolas Alstaedt, Julian Steckel, Pablo Ferrández and Alexandra Conunova, among others.
Born in Nizhni Novgorod, Russia, in 1986 into a family of musicians, Denis Kozhukhin began his piano studies at the age of five with his mother. As a boy, he attended the Balakirev School of Music where he studied under Natalia Fish. From 2000 to 2007, Kozhukhin studied at the Reina Sofía School of Music in Madrid with Dimitri Bashkirov and Claudio Martinez-Mehner.
Kozhukhin completed his studies at the Piano Academy at Lake Como where he received advice from Fou Ts’ong, Stanislav Yudenitch, Peter Frankl, Boris Berman, Charles Rosen and Andreas Staier, and with Kirill Gerstein in Stuttgart.
In recent years he has been mentored by maestro Daniel Barenboim.