Katya's new recording of Pictures at an Exhibition and Shostakovich Preludes, op.34 is available on the Onyx Label ONYX 4085
Katya's recording of Grieg Piano music for Quartz Music QTZ2061 was awarded an Editor's and Critic's Choice in Gramophone.
International Piano Magazine Winner Rising Star
Michael Church's review for the Independent
With Elizabeth Leonskaya and Paul Lewis leading the pack, this has been a
good year for Schubert’s piano music, but from the moment Katya Apekisheva
played the opening flourish of the Sonata in A minor D 537 it was clear that
hers was a voice like no other.
With its wayward and episodic structure, this movement poses a tricky
challenge, but Apekisheva gave it such propulsive and silky power that the
whole edifice felt like a single train of thought; the passage-work had feline
smoothness, the bursts of fortissimo came like bolts from the blue. The
Andantino turned into an interplay between a dry self-denial of the pedal and
the sensuous pleasure of luxuriating in it; in Apekisheva’s hands even the
concluding Allegro vivace – whose awkwardness reflected the young Schubert’s
inexperience – became keyboard poetry of a high order.
She then delivered Schumann’s ‘Kinderszenen’, employing sound-worlds of a
very different sort: it was wonderful to see the Wigmore’s massive beast of a
Steinway effortlessly tamed by this tiny, round-faced, smiling woman. And for
the knowing innocence of these pieces she found a style of playing as natural
as everyday speech. The sharp syncopations of ‘A Curious Story’ were followed
by a dizzily-scurrying ‘Blind Man’s Buff’, and an account of ‘Dreaming’ which
became something large and richly suggestive: we were like children at a party
watching a conjuror pull tricks out of a hat.
Then came a curiosity by Dobrinka Tabakova entitled ‘Halo’, whose
inspiration was apparently the halo of light surrounding the moon on a summer
night. It would follow the life-cycle of that halo, and would also hint at the
cycle of human life: a grandiose notion, but a rather ordinary piece, dwelling
too heavily on a few bold effects, but it made a nice bridge into Mussorgsky’s
‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ which was Apekisheva’s finale. Trained at the
fabled Gnessin school, she has such rock-solid technique that she can focus
entirely on what she wants to do with it. Her Old Castle
had noble restraint, her Tuileries were gracefully unhurried, her Unhatched
Chicks kicked up a storm, her Great Gate of Kiev climaxed in a blaze of
magnificence. Until this sensational concert, Katya Apekisheva had been a
slightly shadowy figure on Britain’s
pianistic scene. Not any more.
Anne's New Recording Beyond and Below was released in February 2012 on the Discovery Music and Vision label
Wu Qian together with violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky has just won First Prize at the Trio de Trieste Competition in Italy