Vyacheslav Gryaznov - PIANO - ARRANGER - COMPOSER


Vyacheslav Gryaznov is a concert pianist, arranger and composer and is the author of more than 30 concert arrangements. He has gained a reputation as one of the most remarkable young arrangers working today. In 2014 Gryaznov signed a publishing contract with Schott Music.

In May 2020, Vyacheslav Gryaznov is premiering his new arrangement of the Bells by Rachmaninoff at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with Alexander Ghindin and Chamber State Choir under the baton of Peter Jermihov (USA). As a soloist, he is performing in Russia, China, Europe, and the United States.

His recent engagements included solo recitals at Berliner Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall, Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Ehrbar Hall in Vienna, National Center for the Arts in Mexico City; and as soloist with the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic in Russia, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin, Ireland, and the Dnipro Philharmonic in Ukraine.

In 2018, he released a CD of his Russian Transcriptions on the Steinway & Sons label as a part of his 1st prize at New York Concert Artists Worldwide Audition (2016).

Vyacheslav Gryaznov is a prize-winner of international competitions in Italy, Ukraine, Denmark, Georgia, Japan, and Russia (including six first and Grand prizes) and a frequent guest at international festivals, the pianist has toured in many countries of Europe, CIS, Africa, Japan, the United States, and throughout Russia.

He graduated with honors from the Central Music School of the Moscow State Conservatory where he studied with Professor Manana Kandelaki. He proceeded with undergraduate studies at the Moscow Conservatory (class of Professor Yuri Slesarev), once again completing his degree with honors. He continued at the Moscow Conservatory as a post-graduate student, and was on the teaching faculty of the Moscow Conservatory’s Piano Department. In 2018 he completed Yale University’s Artist Diploma program under the Yale School of Music’s Professor Boris Berman. He is an Artist of the Moscow Philharmonic and is an Artist-in-Residence with The Drozdoff Society in the United States.

 

Reviews

The art of the piano transcription is alive and kicking – or, more accurately, alive and singing in the hands Vyacheslav Gryaznov, whose solo CD debut for Steinway & Sons showcases the 36 year-old pianist-composer's considerable abilities in this genre. The Notturno from Borodin's Second String Quartet loses nothing in translation via Gryaznov's acute ear for timbre and registration, and actually gains something once the piano's full range opens up. Conversely, Gryaznov overloads Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the Flowers with fussy caesuras, tenutos and ritardandos that defuse the music's soaring momentum.


In spite of his declaration that he would perform "just one more piece" in response to a wildly enthusiastic, standing ovation, Russian classical pianist and transcriber Vyacheslav Gryaznov added to the suavely virtuosic Polka Italien of Rachmaninoff yet a second encore, the same composer's massive Etude-Tableau in E-flat Minor, Op. 39, No. 5. Gryaznov's marathon recital at Le Petit Trianon Theatre, Saturday November 12 comprised the third recital of the current Steinway Society the Bay Area, here a brilliant display of intellect and digital prowess that embraced music by Beethoven, Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev, and Rachmaninoff, including two transcriptions by Gryaznov of orchestral works that themselves rely on timbral and color nuances.


He has a very intelligent way of playing, calm and narrative, sitting austerely and expending no energy on unnecessary movement. There was no artifice in his performance, no insincere emotional outbursts. He does not tear his shirt and reveal a chest tattoo saying, "I will rock everyone!!!" Rather, he "tells a story" almost as an observer, but one who knows and sees the music from the inside, unhurriedly "explaining" all its beauty. His style of playing is very similar to that of Nikolai Lugansky - the same calm and austere manner of expression. His technical level is also very high – his finger articulation is tremendous, and he is wonderfully exact in his sound attack as well as in maintaining sound balance. Vyacheslav is profoundly musical and emotionally liberated.


His first original work was his Rhapsody in Black, written for Nikolai Petrov for piano duo and based on some of Gershwin's famed works – not Rhapsody in Blue), but especially Porgy and Bess. Slava describes the three-month composing process as one the most exciting periods of his life. "I had this idea for the style, with different medleys for piano and violin, and orchestral suites. But my goal was to create something of my own, a complex composition with its own story line." He had brooded over the idea for two years without finding the right starting point, but when the actual deadline arrived, it catapulted the creative process.


Sergei Rachmaninoff is a titanic figure among the giants of piano playing, not only because of his stature (6'6") or the span of his hands (a 12th), but because his compositions are even larger than the composer himself. His most famous concertos (No. 2 and No. 3) are warhorses in every major soloist's repertoire.

Yet, Rachmaninoff also composed numerous pieces on a more modest scale. On Sunday afternoon, Russian pianist Vyacheslav Gryaznov offered a survey of such pieces, in a recital presented by the Steinway Society of the Bay Area.

Gryaznov does not possess the towering stature of the composer but certainly displayed a focused vision and power from the first prelude that opened the concert. 10 Preludes, Op.23 is larger in scale than those of Rachmaninoff's predecessors such as Chopin and Alkan, or his contemporaries such as Debussy, but they tightly maintain their distinct characters. In the first Prelude, the dark, evocative melodic line was painted in bold strokes, and the slowly quivering tremolo in the left hand created a sense of gravity. The roaring and triumphant second Prelude was delivered with fire, while shimmering notes that fill between gigantic chords sparkled, creating a vivid imagery of an immense fireworks display.


Gryaznov's education mostly took place in Moscow. After that he spread his musical wings over the other continents. His style,the fire behind it, and his choice in programming went exactly the same way. He began the recital with the Twelve Transcendental Etudes S.139 of Franz Liszt(1811-1886). It is not common anymore that a pianist dares to play them all twelve, but actually they are all linked. They were dedicated to Carl Czerny (1791-1857), known for his various exercises. That is the very reason why this composition is so complex. Gryaznov began with full energy, which scared a bit. But everything went right. He kept his same inspiring pace during the whole journey. And this during over an hour, and in style.