The young Russian pianist Alexander Malofeev on tour with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra

The young Russian pianist Alexander Malofeev will perform Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto on the major tour of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. The tour will begin on 6 October with a guest performance at Chailly’s base in Milan, the legendary Teatro alla Scala.

You will make your debut with Riccardo Chailly and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra in Milan and you will also be on tour with the orchestra in China. How do you feel and what does it mean to you?

It’s a special feeling for me because I grew up with Riccardo Chailly’s and Martha Argerich’s recording of the Rachmaninoff 3rd Concerto. I always dreamed of meeting this legendary conductor. To be a part of this tour with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra is a great honor and responsibility for me.

Photos: Music Director Riccardo Chailly and pianist Alexander Malofeev © Geoffroy Schied / LUCERNE FESTIVAL

You will perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D. “I wrote it for elephants,“ exclaimed Rachmaninoff, shaking his head in fear and disbelief over the difficulties of his Third Concerto. What are the difficulties in this Concerto?

This concerto is a mountain. It is as beautiful as painful. Surely it is difficult to play it but I performed it a year ago for the first time and probably it was the happiest moment in my life.

Why piano? Was there a pianist who has inspired you?

It was a random decision. My parents took me to the music school. And for about 5 years my education wasn’t professional. I think it is possible to decide on your future professional path only when you perform on the stage.

Sergei Rachmaninoff is an inspiration for me as a pianist. His magnificence in all the pieces has always impressed me.

What’s your favorite piece, which you yourself do not play?

I admire all Mahler’s symphonies. They impress me with their perfection and magnitude. They are enormous.

Interview by Jacqueline Saner | LUCERNE FESTIVAL

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