Alexander Kniazev is the worthy successor of Mstislav Rostropovitch and one of Russia’s leading contemporary cellist.
Born in 1961 in Moscow, Alexander Kniazev made his debut in 1978 in Russia, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria, USA, Japan, Korea, South America and South Africa.
He has performed as a soloist under Evgeny Svetlanov, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Kurt Masur, Yuri Temirkanov, Yuri Bashmet, Vladimir Fedosseyev, Neeme Järvi, Alexander Vedernikov, Hans Jörg Albrecht, Vassily Petrenko, Andris Poga, Maxime Chostakovich, Mikhail Pletnev, Charles Dutoit, Kazuki Yamada, Stéphane Denève, Jean-Claude Casadesus, Vladimir Jurovsky, Alexander Sladkovsky, Kazuki Yamada et Lawrence Foster; with the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker, Russian State Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Helsinki Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Radio France Philharmonic, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic, Marseille Philharmonic, Göteborg Symphonic Orchestra, Tiroler Symphonieorchester Innsbruck, Ensemble Kanazawa, Yokohama Sinfonietta, Den Haag Residentie Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and NHK Symphony Orchestra…
He is a regular guest of the festivals of December Nights in Moscow, White Nights in Saint Petersburg, Saint-Denis (France), Folles Journées de Nantes, Nuits du Suquet (France), La Roque d’Anthéron (France), and of the prestigious Tanglewood, Lugano, Amstel Festival of Amsterdam and Salzburg festivals…
In chamber music, he plays with Nikolai Lugansky, Valery Afanassiev, Elisabeth Leonskaya, Kun Woo Paik, Boris Berezovsky, Andrei Korobeinikov, Plamena Mangova, Victor Tretiakov, Mario Brunello, Ivan Monighetti, Dimitri Makhtin, , Elena Bashkirova, Vadim Repin, or Jean Guillou with whom he has maintained very close ties for many years.
As an ardent defender of contemporary music, Alexander Kniazev premiered in Moscow the Alexei Rybnikov’s and Benjamin Youssoupov’s Cello Concertos (that was dedicated to him).
Exceptional musician, Alexandre Kniazev has numerous talents and he is also an organist. In 2017, he was invited to perform in recital on the famous organ of the Paris Cathedral Saint Louis des Invalides.
In 1995, Alexandre Kniazev was appointed professor at the Moscow Conservatory and he regularly gives masterclasses in France, Spain and Korea. He also takes part in many international cello competitions as a jury.
Alexander Kniazev recorded multiple CDs under various labels: at Melodia – an album of Ernest Bloch and Miaskovsky’s cello concerto with Evgeny Svetlanov and the Russian State Symphonic Orchestra; at Philips – Max Reger and Jean Guillou; at Warner Classics – J.S. Bach, Chopin and Chostakovitch with Nikolaï Lugansky, as well as the trios by Chostakvitch Rachmaninov and Mendelssohn with Dmitri Makhtin and Boris Berezovsky; at Lontano/Warner – Dvořák ; at Fuga Libera – Franck and Ysaÿe with Plamena Mangova; at Mirare – Brahms with Andreï Korobeinikov. He recorded a Chostakovitch album with the Yokohama Sinfonietta Orchestra. As organist, he recorded, for the label “Piano Classics”, an album dedicated to the works of Bach which has been broadcast in the prestigious Cathedral of Riga.
His entire discography won unanimous critical acclaim and received many awards (Echo Award…).
Alexander Kniazev began his cello studies aged 6 under Alexander Fedorchenko and was admitted to the Moscow Conservatory in 1979. At the same time, he studied the organ under G. Kozlova. He won many international prizes, including the first prize at the Vilnius International Cello Competition in 1977, the second prize at the Moscow Tchaikovsky International Competition in 1990 and, in 1992, the first prize at the Pretoria International Competition. In 1999, he was named “Best musician of the year” in Russia.
“A distinctive, charming personality who advocates above all open-mindedness and seeks the expression of the soul behind every note.”
Le Monde de la Musique